Coffee is the beverage consumed during pregnancy that is most commonly associated with adversely affecting the developing fetoplacental unit. Since placental 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 (11β-HSD-2) is an important determinant for maintenance of fetal glucocorticoid levels during pregnancy, we investigated the effect of coffee on 11β-HSD-2 expression in the human placental choriocar-cinoma cell line, JEG-3. Addition of coffee to the culture medium of JEG-3 cells increased 11β-HSD-2 gene expression after 24 hr in a dose-dependent manner. Cellular 11β-HSD-2 activity, which was calculated by the amount of cortisol that was converted to cortisone in the culture medium, also increased in the coffee-treated JEG-3 cells. None of the major constituents of coffee, such as caffeine, caffeic acid or chlorogenic acid, showed any ability to induce 11β-HSD-2 gene expression. The 11β-HSD-2-inducing activity in coffee was extractable with ethyl acetate. Increasing the degree of roasting improved the ability of the coffee extract to induce 11β-HSD-2 gene expression indicating that the active constituent(s) is produced during the roasting process.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis