The purpose of the study was to identify determinants of placental vitamin D receptor (VDR) expression and placental calcium (Ca) transfer among pregnant adolescents. Placental tissue was obtained in 94 adolescents (≥18 yr) at term. In 12 of these teens, stable Ca isotopes were given intravenously ( 42Ca) and orally (44Ca) early in labor. Placental VDR expression was assessed via Western blot and validated by RTPCR. Maternal-to-fetal Ca transfer was calculated as the enrichment in cord blood at delivery relative to maternal serum enrichment 2 h postdosing. Isotopic study outcomes were examined in relation to fetal long bone length, placental VDR, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH) 2D], and parathyroid hormone (PTH) in maternal circulation and cord blood at delivery. Placental VDR expression was inversely associated with neonatal 25(OH)D (P=0.012) and positively with neonatal 1,25(OH)2D (P=0.006). Placental VDR was a positive predictor of fetal femur length Z score (P=0.018; R2=0.06) and was positively correlated with maternal-to-fetal transfer of intravenous 42Ca (P=0.004; R2=0.62). The fetus may regulate placental VDR expression given the significant associations with neonatal vitamin D metabolites. The association between placental VDR and fetal long bone length may indicate a role for VDR in fetal bone development, potentially by mediating transplacental Ca transfer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology