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Nutrients 2015, 7(1), 360-389; doi:10.3390/nu7010360

Placental Adaptations in Growth Restriction

1
Early Origins of Adult Health Research Group, Sansom Institute for Health Research, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia
2
Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Western Ontario, London, ON N6A 5C1, Canada
3
Departments of Physiology and Biochemistry, University of Western Ontario, London, ON N6A 5C1, Canada
4
The Robinson Research Institute, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 November 2014 / Accepted: 22 December 2014 / Published: 8 January 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition in Pregnancy)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [283 KB, uploaded 8 January 2015]   |  

Abstract

The placenta is the primary interface between the fetus and mother and plays an important role in maintaining fetal development and growth by facilitating the transfer of substrates and participating in modulating the maternal immune response to prevent immunological rejection of the conceptus. The major substrates required for fetal growth include oxygen, glucose, amino acids and fatty acids, and their transport processes depend on morphological characteristics of the placenta, such as placental size, morphology, blood flow and vascularity. Other factors including insulin-like growth factors, apoptosis, autophagy and glucocorticoid exposure also affect placental growth and substrate transport capacity. Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is often a consequence of insufficiency, and is associated with a high incidence of perinatal morbidity and mortality, as well as increased risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases in later life. Several different experimental methods have been used to induce placental insufficiency and IUGR in animal models and a range of factors that regulate placental growth and substrate transport capacity have been demonstrated. While no model system completely recapitulates human IUGR, these animal models allow us to carefully dissect cellular and molecular mechanisms to improve our understanding and facilitate development of therapeutic interventions. View Full-Text
Keywords: placental morphology; vascularity; substrate transport; IUGR placental morphology; vascularity; substrate transport; IUGR
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, S.; Regnault, T.R.; Barker, P.L.; Botting, K.J.; McMillen, I.C.; McMillan, C.M.; Roberts, C.T.; Morrison, J.L. Placental Adaptations in Growth Restriction. Nutrients 2015, 7, 360-389.

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