Document Detail

Folic acid transport to the human fetus is decreased in pregnancies with chronic alcohol exposure.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22666445     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: During pregnancy, the demand for folic acid increases since the fetus requires this nutrient for its rapid growth and cell proliferation. The placenta concentrates folic acid into the fetal circulation; as a result the fetal levels are 2 to 4 times higher than the maternal level. Animal and in vitro studies have suggested that alcohol may impair transport of folic acid across the placenta by decreasing expression of transport proteins. We aim to determine if folate transfer to the fetus is altered in human pregnancies with chronic alcohol consumption.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Serum folate was measured in maternal blood and umbilical cord blood at the time of delivery in pregnancies with chronic and heavy alcohol exposure (n = 23) and in non-drinking controls (n = 24). In the alcohol-exposed pairs, the fetal:maternal serum folate ratio was ≤ 1.0 in over half (n = 14), whereas all but one of the controls were >1.0. Mean folate in cord samples was lower in the alcohol-exposed group than in the controls (33.15 ± 19.89 vs 45.91 ± 20.73, p = 0.04).
CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results demonstrate that chronic and heavy alcohol use in pregnancy impairs folate transport to the fetus. Altered folate concentrations within the placenta and in the fetus may in part contribute to the deficits observed in the fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
Janine R Hutson; Brenda Stade; Denis C Lehotay; Christine P Collier; Bhushan M Kapur
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2012-05-29
Journal Detail:
Title:  PloS one     Volume:  7     ISSN:  1932-6203     ISO Abbreviation:  PLoS ONE     Publication Date:  2012  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-06-05     Completed Date:  2012-10-29     Revised Date:  2013-07-12    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101285081     Medline TA:  PLoS One     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  e38057     Citation Subset:  IM    
Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Alcoholism / blood,  metabolism
Alcohols / adverse effects*
Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
Fetal Diseases / metabolism
Fetus / metabolism*
Folic Acid / blood,  metabolism*
Maternal-Fetal Exchange / drug effects*
Time Factors
Grant Support
# ELA-80227//Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Alcohols; 59-30-3/Folic Acid

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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