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Transport of amino acids by the human placenta: Predicted effects thereon of maternal hyperphenylalaninaemia


Brush border and basal plasma membrane vesicles prepared from normal term human placental syncytiotrophoblast have been used to study amino acid transport. Such studies are reviewed and novel results presented which confirm that saturation of placental transport by phenylalanine is unlikely to limit delivery of this amino acid to the fetus even with grossly raised maternal concentrations. Such raised maternal levels of phenylalanine are, however, likely to severely embarrass the delivery to the fetus across the placental brush border membrane ofl-tyrosine and, to a lesser extent, ofl-tryptophan. Reasons for thinking that this may be relevant to the fetal damage found in maternal PKU are discussed.

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Correspondence to C. A. R. Boyd.

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Kudo, Y., Boyd, C.A.R. Transport of amino acids by the human placenta: Predicted effects thereon of maternal hyperphenylalaninaemia. J Inherit Metab Dis 13, 617–626 (1990).

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  • Phenylalanine
  • Membrane Vesicle
  • Brush Border
  • Amino Acid Transport
  • Human Placenta