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Reprod. Med., Volume 2, Issue 2 (June 2021) – 4 articles

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Review
Human Milk and Brain Development in Infants
Reprod. Med. 2021, 2(2), 107-117; https://doi.org/10.3390/reprodmed2020011 - 02 Jun 2021
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Abstract
Human milk is considered the most advantageous source of nourishment for infants. Even though there is no ideal composition of human milk, it still contains a unique combination of components that contribute to brain development. The aim of this review is to provide [...] Read more.
Human milk is considered the most advantageous source of nourishment for infants. Even though there is no ideal composition of human milk, it still contains a unique combination of components that contribute to brain development. The aim of this review is to provide an overview on the possible correlation of human milk with the neurodevelopment of infants, with a special emphasis on myelination and epigenetic modifications. Research in human milk is a rapidly expanding field and cutting-edge technologies might contribute to identify specific mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects on human milk on neurodevelopment. Full article
Review
SARS-CoV-2, Endothelial Dysfunction, and the Renin-Angiotensin System (RAS): A Potentially Dangerous Triad for the Development of Pre-Eclampsia
Reprod. Med. 2021, 2(2), 95-106; https://doi.org/10.3390/reprodmed2020010 - 18 May 2021
Viewed by 287
Abstract
SARS-CoV-2 represents the greatest epidemiological, clinical, and social challenge the human being has had to face in this century. SARS-CoV-2 is not merely a respiratory virus, as its target cells range from upper airway respiratory cells to pulmonary cells but also and above [...] Read more.
SARS-CoV-2 represents the greatest epidemiological, clinical, and social challenge the human being has had to face in this century. SARS-CoV-2 is not merely a respiratory virus, as its target cells range from upper airway respiratory cells to pulmonary cells but also and above all to the cardiovascular cells, such as pericytes and endothelial cells. Indeed, the pathology related to SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, may be defined as a thromboinflammatory syndrome in its most severe form, characterized by sepsis-induced coagulopathy (SIC) and disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (DIC), which is prevalent in individuals already presenting a chronic level of inflammation (e.g., obese individuals, elderly) and hypertension. Pregnancy is not only an inflammatory-prone condition but is characterized by a consistent rearrangement of the blood circulation and coagulation profile. Cardiac output increases while arterial systolic and diastolic pressure decrease, regardless of the activation of the RAS system. ACE2, the SARS-CoV-2 entry receptor into the host cells, which transforms Ang II in Ang 1–7, is highly expressed in endothelial, smooth muscle cells and pericytes of placental villi, regulating blood pressure and fetal development. Pre-eclampsia is a pregnancy disorder characterized by hypertension and low levels of ACE2, endothelial dysfunction, and a high production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, resembling COVID-19 manifestations. Whereas pre-eclampsia and COVID-19 have overlapping clinical features, a role for SARS-CoV-2 as a leading cause of pre-eclampsia in COVID-19 positive pregnant women has not been clarified yet. In this mini-review, we will explore the possibility of the existence of such a link, focusing on the role of endothelial dysfunction and RAS in both pre-eclampsia and SARS-CoV-2-induced COVID-19 pathogenesis. Full article
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Review
Monitoring, Delivery and Outcome in Early Onset Fetal Growth Restriction
Reprod. Med. 2021, 2(2), 85-94; https://doi.org/10.3390/reprodmed2020009 - 12 Apr 2021
Viewed by 400
Abstract
Early fetal growth restriction (FGR) remains a challenging entity associated with an increased risk of perinatal morbidity and mortality as well as maternal complications. Significant variations in clinical practice have historically characterized the management of early FGR fetuses. Nevertheless, insights into diagnosis and [...] Read more.
Early fetal growth restriction (FGR) remains a challenging entity associated with an increased risk of perinatal morbidity and mortality as well as maternal complications. Significant variations in clinical practice have historically characterized the management of early FGR fetuses. Nevertheless, insights into diagnosis and management options have more recently emerged. The aim of this review is to summarize the available evidence on monitoring, delivery and outcome in early-onset FGR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fetal Growth Restriction)
Review
The History of the Discovery of Ectopic Epithelial Cells in Lower Peritoneal Organs: The So-Called Mucosal Invasion
Reprod. Med. 2021, 2(2), 68-84; https://doi.org/10.3390/reprodmed2020008 - 07 Apr 2021
Viewed by 344
Abstract
Through microscopy, early researchers identified the epithelium on the inner surfaces of the uterus, cervix and Fallopian tubes. The identification of ectopic epithelium was gradual, starting from the gross pathology study of unusual cystic lesions. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, attention [...] Read more.
Through microscopy, early researchers identified the epithelium on the inner surfaces of the uterus, cervix and Fallopian tubes. The identification of ectopic epithelium was gradual, starting from the gross pathology study of unusual cystic lesions. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, attention focused on the epithelium as a critical component. The term ‘adenomyoma’ was coined around eighteen eighty to designate the majority of mucosa-containing lesions. Several theories were advanced to explain its aetiology. In the main, lesions were considered to arise from invasion from uterine epithelium; implantation of endometrium through retrograde menstruation; hematogenous or lymphatic spread; or from embryonic remnants. Although initially widely rejected, around 1920, an almost unanimous consensus formed on the endometrial nature of epithelial invasions. During the following years, adenomyosis and endometriosis came to be used to distinguished lesions within or outside the uterus. Adenomyosis was attributed to direct infiltration of uterine mucosa into the myometrium, and endometriosis to the implantation of endometrial cells and stroma into the peritoneal cavity through retrograde menstruation. Around the same time, ovarian lesions, initially described as ovarian hematomas or chocolate cysts, were regarded as a form of endometriosis. Three variants of endometriosis were thus described: superficial peritoneal, deep nodular and ovarian endometriomas. Ectopic epithelium has long been recognised as having similarities to tubal, or cervical epithelium. Lesions containing mixed epithelium are often termed Müllerianosis. This article demonstrates the stepwise evolution of knowledge, the role of the pioneers and the difficulties that needed to be overcome. It also demonstrates the value of collaboration and the inter-connected nature of the scientific endeavour. Full article
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