Lipids are critical for proper fetal development, but the fetus is unable to synthesize the critical long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids at the rate required to fulfill its developmental requirements. The placenta is not capable of making these essential fatty acids either, and so the fetus relies on maternal supply and placental transfer of these critical nutrients for development. Thus, changes to placental fatty acid transport have serious implications for fetal growth and long-term health. We have found that placentas from obese mothers take up and metabolize lipids differently from those of lean mothers, and that this may depend on whether the fetus is male or female. Placentas of obese women store more fat, and their mitochondria do not metabolize fatty acids efficiently, which may lead to impairments in energy production for other placental functions.
In this webinar, the distinguished speaker will discuss the impacts of maternal obesity on placental function and offspring outcomes, and discuss ways we may be able to intervene and improve placental lipid metabolism with changes to maternal diet during pregnancy.
Moderator: Dr. Lynne Ausman | Saqr Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi Professor of International Nutrition, Tufts University
Speaker: Dr. Perrie O'Tierney-Ginn | Research Associate Professor, Tufts University and Interim Executive Director of the Mother Infant Research Institute, Tufts Medical Center