Thiamine-transfer by human placenta: Normal transport and effects of ethanol

S. Schenker, R. F. Johnson, A. M. Hoyumpa, G. I. Henderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Transport of 'physiologic' concentrations of thiamine by the normal, term human placenta was studied by using the perfused cotyledon technique. Thiamine, 50 nmol/L, crossed from the maternal to fetal compartment at a rate somewhat below that of antipyrine, a freely diffusible marker drug. The transport was saturable and inhibited by structural analogues of thiamine, implying participation of carriers. Thiamine accumulated in the fetal compartment against a concentration gradient, suggesting active transport. Consistent with this, transfer of thiamine from the fetal to maternal compartment was significantly lower than in the opposite direction. The vitamin was concentrated in the placenta when compared with maternal and fetal levels. There was no evidence of phosphorylation of thiamine during its transfer. Exposure of the placenta to ethanol, 400 mg/dl, for up to 4 hours did not alter maternal-to-fetal transfer of the vitamin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-115
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Thiamine-transfer by human placenta: Normal transport and effects of ethanol'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this