Circulating cord blood HDL-S1P complex preserves the integrity of the feto-placental vasculature

Ilaria Del Gaudio, Ivana Sreckovic, Pablo Zardoya-Laguardia, Eva Bernhart, Christina Christoffersen, Saša Frank, Gunther Marsche, Sebastian E. Illanes, Christian Wadsack*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Perinatal and long-term offspring morbidities are strongly dependent on the preservation of placental vascular homeostasis during pregnancy. In adults, the HDL-apoM-S1P complex protects the endothelium and maintains vascular integrity. However, the metabolism and biology of cord blood-derived HDLs (referred to as neonatal HDL, nHDL) strikingly differ from those in adults. Here, we investigate the role of neonatal HDLs in the regulation of placental vascular function. We show that nHDL is a major carrier of sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), which is anchored to the particle through apoM (rs = 0.90, p < 0.0001) in the fetal circulation. Furthermore, this complex interacts with S1P receptors on the feto-placental endothelium and activates specifically extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases 1 and 2 (ERK) and phospholipase C (PLC) downstream signaling, promotes endothelial cell proliferation and calcium flux. Notably, the nHDL-S1P complex triggers actin filaments reorganization, leading to an enhancement of placental endothelial barrier function. Additionally, nHDL induces vasorelaxation of isolated placental chorionic arteries. Taken together, these results suggest that circulating nHDL exerts vasoprotective effects on the feto-placental endothelial barrier mainly via S1P signaling.

Translated title of the contributionEl complejo HDL-S1P de sangre de cordón circulante preserva la integridad de la vasculatura fetoplacentaria
Original languageEnglish
Article number158632
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Susanne Kopp for excellent technical support. I. Del Gaudio, I. Sreckovic and P. Zardoya-Laguardia received funding from the Medical University of Graz within the PhD Program Molecular Medicine.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s)


  • Bioactive lipids
  • High-density lipoprotein
  • Human placenta
  • Placental vascular endothelium
  • Pregnancy


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