Antenatal pomegranate juice rescues hypoxia-induced fetal growth restriction in pregnant mice while reducing placental cell stress and apoptosis.
Placenta. 2018 Jun ;66:1-7. Epub 2018 Apr 16. PMID: 29884297
INTRODUCTION: There is a need for prophylaxis to reduce placental-associated intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). Pomegranate juice (PJ) is replete with phytochemicals having biological effects at non-pharmacological concentrations. We test the hypothesis that exposure of pregnant mice to hypoxia late in gestation induces cellular stress in the placenta, which can be ameliorated by antecedent maternal consumption of PJ.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We exposed pregnant mice to 12% or 21% oxygen, with food ad libitum or restricted, and with consumption of PJ or glucose between 12.5 and 18.5 days post conception (dpc). We examined the outcomes of the nine groups (n = 10) at 18.5 dpc, quantifying fetal and placental weights and placental labyrinthine and junctional zone depths and areas. We assayed cellular stress by expression of Hsp90 and apoptosis by TUNEL staining and expression of cleaved caspase 3.
RESULTS: Maternal exposure to 12% oxygen or food restriction in 21% oxygen, induced IUGR, compared to control. The labyrinth to junctional zone ratio was lower in hypoxic ad libitum, compared to normoxic food-restricted, placentas. Antenatal PJ prior to and during hypoxic exposure significantly improved fetal growth, reduced Hsp90 expression, and limited apoptosis in the labyrinth, while enhancing junctional zone apoptosis.
DISCUSSION: Maternal exposure to hypoxia induces IUGR, cell stress, and apoptosis in mouse placentas. The labyrinth and junctional zone of the mouse placenta are differentially sensitive to FiOand to PJ. PJ offers benefits in the prophylaxis of IUGR in the mouse, but PJ effects on the junctional zone require further study.