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Evaluation of the effects of nutritional supplementation with leucine on the placental activity of Walker 256 tumour-bearing rats during pregnancy evolution

Grant number: 18/20637-7
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2019
Effective date (End): April 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Physiology - Physiology of Organs and Systems
Principal Investigator:Maria Cristina Cintra Gomes Marcondes
Grantee:Carla de Moraes Salgado
Home Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:17/02739-4 - Nutrition and cancer: study of molecular, proteomic and metabolomic aspects of experimental model of cachexia, AP.TEM


The placenta is the primary organ of communication between mother and foetus and is responsible for ensuring all the necessary sources to guarantee the healthier embryo and foetus development. The placenta establishment and development is in a continuous and organized way. Thus it is possible to evaluate the foetal growth and progress. TGF-² superfamily members are associated with the regulation of placental activities and organization. Among these transformation factors are 1) Nodal protein, essential for the trophoblastic cells differentiation, placental organization, and 2) ALK4 protein, is identified as the type I receptor of Nodal signalling. In the absence of these two factors, the placenta is damaged jeopardising the foetus growth. There is special attention when the maternal organism is subjected to two complexes metabolic - like pregnancy and neoplasia. In particular, the Walker 256 tumour leads to several symptoms related to cachexia. The Walker 256 tumour growth during gestation promotes impairment to placental and foetal development. Under the condition of pregnancy associated with cancer, studies are necessary to improve the quality of life in these patients. Thus, nutrition supplementation with leucine is one of the main strategies to prevent the deleterious effects of cachexia. Thus, the present work aims to evaluate the modulatory effects of leucine-rich diet on placental activities during pregnancy, and how it could be able to modulate the trophoblastic cells through the Nodal and ALK4 protein and mTOR pathway. (AU)