Role of the Placental Vitamin D Receptor in Modulating Feto-Placental Growth in Fetal Growth Restriction and Preeclampsia-Affected Pregnancies

Murthi, Padma; Yong, Hannah E. J.; Ngyuen, Thy P. H.; Ellery, Stacey; Singh, Harmeet; Rahman, Rahana; Dickinson, Hayley; Walker, David W.; Davies-Tuck, Miranda; Wallace, Euan M.; Ebeling, Peter R.; Reviewed by; Lagishetty, Venu; Qi Chen
February 2016
Frontiers in Physiology;2/18/2016, p1
Academic Journal
Fetal growth restriction (FGR) is a common pregnancy complication that affects up to 5% of pregnancies worldwide. Recent studies demonstrate that Vitamin D deficiency is implicated in reduced fetal growth, which may be rescued by supplementation of Vitamin D. Despite this, the pathway(s) by which Vitamin D modulate fetal growth remains to be investigated. Our own studies demonstrate that the Vitamin D receptor (VDR) is significantly decreased in placentae from human pregnancies complicated by FGR and contributes to abnormal placental trophoblast apoptosis and differentiation and regulation of cell-cycle genes in vitro. Thus, Vitamin D signaling is important for normal placental function and fetal growth. This review discusses the association of Vitamin D with fetal growth, the function of Vitamin D and its receptor in pregnancy, as well as the functional significance of a placental source of Vitamin D in FGR. Additionally, we propose that for Vitamin D to be clinically effective to prevent and manage FGR, the molecular mechanisms of Vitamin D and its receptor in modulating fetal growth requires further investigation.


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