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Vertebrate reproductive science and technology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Fetal growth restriction in hypothyroidism is associated with changes in proliferative activity, apoptosis and vascularisation of the placenta

Juneo F. Silva A , Paula N. Vidigal A , Daniele D. Galvão A , Jankerle N. Boeloni A , Philipe Pimenta Nunes A , Natália M. Ocarino A , Ernane F. Nascimento A and Rogéria Serakides A B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Departamento de Clínica e Cirurgia Veterinária, Escola de Veterinária, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais. 31270-901 Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil.

B Corresponding author. Email: serakidesufmg@gmail.com

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 24(7) 923-931 https://doi.org/10.1071/RD11219
Submitted: 31 August 2011  Accepted: 6 February 2012   Published: 14 March 2012

Abstract

The objective of this study was to evaluate fetal weight, histomorphometric changes and proliferative activity, apoptosis and angiogenesis of the placenta in rats with hypothyroidism. Thirty-six adult female rats were divided into two groups with 18 animals each: control and hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism was induced by daily administration of propylthiouracil (1 mg/animal). The administration began five days before becoming pregnant and the animals were sacrificed at 14 or 19 days of gestation. The control group received a placebo. The number and weight of fetuses and the rate of fetal death was determined, as well as the morphometric characteristics, the immunohistochemical expression of cell division control protein 47 (CDC)-47 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and the number of apoptotic cells in the placental disk. The data were analysed by Mann–Whitney U test. Hypothyroidism reduced the weight of fetuses and of the uterus and placenta (P < 0.05), altered the thickness of the placental labyrinth and spongiotrophoblast (P < 0.05), increased the population of glycogen cells in the spongiotrophoblast (P < 0.05), interfered with the vascular development of the placental labyrinth and decreased VEGF expression (P < 0.05), reduced the expression of CDC-47 and cellularity and increased the apoptotic rate in the placental disk (P < 0.05). We conclude that hypothyroidism affects fetal weight by altering the proliferative activity, apoptosis and vascularisation of the placenta.

Additional keywords: fetus, proliferation, VEGF.


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