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.
- Bioactive lipids
- High-density lipoprotein
- Human placenta
- Placental vascular endothelium