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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Steady state maternal-fetal leucine enrichments in normal and intrauterine growth-restricted pregnancies.

The aim of this study was to compare the fetal/maternal (F/M) leucine-enrichment ratio in normal ( AGA) and intrauterine growth-restricted (IUGR) pregnancies at the time of fetal blood sampling (FBS). A maternal primed-constant infusion of L-[1-13C]-leucine was given in six AGA and 14 IUGR pregnancies, divided into three groups according to the pulsatility index (PI) of the umbilical artery and to fetal heart rate (FHR): group 1 (normal FHR and PI, four cases); group 2 (normal FHR and abnormal PI, five cases); and group 3 (abnormal FHR and PI, five cases). Maternal arterialized samples were taken at time zero and every 20 min for 125+/-7 min. Umbilical venous samples were obtained after 114+/-42 min of infusion. Under steady state conditions, there was a significant linear relationship between maternal leucine disposal rate and maternal leucine concentration. The comparison of fetal to maternal leucine enrichment showed a progressive dilution of the fetal enrichment relative to the mother between AGA and IUGR of group 1 (0.89 versus 0.78, p < 0.02), group 2 (0.71, p < 0.001), and group 3 (0.62, p < 0.001), and also among the three IUGR groups. The F/M leucine molar percent enrichment (MPE) ratio showed a positive correlation with the umbilical venous oxygen content and an inverse correlation with fetal lactate concentration. We conclude that the dilution in the fetal/maternal leucine-enrichment ratio correlates with the severity of growth restriction and reflects decreased transplacental leucine flux and/or increased protein breakdown within the fetoplacental compartments.[1]


  1. Steady state maternal-fetal leucine enrichments in normal and intrauterine growth-restricted pregnancies. Marconi, A.M., Paolini, C.L., Stramare, L., Cetin, I., Fennessey, P.V., Pardi, G., Battaglia, F.C. Pediatr. Res. (1999) [Pubmed]
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