Epidemiologic studies document relationships between chromium VI (CrVI) exposure and increased risk of spontaneous abortion, stillbirth, preterm birth, and neonatal death in pregnant women. Environmental contamination with CrVI is a growing problem both in the United States and developing countries. CrVI is widely used in numerous industries. This study was designed to understand the mechanism of CrVI toxicity on placental oxidative stress and antioxidant (AOX) machinery. Pregnant mother rats were treated with or without CrVI (50 ppm K2Cr2O7) through drinking water from gestational day (GD) 9.5–14.5, and placentas were analyzed on GD 18.5. Results indicated that CrVI reduced the trophoblast cell population. CrVI increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) and decreased the expression of AOX proteins. CrVI disrupts the trophoblast proliferation of the placenta. This study provides insight into the critical role of AOXs in placental function.

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