Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 613078, 10 pages
Research Article

Expression of Genes Encoding Enzymes Involved in the One Carbon Cycle in Rat Placenta is Determined by Maternal Micronutrients (Folic Acid, Vitamin B12) and Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Department of Nutritional Medicine, Interactive Research School for Health Affairs, Bharati Vidyapeeth University, Pune Satara Road, Pune 411043, India

Received 24 February 2014; Revised 15 April 2014; Accepted 6 May 2014; Published 9 June 2014

Academic Editor: Beverly Muhlhausler

Copyright © 2014 Vinita Khot et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We have reported that folic acid, vitamin B12, and omega-3 fatty acids are interlinked in the one carbon cycle and have implications for fetal programming. Our earlier studies demonstrate that an imbalance in maternal micronutrients influence long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid metabolism and global methylation in rat placenta. We hypothesize that these changes are mediated through micronutrient dependent regulation of enzymes in one carbon cycle. Pregnant dams were assigned to six dietary groups with varying folic acid and vitamin B12 levels. Vitamin B12 deficient groups were supplemented with omega-3 fatty acid. Placental mRNA levels of enzymes, levels of phospholipids, and glutathione were determined. Results suggest that maternal micronutrient imbalance (excess folic acid with vitamin B12 deficiency) leads to lower mRNA levels of methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) and methionine synthase , but higher cystathionine b-synthase (CBS) and Phosphatidylethanolamine-N-methyltransferase (PEMT) as compared to control. Omega-3 supplementation normalized CBS and MTHFR mRNA levels. Increased placental phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), phosphatidylcholine (PC), in the same group was also observed. Our data suggests that adverse effects of a maternal micronutrient imbalanced diet may be due to differential regulation of key genes encoding enzymes in one carbon cycle and omega-3 supplementation may ameliorate most of these changes.