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September 2008 Biology of Reproduction highlights

Proteomes to unravel gonadotrophs

Although the basic developmental lineage of pituitary gonadotrophs is known, it has been harder to associate specific changes in gene expression with maturation due to the limited cell population. In an article on p. 546 of the September 2008 issue of Biology of Reproduction, Feng et al. take the approach of comparing the nuclear proteome of two gonadotropic cell lines that were immortalized at different stages of development. Their results demonstrate changes in proteins that reflect regulatory control of transcription and post-transcriptional processing, thus laying a framework to guide experimental analysis of the complex sequelae of events that lead to mature gonadotropic function in animals.

Jiajun Feng, Mark A. Lawson, and Philippa Melamed.
A Proteomic Comparison of Immature and Mature Gonadotrophs in Mice Reveals Novel Differentially Expressed Nuclear Proteins That Regulate Gonadotropin Gene Transcription and RNA Splicing.
Biol Reprod 2008; 79:546-561. Published online in BOR-Papers In Press 14 May 2008; DOI 10.1095/biolreprod.108.068106

Pollution and placenta

Urban air pollution is associated with poor and adverse pregnancy outcomes, including low birthweight, premature birth, and intrauterine growth retardation. In a paper on p. 578 of the September 2008 issue of Biology of Reproduction, Veras and coworkers present evidence that the effects of urban air pollution on pregnancy outcomes could be related to changes in functional morphology of the placenta. The experiments employed a novel approach in which pregnant female mice were exposed before or during gestation to filtered or nonfiltered air in exposure chambers placed in the garden of the University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine in Brazil. The garden is situated close to a crossroads with high traffic density with about 83,900 cars, 9,900 diesel vehicles, and 6,300 motorcycles circulating daily on the main street of this intersection. Pregnant mice exposed to urban air pollution either before or during gestation produced fetuses of smaller weights compared to those provided filtered air. In addition, the effects of urban air pollution were found to be due to adaptive changes in placental development that ultimately reduce placental function and compromise fetal growth. This is a novel model to dissect the mechanisms of how specific pollutants influence development of the placenta and fetus. These findings are important with respect to the possible transplacental transfer of pollutants from mother to fetus as well as fetal programming and developmental origins of health and disease in adults.

Mariana Matera Veras, Nilsa Regina Damaceno-Rodrigues, Elia Garcia Caldini, Antonio A.C. Maciel Ribeiro, Terry M. Mayhew, Paulo H.N. Saldiva, and Marisa Dolhnikoff.
Particulate Urban Air Pollution Affects the Functional Morphology of Mouse Placenta.
Biol Reprod 2008; 79:578-584. Published online in BOR-Papers In Press 28 May 2008; DOI 10.1095/biolreprod.108.069591


Contact: Judith Jansen
Society for the Study of Reproduction

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