In vitro fertilization alters phospholipid profiles in mouse placenta

  • Shuqiang Chen
  • Jun Wang
  • Ming Wang
  • Jie Lu
  • Yang Cai
  • Bo LiEmail author
Embryo Biology



Studies on humans and rodents have clearly shown that in vitro fertilization (IVF) is associated with abnormal placenta formation and function. Currently, dysregulated placental lipid metabolism is one of the emerging pathogenetic pathways implicated in adverse pregnancy outcomes. The purpose of this study was to identify the effects of IVF on lipid metabolism in the mouse placenta.


Two groups of mouse placentas, composed of control and IVF, were collected at embryonic day 18.5. Placental lipid profiles were measured using liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. The relative levels of individual lipid were examined and compared. The proteins and enzymes that regulate the phospholipid biosynthesis were also compared by western blot.


A significant increase in levels of phosphatidylcholines, phosphatidylethanolamines, phosphatidylinositols, phosphatidylglycerols, lysophosphatidylcholines, and mitochondrial cardiolipin were found in the IVF placenta. In addition, proteins and enzymes that regulate the phospholipid biosynthesis were also altered in IVF placentas.


After lipidomic analysis, we present the first detailed overview of the effect of IVF on lipid metabolism, especially phospholipid profiles in the placenta in a mouse model. The widespread lipidomic shifts identified in this study might explicate some of the placental dysfunction observed after IVF, thereby illustrating that phospholipids serve as early warning biomarkers of health risks in IVF offspring.


In vitro fertilization (IVF) Placenta Lipidomic Phospholipids 



We are grateful to Guangzhou Shui and Sin Man Lam of the Key Laboratory of Molecular Developmental Biology, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, for technical help. We also appreciate the valuable comments from other members of our laboratory.


This study was supported by the grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31640056 and 31801250), Shaanxi Natural Science Foundation of China (2016JM8052), Key Research and Development Program of Shaanxi, China (2018SF-258), and Scientific and Technical Innovatory Project of Tangdu Hospital (2017LCYJ001).

Compliance with ethical standards

The present study was reviewed and approved by the Ethics Committee of Animal and Medicine of the Tangdu Hospital of The Fourth Military Medical University (approval identification: TDLL-2013051) and was conducted in accordance with the guidelines from the Committee on the Use of Live Animals in Teaching and Research of the Tangdu Hospital of The Fourth Military Medical University.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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ESM 1 (XLSX 54 kb)
10815_2018_1387_MOESM2_ESM.docx (16 kb)
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tangdu HospitalThe Fourth Military Medical UniversityXi’anChina

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