Changes in Maternal Lifestyle during Ramadan Altered Placental Development
Advances in Reproductive Sciences
People born with low birth weight are at a greater risk of developing later life diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and cancer. Recent studies have pinpointed the placenta as a critical factor involved in developmental programming. Changes in maternal lifestyle or dietary habits can alter placental development and increase the risk of developmental programming of adult diseases. Saudi people, including pregnant women, change their lifestyle and eating habits during the holy month of
... oly month of Ramadan. Previous studies found that the exposure to Ramadan lifestyle reduces placental weight; however, effects on other placental aspects remained unknown. We aimed to further examine the effects of exposure to Ramadan lifestyle on full-term placental morphometrics, histology and gene expression of key glucose transporters. To examine this, fresh placentas were collected from 60 healthy Saudi women. Samples were equally classified into two groups; not exposed to Ramadan lifestyle (control) or exposed to Ramadan lifestyle in the first. Placental weight, length and breadth were recorded and placental surface area was calculated. Placental tissue was processed and stained with eosin and hematoxylin for histological examination. Apoptosis was assessed using TUNEL assay. The gene expression of the glucose transporters GLUT1 and GLUT3 was evaluated. The results show that women exposed to Ramadan lifestyle have more elongated placentas with less central cord insertion. Placental weight and surface area were significantly lowered in women exposed to Ramadan lifestyle. Placental length was not affected but the breadth was significantly smaller in than control. Placentas exposed to Ramadan lifestyle had fewer and less-developed syncytial knots and thicker syncytiotrophoblast cells. Apoptosis was detected in placentas exposed to Ramadan lifestyle. GLUT1 mRNA expression was unaltered, but GLUT3 was increased compared to control group. These findings suggest that changes How to cite this paper: Baanter, N.