Prenatal exposure of the fetus to pregnancy-related disorders, including preeclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) and gestational diabetes, leads to long-term consequences, such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease or diabetes, later in life.
This phenomenon is known as fetal programming. Placental membrane transporters and their regulation affect the intrauterine environment and, therefore, may play a crucial role in the process of fetal programming.
New insights in placental transport systems and their role in fetal programming will help to develop prophylactic strategies to prevent the long-term consequences of these pregnancy-specific diseases.
In this project, we will focus our research on the calcium entry channel TRPV6 (see project 1), the vitamin C transporter SVCT2 (see project 7), the divalent metal ion transporter DMT1 (see project 4), and other interesting candidate transporters or channels.
We will select the most promising candidates among the above-mentioned transport proteins with respect to their regulation by hypoxia or nutrient availability.