Iron deficiency and overload during pregnancy damage to maternal and fetal health. Placenta as an organ for the transport of nutrients between mother and fetus protects fetus from the harmful effects of iron deficiency and iron overload through regulation of placental iron homeostasis.
To determine the effect of dietary iron supplementation during pregnancy on reproduction and the mechanism of placental iron regulation, we designed dietary high iron (HI: 344 mg/kg), medium iron (MI: 40 mg/kg), low iron (LI: 2 mg/kg) groups of pregnant female mice fed ferrous citrate 2 weeks before mating to 18.5 days of gestation.
We find dietary iron supplementation during pregnancy effect maternal liver iron, placental iron, hemoglobin and fetal iron. Dietary iron significantly improves reproductive performance as litter weight and fetal weight. Correlation analysis suggest placental iron increased with liver iron, higher and lower liver iron is not conducive to the accumulation of fetal iron, placental iron deficiency and excess reduce litter weight. Placental transcriptome analysis revealed DEGs with the same trend in HI and LI groups compared with MI group, dietary iron may change biology process of ion transport and gland development in placenta. Granzyme may affect the placental trophoblast structure prior to delivery with iron overload uniquely.
This research highlights the importance of moderate iron supplements in pregnancy due to damage of reproduction by affecting placental function under different dose of maternal iron supplementation.

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