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Title: The effect of prenatal nutritional intervention on placental nutrient transporter expression and feto-placental outcome in rural Gambian women
Author: Jobarteh, Modou Lamin
ISNI:       0000 0004 4692 2158
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2015
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Iron and zinc deficiency during pregnancy is common among women in low-income nations. In such settings, prenatal nutritional intervention is encouraged to improve pregnancy outcome. The impact of the intervention on transporter proteins involved in fetal nutrient supply is unexplored. This study investigated gene expression of some transporter proteins involved in fetal nutrient supply in the placenta. In a trial in rural Gambia, pregnant women at <20weeks of gestation were randomised to 4 nutritional intervention arms: i) Iron and folic acid (FeFol), representing the usual care ii) Multiple micronutrients (MMN) iii) Protein energy (PE) iv) MMN and PE (PE+MMN). All the intervention arms contained 60mg iron and 400μg of folic acid. FeFol and MMN interventions were given in tablet format, whereas PE and PE+MMN were in food format (lipid-based nutrient supplement- LNS). Maternal blood samples collected at booking, 20 and 30 weeks of gestation were assessed for iron levels, and zinc levels measured only the later samples. Gene expression of proteins involved in fetal iron, zinc, amino acid and glucose transport were measured on placental samples collected at birth. LNS (PE and PE+MMN) intervention was associated with low maternal iron status in late pregnancy and increased placental mRNA expression of the primary iron-uptake protein, transferrin receptor 1(TfR1). Intervention arms with no supplementary zinc (FeFol and PE) had lower maternal plasma zinc levels and increased placental mRNA expression of intracellular zinc-uptake proteins, ZIP1, ZIP4 and ZIP8. Different nutritional intervention strategies are associated with changes in maternal iron and zinc status during pregnancy and corresponding changes in the gene expression of placental iron and zinc uptake proteins. This might suggest differential fetal intrauterine response to the interventions. Understanding the role of the placenta in the delivery of nutrients to the fetus is important when considering intervention strategies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: MRC International Nutritional Group (MRC-ING)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available