DNA damage signalling from the placenta to foetal blood as a potential mechanism for childhood leukaemia initiation.
ABSTRACT: For many diseases with a foetal origin, the cause for the disease initiation remains unknown. Common childhood acute leukaemia is thought to be caused by two hits, the first in utero and the second in childhood in response to infection. The mechanism for the initial DNA damaging event are unknown. Here we have used in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo models to show that a placental barrier will respond to agents that are suspected of initiating childhood leukaemia by releasing factors that cause DNA damage in cord blood and bone marrow cells, including stem cells. We show that DNA damage caused by in utero exposure can reappear postnatally after an immune challenge. Furthermore, both foetal and postnatal DNA damage are prevented by prenatal exposure of the placenta to a mitochondrially-targeted antioxidant. We conclude that the placenta might contribute to the first hit towards leukaemia initiation by bystander-like signalling to foetal haematopoietic cells.
Project description:The role of foetal glutamate as a source of placental glutamine was investigated in the near-term pregnant guinea-pig placenta perfused in situ through the umbilical vessels. With normal foetal amino acid concentrations there was a significant two-way exchange of glutamate between the placenta and foetal perfusate, but a net release of the amino acid from the placenta. Radioactively labelled glutamate carbon entering the placenta by this exchange was freely incorporated into intracellular glutamine, but only 1.5% of it was found in glutamine transported out into the foetal circulation. In the guinea pig, therefore, foetal glutamate does not appear to be a precursor of glutamine released from the placenta on the foetal side.
Project description:As MLL-rearranged infant leukaemia is known to initiate in utero, we sought to identify developemntal genes expressed in foetal cells that may aid leukaemogenesis. Bulk RNA-Seq was therefore carried out on mouse and human foetal liver blood progenitors (lymphoid-primed multipotent progenitors [LMPPs] and haematopoietic stem cells/ multipotent progenitor cells [HSC/MPPs]) and compared with the same cell types isolated from developmentally later human cord blood and mouse adult bone marrow. Overall design: For the human samples, HSC/MPPs (CD34+ CD38- CD45RA-) and LMPPs (CD34+ CD38- CD45RA+) were sorted from 13-19 week old foetal livers, and HSC/MPPs from cord blood. For the mouse samples, LMPPs (Lin- Sca1+ ckit+ CD45+ B220- CD19- Flt3+) were sorted from wild-type, VEC-Cre+ controls and Mll-AF4-expressing E14.5 foetal livers and from wild-type 8-10 week. Cell populations were analysed by bulk RNA-Seq old adult bone marrow.
Project description:Very limited information on the post-implantatory effects of vitrification has been published till now. We observed in a previous study that the vitrification procedure for the cryopreservation of embryos introduced transcriptomic and proteomic modifications in the rabbit foetal placenta at the middle of gestation. Now, we have conducted a proteomic study to determine whether protein alterations in the foetal placenta induced by the vitrification procedure remain during pregnancy. In this study, we used 2D-DIGE and mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-TOF and LC-MS/MS analysis) to identify the protein changes during middle and late stages of gestation (Day 14 and Day 24, respectively) in rabbit foetal placenta. We identified 11 differentially expressed proteins at Day 14 and 13 proteins at Day 24. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifiers PXD001840 and PXD001836. In addition, we demonstrate the presence of three proteins, serum albumin, isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 [NADP+], and phosphoglycerate mutase 1, which were altered during pregnancy. We demonstrate the existence of changes in foetal placental protein during pregnancy induced by the vitrification procedure, which brings into question whether vitrification effects observed during foetal development could lead to physiological and metabolic disorders in adulthood. This effect, taken together with other effects reported in the literature, suggests that embryo cryopreservation is not neutral.
Project description:Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) in early childhood is characterised by a high frequency of recurrent genomic aberrations associated with distinct myeloid subtypes, clinical outcomes and pathogenesis. Genomic instability is the first step of pathogenic mechanism in early childhood AML. A sum of adverse events is necessary to the development of infant AML (i-AML), which includes latency of biochemical-molecular and cellular effects. Inherited genetic susceptibility associated with exposures to biotransformation substances can modulate the risk of DNA damage and it is a very important piece in the pathogenic puzzle. In this review, we have aimed to explore the chain of events in the time-points of the natural history of i-AML, which includes maternal exposures during pregnancy, the speculations about the formation of somatic mutations during foetal life and the secondary genomic aberrations associated with i-AML. The modulation of risk conferred by xenobiotic metabolism´s genes variants is the bottom line of the pathogenic process. Since we have conducted observational and molecular investigations in early childhood leukaemia, the data focused here is based on Brazilian findings with summarised results of our experience with epidemiological and molecular studies in early-age leukaemia.
Project description:1. A precocious development of UDP-glucuronosyltransferase activity (EC 220.127.116.11) towards o-aminophenol is demonstrated in 15-17 day foetal rat liver in utero after dexamethasone administration to the mother. 2. This stimulation of liver transferase activity in utero is directly proportional to the dose of dexamethasone infected. 3. Precocious development of transferase activity in utero can also be effected with the natural glucocorticoid cortisol by multiple injections of large amounts of this hormone into the mother. 4. Transferase activity towards o-aminophenolin foetal lung, kidney and upper alimentary tract can also be precociously stimulated by dexamethasone in 17-day foetuses in utero. 5. Natural development of hepatic transferase activity between days 18 and 20 of gestation is retarded after foetal hypophysectomy by decapitation in utero. 6. Overall glucuronidation of o-aminophenol, as observed in foetal rat liver, is also precociously stimulated by dexamethasone. 7. From this and from evidence previously presented we suggest that glucocorticoids, which are known to increase in rat foetuses between days 17 and 20 of gestation, trigger the normal development in utero of hepatic transferase activity towards o-aminophenol which occurs at that time. We also suggest that these hormones are responsible for the rise in activity of the enzyme in foetal lung, kidney and upper alimentary tract which occurs during the same gestational period.
