Fetal loss and hyposulfataemia in pregnant NaS1 transporter null mice

J Reprod Dev. 2011 Sep;57(4):444-9. doi: 10.1262/jrd.10-173k. Epub 2011 Mar 8.


Sulfate is important for growth and development, and is supplied from mother to fetus throughout pregnancy. We used NaS1 sulfate transporter null (Nas1(-/-)) mice to investigate the role of NaS1 in maintaining sulfate homeostasis during pregnancy and to determine the physiological consequences of maternal hyposulfataemia on fetal, placental and postnatal growth. We show that maternal serum (≤0.5 mM), fetal serum (<0.1 mM) and amniotic fluid (≤0.5 mM) sulfate levels were significantly lower in pregnant Nas1(-/-) mice when compared with maternal serum (≍2.0 mM), fetal serum (≍1.5 mM) and amniotic fluid (≍1.7 mM) sulfate levels in pregnant Nas1(+/+) mice. After 12 days of pregnancy, fetal reabsorptions led to markedly reduced (by ≥50%) fetal numbers in Nas1(-/-) mice. Placental labyrinth and spongiotrophoblast layers were increased (by ≍140%) in pregnant Nas1(-/-) mice when compared to pregnant Nas1(+/+) mice. Birth weights of progeny from female Nas1(-/-) mice were increased (by ≍7%) when compared to progeny of Nas1(+/+) mice. These findings show that NaS1 is essential to maintain high maternal and fetal sulfate levels, which is important for maintaining pregnancy, placental development and normal birth weight.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amniotic Fluid / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Cation Transport Proteins / genetics*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Models, Statistical
  • Placenta / metabolism
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy, Animal
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Sodium Sulfate Cotransporter
  • Sulfates / pharmacology*
  • Symporters / genetics*
  • Time Factors


  • Cation Transport Proteins
  • Sodium Sulfate Cotransporter
  • Sulfates
  • Symporters