The Impact of SARS-CoV-2 Infection on the Lipid Profile in the Mother-Placenta-Fetus System During Pregnancy: Implications for Fetal Development and Long-Term Health


The COVID-19 pandemic has raised significant concerns about its impact on pregnancy and fetal development. This article discusses the results of a study examining the lipidomic changes in the mother-placenta-fetus system during COVID-19 infection.

The study investigated the relative concentration of various lipids in venous and umbilical blood and amniotic fluid, reflecting the interconnections between the mother and fetus, and their deviations in COVID-19.

The findings indicated substantial alterations in lipid levels in individuals with a history of COVID-19, particularly during the second trimester of pregnancy.

These lipidomic changes suggest the initiation of abnormal inflammatory cascades and adaptive processes aimed at reducing the effects of oxidative stress and protecting the developing fetal brain. Moreover, the study revealed potential predictive models for pregnancy complications, including gestational diabetes mellitus, thrombosis, and congenital heart defects.

Understanding the lipidomic alterations in COVID-19 during pregnancy can provide valuable insights into the mechanisms underlying pregnancy complications associated with the viral infection.

Lipidome Analysis in COVID-19 Pregnancies

A comprehensive lipidomic analysis was conducted on venous and umbilical blood and amniotic fluid samples, representing the mother-placenta-fetus system. Comparing COVID-19 positive and negative pregnancies revealed significant changes in lipid levels, particularly an increasing trend in individuals with a history of COVID-19.

Lipid Metabolism in the Mother’s Blood Plasma

During COVID-19 infection, the mother’s blood plasma showed increased concentrations of lysophospholipids, phosphatidylcholines, ethanolamines, triglycerides, and phosphatidylcholines, with the increase becoming more pronounced from the first to the third trimester. Notably, sphingomyelins were selectively increased during infection in the second trimester.

Role of Lysophospholipids and Arachidonic Acid in Pregnancy Complications

Lysophospholipids serve as precursors of arachidonic acid (AA) and act as second intracellular messengers. Excessive inflammation originating from arachidonic acid precursors may lead to miscarriage and other pathological complications during pregnancy. Accumulation of arachidonic acid metabolites can contribute to abnormal inflammatory cascades during pregnancy in COVID-19 survivors.

Triglycerides and Fatty Acids in Cord Blood

Cord blood analysis revealed significant changes in triglyceride levels, consisting of both essential and nonessential fatty acids. Triglycerides play a crucial role in meeting the growing fetus’s requirements and are essential for brain development.

Role of Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) in Fetal Brain Development

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is critical for brain development, angiogenesis, inflammatory response, and apoptosis. The third trimester is a critical period for the influence of DHA levels on proper fetal brain formation.

Sphingomyelins in Maternal and Cord Blood

Sphingomyelins are vital components of cell membranes and are involved in cell signal transduction. COVID-19 infection led to a significant change in sphingomyelin levels, potentially influencing virus entry into cells.

Implications for Pregnancy and Fetal Development

COVID-19 infection during pregnancy may lead to several disorders in the newborn, including preterm birth, congenital heart defects, and gestational diabetes mellitus. Understanding the lipidomic changes can aid in predicting pregnancy complications and newborn outcomes.

Future Directions and Clinical Implications

The identification of lipidomic changes in the mother-placenta-fetus system during COVID-19 provides valuable insights into the pathogenesis of pregnancy complications. Targeting lipid metabolism pathways may offer potential therapeutic options to mitigate adverse outcomes associated with COVID-19 in pregnancy.


Lipidomic analysis revealed interconnected changes in lipid concentrations during COVID-19 infection in the mother-placenta-fetus system. These changes may play a significant role in pregnancy complications and fetal development.

Understanding the underlying mechanisms can pave the way for personalized management strategies and targeted interventions to improve outcomes for pregnant individuals with COVID-19.

Further research is warranted to elucidate the full extent of lipidomic alterations and their clinical implications during COVID-19 pregnancies.

reference link :,infection%20during%20the%20second%20trimester.


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