Paola Casanello, Carlos Escudero and Luis Sobrevia Pages 69 - 84 ( 16 )
Gestational diabetes (GD, characterized by abnormal D-glucose metabolism), intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR, a disease associated with reduced oxygen delivery (hypoxia) to the foetus), and preeclampsia (PE, a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure, proteinuria and increased vascular resistance), induce foetal endothelial dysfunction with implications in adult life and increase the risk of vascular diseases. Synthesis of nitric oxide (NO) and uptake of L-arginine (the NO synthase (NOS) substrate) and adenosine (a vasoactive endogenous nucleoside) by the umbilical vein endothelium is altered in pregnancies with GD, IUGR or PE. Mechanisms underlying these alterations include differential expression of equilibrative nucleoside transporters (ENTs), cationic amino acid transporters (CATs), and NOS. Modulation of ENTs, CATs, and NOS expression and activity in endothelium involves protein kinase C (PKC), mitogen- activated protein kinases p42 and p44 (p42/44mapk), calcium, and phosphatidyl inositol 3 kinase (PI3k), among others. Elevated extracellular D-glucose and hypoxia alter human endothelial function. However, information regarding the transcriptional modulation of ENTs, CATs, and NOS is limited. This review focuses on the effect of transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms involved in the modulation of ENTs and CATs, and NOS expression and activity, and the consequences for foetal endothelial function in GD, IUGR and PE. The available information will contribute to a better understanding of the cell and molecular basis of the altered vascular endothelial function in these pregnancy diseases and will emphasize the key role of this type of epithelium in placental function and the normal foetal development and growth.
Human, nucleosides, amino acids, nitric oxide, endothelium, diabetes, IUGR, preeclampsia
Perinatology Research Laboratory (PRL), Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Medical Research Centre (CIM), School of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, P.O. Box 114-D, Santiago, Chile.