Uterine and umbilical uptakes of alanine (Ala) were measured in 10 ewes before (control) and during intravenous infusion of Ala, which increased maternal arterial Ala concentration from 115 +/- 14 to 629 +/- 78 microM (P < 0.001). In 8 of these ewes, placental Ala fluxes were traced by constant intravenous infusion of L-[3,3,3-2H3]Ala in the mother and L-[1-13C]Ala in the fetus. Rates are reported as micromoles per minute per kilogram fetus. Ala infusion increased uterine uptake (2.5 +/- 0.6 to 15.6 +/- 3.1, P < 0.001), umbilical uptake (3.1 +/- 0.5 to 6.9 +/- 0.8, P < 0.001), and net uteroplacental utilization (-0.7 +/- 0.8 to 8.6 +/- 2.7, P < 0.01) of Ala. Control Ala flux to fetus from mother (Rf,m) was much less than the Ala flux to fetus from placenta (Rf,p) (0.17 +/- 0.04 vs. 5. 0 +/- 0.6). Two additional studies utilizing L-[U-13C]Ala as the maternal tracer confirmed the small relative contribution of Rf,m to Rf,p. During maternal Ala infusion, Rf,m increased significantly (P < 0.02) but remained a small fraction of Rf,p (0.71 +/- 0.2 vs. 7.3 +/- 1.3). We conclude that maternal Ala entering the placenta is metabolized and exchanged for placental Ala, so that most of the Ala delivered to the fetus is produced within the placenta. An increase in maternal Ala concentration increases placental Ala utilization and the fetal uptake of both maternal and placental Ala.

Alanine/*blood/*pharmacokinetics, Amino Acids/blood/metabolism, Animals, Female, Fetal Blood/metabolism, Fetus/*metabolism, Osmolar Concentration, Placenta/*metabolism, Pregnancy, Pregnancy, Animal/*blood, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S., Sheep/embryology, Umbilical Cord/metabolism
American Journal of Physiology (Consolidated)
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Timmerman, M, Chung, M, Wilkening, R.B, Fennessey, P.V, Battaglia, F.C, & Meschia, G. (1998). Relationship of fetal alanine uptake and placental alanine metabolism to maternal plasma alanine concentration. American Journal of Physiology (Consolidated). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/8944