Introduction Angiogenic factors, such as placental growth factor (PlGF) and soluble Flt-1 (sFlt-1), are key regulators of placental vascular development. Evidence from in vitro studies indicates that fatty acids can affect angiogenesis. We investigated the associations of maternal fish consumption and fatty acids levels with angiogenic factors during pregnancy, and in cord blood in a large population-based prospective cohort. Methods First trimester fish consumption was assessed among 3134 pregnant women using a food-frequency questionnaire. Plasma fatty acid levels were measured in second trimester. Plasma PlGF and sFlt-1 were measured in first and second trimester and in cord blood. Associations of fish consumption or fatty acid levels with angiogenic factors were assessed by multivariable linear regression analyses. Results There were no consistent associations of total fish or lean fish consumption with levels of PlGF, sFlt-1, or sFlt-1/PlGF ratio. Neither fatty fish nor shellfish were associated with angiogenic factors. Plasma omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are the main type of fatty acids in fish, were inconsistently associated with angiogenic factors in second trimester and cord blood. Yet, higher levels of arachidonic acid, an omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid, were associated with lower levels of PlGF and sFlt-1. Discussion We found no consistent associations of fish consumption or fatty acids levels with angiogenic factors in a population with low fish consumption. Studies including populations with higher fish consumption are required to fully grasp the potential effects of maternal fish consumption on placental angiogenesis.

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Keywords Angiogenesis, Fish, Placental growth factor, Polyunsaturated fatty acids, Pregnancy, Soluble Flt-1
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Journal Placenta
Bautista-Niño, P.K, Tielemans, M.J, Schalekamp-Timmermans, S, Steenweg-de Graaff, J.C.J, Hofman, A, Tiemeier, H.W, … Franco, O.H. (2015). Maternal fish consumption, fatty acid levels and angiogenic factors: The Generation R Study. Placenta, 36(10), 1178–1184. doi:10.1016/j.placenta.2015.07.125