Placental Expression of Bile Acid Transporters in Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy.

Ontsouka, Edgar; Epstein, Alessandra; Kallol, Sampada; Zaugg, Jonas; Baumann, Marc; Schneider, Henning; Albrecht, Christiane (2021). Placental Expression of Bile Acid Transporters in Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy. International journal of molecular sciences, 22(19) MDPI 10.3390/ijms221910434

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Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP) is a pregnancy-related condition characterized by increased maternal circulating bile acids (BAs) having adverse fetal effects. We investigated whether the human placenta expresses specific regulation patterns to prevent fetal exposition to harmful amounts of BAs during ICP. Using real-time quantitative PCR, we screened placentae from healthy pregnancies (n = 12) and corresponding trophoblast cells (n = 3) for the expression of 21 solute carriers and ATP-binding cassette transporter proteins, all acknowledged as BA- and/or cholestasis-related genes. The placental gene expression pattern was compared between healthy women and ICP patients (n = 12 each). Placental SLCO3A1 (OATP3A1) gene expression was significantly altered in ICP compared with controls. The other 20 genes, including SLC10A2 (ASBT) and EPHX1 (EPOX, mEH) reported for the first time in trophoblasts, were comparably abundant in healthy and ICP placentae. ABCG5 was undetectable in all placentae. Placental SLC10A2 (ASBT), SLCO4A1 (OATP4A1), and ABCC2 mRNA levels were positively correlated with BA concentrations in ICP. Placental SLC10A2 (ASBT) mRNA was also correlated with maternal body mass index. We conclude that at the transcriptional level only a limited response of BA transport systems is found under ICP conditions. However, the extent of the transcriptional response may also depend on the severity of the ICP condition and the magnitude by which the maternal BA levels are increased.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Gynaecology

UniBE Contributor:

Ontsouka, Corneille Edgar, Kallol, Sampada Arvindrao, Zaugg, Jonas, Baumann, Marc, Schneider, Henning, Albrecht, Christiane


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology








Barbara Franziska Järmann-Bangerter

Date Deposited:

30 Nov 2021 16:59

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:35

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

bile acids human placenta intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy pregnancy complications transporters




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