Project description:Human exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MF) at 50 Hz is still a topic of great interest due to the possible correlation with childhood leukaemia. The estimation of induced electric fields in human tissues exposed to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) strictly depends on several variables which include the dielectric properties of the tissues. In this paper, the influence of the conductivity assignment to foetal tissues at different gestational ages on the estimation of the induced electric field due to ELF-MF exposure at 50 Hz has been quantified by means of a stochastic approach using polynomial chaos theory. The range of variation in conductivity values for each foetal tissue at each stage of pregnancy have been defined through three empirical approaches and the induced electric field in each tissue has been modelled through stochastic dosimetry. The main results suggest that both the peak and median induced electric fields in foetal fat vary by more than 8% at all gestational ages. On the contrary, the electric field induced in foetal brain does not seem to be significantly affected by conductivity data changes. The maximum exposure levels, in terms of the induced electric field found in each specific tissue, were found to be significantly below the basic restrictions indicated in the ICNIRP Guidelines, 2010.
Project description:Atmospheric pollution has major health effects on directly exposed subjects but intergenerational consequences are poorly characterized. We previously reported that diesel engine exhaust (DE) could lead to structural changes in the placenta of in utero exposed rabbits (first generation, F1). The effects of maternal exposure to DE were further studied on second-generation (F2) rabbits. Pregnant F0 females were exposed to filtered, diluted DE (1?mg/m3, median particle diameter: 69?nm) or clean filtered air (controls) for 2?h/day, 5 days/week by nose-only exposure during days 3-27 post-conception (dpc). Adult female offspring (F1) were mated to control males: F1 tissues and F2 foeto-placental units were collected at 28 dpc and placental structure and gene expression (microarray) analysed. Fatty acid profiles were determined in foetal and maternal plasma, maternal liver and placenta. In F1, compared to controls, hepatic neutral lipid contents were increased in exposed animals without change in the blood biochemistry. In F2, the placental lipid contents were higher, with higher monounsaturated fatty acids and reduced pro-inflammatory arachidonic acid (AA), without placental structural changes. Conversely, the proportion of anti-inflammatory n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in F2 plasma was increased while that of AA was decreased. Gene set enrichment analyses (GSEA) of F2 placenta transcriptomic data identified that the proteasome complex and ubiquitin pathways genes were over-represented and ion channel function and inflammation pathways genes were under-represented in exposed animals. These preliminary results demonstrate that diesel engine exhaust exposure and in utero indirect exposure should be considered as a programming factor within the context of the DOHaD (Developmental Origins of Health and Disease) with a probable intergenerational transmission.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:Recent literature suggested that higher vitamin D concentrations in childhood are associated with a lower prevalence of molar incisor hypomineralization (MIH). As tooth development already starts in utero, we aimed to study whether vitamin D status during foetal, postnatal and childhood periods is associated with the presence of hypomineralized second primary molars (HSPMs) and/or MIH at the age of six. METHODS:Our study was embedded in the Generation R Study, a population-based, prospective cohort from foetal life onwards in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. HSPMs and MIH were scored from intraoral photographs of the children at their age of six. Serum 25(OH)D concentrations were measured at three points in time, which resulted in three different samples; mid-gestational in mothers' blood (n = 4750), in umbilical cord blood (n = 3406) and in children's blood at the age of 6 years (n = 3983). RESULTS:The children had a mean (±SD) age of 6.2 (±0.5) years at the moment of taking the intraoral photographs. After adjustment for confounders, no association was found between foetal 25(OH)D concentrations and the presence of HSPMs (OR 1.02 per 10 nmol/L higher 25(OH)D, 95% CI: 0.98-1.07) or MIH (OR 1.05 per 10 nmol/L increase, 95% CI: 0.98-1.12) in 6-year-olds. A higher 25(OH)D concentration in umbilical cord blood resulted in neither lower odds of having HSPM (OR 1.05, 95% CI: 0.98-1.13) nor lower odds of having MIH (OR 0.95, 95% CI: 0.84-1.07) by the age of six. Finally, we did not find higher 25(OH)D concentrations at the age of six to be associated with a significant change in the odds of having HSPM (OR 0.97, 95% CI: 0.92-1.02) or MIH (OR 1.07, 95% CI: 0.98-1.16). CONCLUSIONS:25(OH)D concentrations in prenatal, early postnatal and later postnatal life are not associated with the presence of HPSMs or with MIH at the age of six. Future observational research is required to replicate our findings. Furthermore, it is encouraged to focus on identifying other modifiable risk factors, because prevention of hypomineralization is possible only if the causes are known.
Project description:Growth and survival of the mammalian embryo within the uterine environment depends on the placenta, a highly complex vascularized organ comprised of both maternal and foetal tissues. Recent experiments demonstrate that the zinc finger transcriptional repressor Prdm1/Blimp1 is essential for specification of spiral artery trophoblast giant cells (SpA-TGCs) that invade and remodel maternal blood vessels. To learn more about functional contributions made by Blimp1+ cell lineages here we perform the first single-cell RNA-seq analysis of the placenta. Cell types of both foetal and maternal origin are profiled. Comparisons with microarray datasets from mutant placenta and in vitro differentiated trophoblast stem cells allow us to identify Blimp1-dependent transcripts enriched in SpA-TGCs. Our experiments provide new insights into the functionally distinct cell types present at the maternal-foetal interface and advance our knowledge of dynamic gene expression patterns controlling placental morphogenesis and vascular mimicry.