Cross-species comparison of pregnancy-induced GDF15

Anders Bue Klein, Pablo Ranea-Robles, Trine Sand Nicolaisen, Claudia Gil, Kornelia Johann, Julia Prats Quesada, Nina Pistoljevic, Kathrine V R Hviid, Line F Olsen, Simone M Offersen, Jorn Wulff Helge, Henriette Svarre-Nielsen, Jaco Bakker, Maximilian Kleinert, Christoffer Clemmensen*

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde


Growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF15) is a stress-induced cytokine. Although the exact physiological function of GDF15 is not yet fully comprehended, the significant elevation of circulating GDF15 levels during gestation suggests a potential role for this hormone in pregnancy. This is corroborated by genetic association studies in which GDF15 and the GDF15 receptor, GDNF family receptor alpha like (GFRAL) have been linked to morning sickness and hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) in humans. Here, we studied GDF15 biology during pregnancy in mice, rats, macaques, and humans. In contrast to macaques and humans, mice and rats exhibited an underwhelming induction in plasma GDF15 levels in response to pregnancy (∼75-fold increase in macaques vs. ∼2-fold increase in rodents). The changes in circulating GDF15 levels were corroborated by the magnitude of Gdf15 mRNA and GDF15 protein expression in placentae from mice, rats, and macaques. These species-specific findings may help guide future studies focusing on GDF15 in pregnancy and on the evaluation of pharmacological strategies to interfere with GDF15-GFRAL signaling to treat severe nausea and HG.NEW & NOTEWORTHY In the present study pregnancy-induced changes in circulating growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF15) in rodents, rhesus macaques, and humans are mapped. In sum, it is demonstrated that humans and macaques exhibit a tremendous increase in placental and circulating GDF15 during pregnancy. In contrast, GDF15 is negligibly increased in pregnant mice and rats, questioning a physiological role for GDF15 in pregnancy in rodents.

TidsskriftAmerican Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)E303-E309
StatusUdgivet - 1 okt. 2023


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