Adiponectin regulates glycogen metabolism at the human fetal-maternal interface

in Journal of Molecular Endocrinology
Correspondence: Marie-Noëlle Dieudonné, Email: marie-noelle.dieudonne@uvsq.fr

Throughout the entire first trimester of pregnancy, fetal growth is sustained by endometrial secretions, i.e histiotrophic nutrition. Endometrial stromal cells (EnSCs) accumulate and secrete a variety of nutritive molecules which are absorbed by trophoblastic cells and transmitted to the fetus. Glycogen appears to have a critical role in the early stages of fetal development, since infertile women have low endometrial glycogen levels. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying glycogen metabolism and trafficking at the fetal-maternal interface have not yet been characterized. Among the various factors acting at the fetal-maternal interface, we focused on adiponectin - an adipocyte-secreted cytokine involved in the control of carbohydrate and lipid homeostasis. Our results clearly demonstrated that adiponectin controls glycogen metabolism in EnSCs by (i) increasing glucose transporter 1 expression (ii) inhibiting glucose catabolism via a decrease in lactate and ATP productions (iii) increasing glycogen synthesis, (iv) promoting glycogen accumulation via phosphoinositide-3 kinase activation, and (v) enhancing glycogen secretion. Furthermore, our results revealed that adiponectin significantly limits glycogen endocytosis by human VTs. Lastly, we demonstrated that once glycogen has been endocytosed into placental cells, it is degraded into glucose molecules in lysosomes. Taken as a whole, the present results demonstrate that adiponectin exerts a dual role at the fetal-maternal interface by promoting glycogen synthesis in the endometrium and conversely reducing trophoblastic glycogen uptake. We conclude that adiponectin may be involved in feeding the conceptus during the first trimester of pregnancy by controlling glycogen metabolism in both the uterus and the placenta.

 

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