Hypoxia reduces expression and function of system A amino acid transporters in cultured term human trophoblasts

D. M. Nelson, S. D. Smith, T. C. Furesz, Y. Sadovsky, V. Ganapathy, C. A. Parvin, C. H. Smith

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We tested the hypothesis that hypoxia diminishes the expression and transport of neutral amino acids by system A in full-term human trophoblasts. Cytotrophoblasts from normal human placentas were cultured in standard conditions of 20% O2 or in 1% and 3% O2 for 24 h before assay. Neutral amino acid transport for systems A, ASC, and L was assayed at 24 and 72 h by the cluster-tray technique. Hypoxia during the initial 24 h of culture reduced system A transport by 82% in 1% O2 and by 37% in 3% O2 (P < 0.01) compared with standard conditions. Hypoxia during the latter 24 h of the 72 h in culture reduced system A transport by 55% in 1% O2 and by 20% in 3% O2 (P < 0.05) compared with standard conditions at 72 h. Hypoxia (1% O2) also reduced total amino acid transport by 40% in the more differentiated syncytiotrophoblasts present at 72 h. Northern analysis of trophoblasts in standard conditions showed that subtypes of human amino acid transporter A (hATA1 and hATA2) were each expressed in cytotrophoblasts and syncytiotrophoblasts. Hypoxia decreased expression of hATA1 and hATA2 in both trophoblast phenotypes. We conclude that hypoxia downregulates system A transporter expression and activity in cultured human trophoblasts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)C310-C315
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number2 53-2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2003


  • Differentiation
  • Placenta
  • System ASC
  • System L


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