Research Papers:

Impact of prenatal cold stress on placental physiology, inflammatory response, and apoptosis in rats

Shuai Lian, Jingru Guo, Lipeng Wang, Wenjie Li, Jianfa Wang, Hong Ji, Fanzhi Kong, Bin Xu, Shize Li and Huanmin Yang _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:115304-115314. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.23257

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Shuai Lian1, Jingru Guo1, Lipeng Wang1, Wenjie Li1, Jianfa Wang1, Hong Ji1, Fanzhi Kong1, Bin Xu1, Shize Li1 and Huanmin Yang1

1College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Heilongjiang Bayi Agricultural University, Daqing 163319, P. R. China

Correspondence to:

Huanmin Yang, email: byndyhm@163.com

Keywords: prenatal cold stress; placental; inflammatory; apoptosis; NF-κB

Received: September 04, 2017     Accepted: December 04, 2017     Published: December 14, 2017


Prenatal cold stress is one of the earliest factors affecting mammalian health, and is associated with neonatal growth retardation and immune dysfunction, thus increasing disease susceptibility. The mechanisms underlying these observations remain unclear; hence, the objective of this study was to elucidate placental responses to cold stress. 60 maternal rats were randomly allocated to either stressed (n = 30) or non-stressed (control, n = 30) treatment conditions and 30 pubs (n=15) were used for the pups analysis. We found that maternal exposure to cold stress resulted in decreased body temperature, increased food intake without body weight gain, and a high level of plasma corticosterone (CORT) between gestational day (GD) 14 and GD21. In addition, gestation cold stress induced the placental expression of heat shock protein 70 (HSP70), IκBα, glucocorticoid receptor (GR), mineralocorticoid receptor (MR), 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 2 (11β-HSD2), interferon (IFN) regulatory factor 3 (IRF3), Caspase-3 proteins and altered the ratio of B-cell lymphoma-extra large (Bcl-xL) to Bcl-associated x (Bax) proteins on gestational GD15, GD17, GD19, and GD21, also resulted in the production of interleukin (IL)-1β. Next, gestational cold stress provoked a decrease in plasma GH levels of 21-day-old offspring, and the body weights of offspring were have no differences from postnatal day (PD) 1–21. Taken together, our results indicate that gestational cold stress induces placental apoptosis and the activation of NF-kB via HSP70/TLR4/NF-κB signaling pathways in the placenta, these changes may affect placental function and fetus development.

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