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Dlx3 (distal-less homeobox 3) haploinsufficiency in mice has been shown to result in restricted fetal growth and placental defects. We previously showed that maternal choline supplementation (4X versus 1X choline) in the Dlx3+/�� mouse increased fetal and placental growth in mid-gestation. The current study sought to test the hypothesis that prenatal choline would modulate indicators of placenta function and development. Pregnant Dlx3+/�� mice consuming 1X (control), 2X, or 4X choline from conception were sacrificed at embryonic (E) days E10.5, E12.5, E15.5, and E18.5, and placentas and embryos were harvested. Data were analyzed separately for each gestational day controlling for litter size, fetal genotype (except for models including only +/�� pups), and fetal sex (except when data were stratified by this variable). 4X choline tended to increase (p < 0.1) placental labyrinth size at E10.5 and decrease (p < 0.05) placental apoptosis at E12.5. Choline supplementation decreased (p < 0.05) expression of pro-angiogenic genes Eng (E10.5, E12.5, and E15.5), and Vegf (E12.5, E15.5); and pro-inflammatory genes Il1b (at E15.5 and 18.5), Tnfa (at E12.5) and Nfkb (at E15.5) in a fetal sex-dependent manner. These findings provide support for a modulatory effect of maternal choline supplementation on biomarkers of placental function and development in a mouse model of placental insufficiency


This work was originally published in Nutrients, available at DOI:10.3390/nu11020374.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (



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