Involvement of estrogen related receptor γ and mitochondrial content in intrauterine growth restriction and preeclampsia

Estrogen-related receptor-g expression and mitochondrial content were markedly lower in IUGR placentas as compared with control placentas. This finding suggests that estrogen-related receptor-g is involved in the control of placental development.


Dorothée Poidatz, Ph.D., Esther Dos Santos, Ph.D., Fabien Duval, B.S., Hadia Moindjie, B.S., Valérie Serazin, M.D., Ph.D., François Vialard, M.D., Ph.D., Philippe De Mazancourt, M.D., Ph.D., Marie-Noëlle Dieudonné, Ph.D.

Volume 104, Issue 2, Pages 483-490



To measure mitochondrial content and the expression of estrogen-related receptor-γ (ERRγ, a major inducer of mitochondrial biogenesis) in placentas from women with intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) associated or not with pre-eclampsia (PE), relative to control placentas.


Case–control study.


Teaching hospital and university research laboratory.


Thirty-nine placentas from women with IUGR, 8 IUGR+PE, and 30 controls.



Main Outcome Measure(s):

Mitochondrial DNA and protein content, gene and protein expression.


We observed significantly lower placental mitochondrial DNA and protein contents (associated with down-regulation of ERRγ expression) in IUGR and IUGR+PE placentas, relative to control placentas. Our results also revealed that the placental mitochondrial DNA content was directly correlated with fetal weight. Moreover, we observed significantly lower peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α and sirtuin 1 messenger RNA expression levels in IUGR+PE placentas, relative to control placentas.


The low mitochondrial DNA and protein contents observed in IUGR placentas are probably due to down-regulation of ERRγ expression. This finding suggests that ERRγ has a major role in the control of placental development.

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