Clarkson-Townsend DA, Bales KL, Hermetz KE, et al. Developmental chronodisruption alters placental signaling in mice. Plos one. 2021 ;16(8):e0255296. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0255296. PMID: 34370755; PMCID: PMC8351967.


Chronodisruption has been largely overlooked as a developmental exposure. The placenta, a conduit between the maternal and fetal environments, may relay circadian cues to the fetus. We have previously shown that developmental chronodisruption causes visual impairment and increased retinal microglial and macrophage marker expression. Here, we investigated the impacts of environmental chronodisruption on fetal and placental outcomes in a C57BL/6J mouse (Mus musculus) model. Developmental chronodisruption had no effect on embryo count, placental weight, or fetal sex ratio. When measured with RNAseq, mice exposed to developmental chronodisruption (CD) had differential placental expression of several transcripts including Serpinf1, which encodes pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF). Immunofluorescence of microglia/macrophage markers, Iba1 and CD11b, also revealed significant upregulation of immune cell markers in CD-exposed placenta. Our results suggest that in utero chronodisruption enhances placental immune cell expression, potentially programming a pro-inflammatory tissue environment.

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