Heterogeneity of the fatty acid composition of japanese placentae for determining the perinatal fatty acid status: A methodological study

Isao Yamazaki, Fumiko Kimura, Kiyotaka Nakagawa, Kunihiko Nakai, Takahiro Arima, Terue Kawabata, Yasuo Kagawa, Shoji Saitoh, Satoshi Mizuno, Nobuo Yaegashi, Teruo Miyazawa

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Analysis of the placenta can be a useful way to determine the fatty acid (FA) status of pregnant women and neonates since this large organ can be obtained easily and non-invasively. Although several studies have been conducted on using placental tissue for FA analysis, the sampling methods have not been thoroughly examined. The aim of the present study was to determine a suitable method of sampling human placentae by focusing on their heterogeneity. Twenty-four placentae were collected from healthy pregnant Japanese women in the Miyagi Prefecture of Japan. Five of them were used to compare the FA composition between the peripheral area and the central area of the placentae. The other 19 were examined to determine differences in the FA composition between the fetal and maternal side. Placental tissue crude lipid was saponified, and methyl was esterified with 14% sodium boron trifluoride methanol for gas chromatography with flame ionization detector analysis. Fifty-six peaks were detected from the methyl esters of the placental total lipid, and 33 of those were identified as FA methyl esters. There were considerable variations in the FA composition, as the variation was low in the central parts and high in the peripheral parts of the placentae. The 18:1n-9 and 18:2n-6 levels were higher in the fetal side, whereas the 20:3n-6, 20:4n-6, and 22:6n-3 levels were higher in the maternal side. These findings indicate the presence of heterogeneity in the FA composition of human placenta, and they suggest the necessity for standardizing the sampling method so that the placental tissue can be used to determine the FA status.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)905-914
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Oleo Science
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Aug 1


  • Fatty acid compositions
  • GC-FID
  • Human
  • Placenta
  • Pregnant


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