During normal pregnancy, amniotic fluid is absorbed from the amniotic compartment into fetal blood through the intramembranous blood vessels in the fetal membranes. It has been hypothesized that this transport process is mediated by transcytosis of caveolae-like vesicles. Because fetal hypoxia increases intramembranous absorption, the authors explore the effects of hypoxia on the gene expression of caveolin-1, a structural protein of caveolae, in ovine fetal membranes and cultured amnion cells. Near-term ovine fetuses were rendered hypoxic for 4 days. Caveolin-1 mRNA and protein levels were significantly reduced in the amnion and chorion but not in the placenta. In cultured ovine amnion cells incubated in 2% oxygen for 24 hours, hypoxia did not significantly alter caveolin-1 mRNA or protein expression. vascular endothelial growth factor mRNA levels were increased in response to hypoxia in the fetal membranes as well as in cultured amnion cells. The results indicate that hypoxia does not augment but instead down-regulates or has no effect on caveolin-1 gene expression in the amnion and chorion, suggesting that caveolin-1 may play a role as a negative regulator of amnion transport function under hypoxic conditions.
- Amnion cells
- Vascular endothelial growth factor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology