Increasing the understanding of nutrient-transport capacity of the ovine placentome

CE Erichsen, Axel Heiser, Neville Haack, Paul Maclean, CM Dwyer, Sue McCoard*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Placental nutrient transport capacity influences fetal growth and development; however, it is affected by environmental factors, which are poorly understood. The objective of this study was to understand the impact of the ovine placentome morphological subtype, tissue type, and maternal parenteral supplementation of arginine mono-hydrochloride (Arg) on nutrient transport capacity using a gene expression approach. Placentomal tissues of types A, B, and C morphologic placentome subtypes were derived from 20 twin-bearing ewes, which were infused thrice daily with Arg (n = 9) or saline (Ctrl, n = 11) from 100 to 140 days of gestation. Samples were collected at day 140 of gestation. Expression of 31 genes involved in placental nutrient transport and function was investigated. Differential expression of specific amino acid transporter genes was found in the subtypes, suggesting a potential adaptive response to increase the transport capacity. Placentomal tissues differed in gene expression, highlighting differential transport capacity. Supplementation with Arg was associated with differential expressions of genes involved in amino acid transport and angiogenesis, suggesting a greater nutrient transport capacity. Collectively, these results indicate that the morphological subtype, tissue type, and maternal Arg supplementation can influence placental gene expression, which may be an adaptive response to alter the transport capacity to support fetal growth in sheep.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1294
Issue number9
Early online date25 Apr 2024
Publication statusFirst published - 25 Apr 2024

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© 2024 by the authors.


  • ovine; placenta; placentome morphology; amino acids; Arginine; gene expression
  • placentome morphology
  • arginine
  • amino acids
  • placenta
  • ovine
  • gene expression


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