Oral Presentation Annual Meetings of the Endocrine Society of Australia and Society for Reproductive Biology and Australia and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society 2016

Periconceptional alcohol exposure in the rat reduces trophoblast giant cell differentiation and outgrowth capacity (#166)

Jacinta I Kalisch-Smith 1 , David G Simmons 1 , Marie Pantaleon 1 , Karen M Moritz 1
  1. School of Biomedical Science, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Maternal periconceptional alcohol (PC-EtOH) exposure in the rat causes fetal growth restriction and sex-specific changes to placental morphology in late gestation. This may derive from perturbations to the pre-implantation embryo and/or its capacity to form a placenta. This study aimed to examine cell allocation in the pre-implantation embryo and trophectodermal (TE) derivatives after PC-EtOH exposure. Sprague Dawley dams were administered 12.5% v/v EtOH or a control diet from 4 days prior (E-4) to 4 days after conception (E4) in a liquid diet. No differences were found between control and PC-EtOH in forming a competent blastocyst at E5, assessed by total cell number and cell allocation to the TE or the inner cell mass. However, PC-EtOH embryos showed significant reductions in nuclear TE CDX2 fluorescence intensity (P<0.0001), which may represent either delayed formation of the TE or lead to precocious differentiation to the placental trophoblasts. To assess the invasive capacity of PC-EtOH embryos, a subset of in vivo derived embryos at E5 were cultured in vitro for 6 days. Embryos exposed to in vivo PC-EtOH showed reduced trophoblast outgrowth area (P<0.05), and the largest of the pan-cytokeratin positive trophoblasts; the parietal trophoblast giant cells (P=0.01). This study shows in vivo PC-EtOH can affect differentiation and invasive capacity of the TE lineage, which may contribute to altered placental development, fetal growth restriction and the programming of adult disease.