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Placenta – Impaired Modulation and Immune Protection

2012, Oct. Placental regulation of meternal-fetal interactions and brain development. Biology Division, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA Dev Neurobiol. 2012 Oct  Abstract: A variety prenatal insults are associated with the incidence of neurodevelopmental disorders such as schizophrenia, autism and cerebral palsy. While the precise mechanisms underlying how transient gestational challenges can lead to later life dysfunctions are largely unknown, the placenta is likely to play a key role. The literal interface between maternal and fetal cells resides in the placenta, and disruptions to the maternal or intrauterine environment are necessarily conveyed to the developing embryo via the placenta. Placental cells bear the responsibility of promoting maternal tolerance of the semiallogeneic fetus and regulating selective permeability of nutrients, gases, and antibodies, while still providing physiological protection of the embryo from adversity. The placenta’s critical role in modulating immune protection and the availability of nutrients and endocrine factors to the offspring implicates its involvement in autoimmunity, growth restriction and hypoxia, all factors associated with the development of neurological complications. In this review, we summarize primary maternal-fetal interactions that occur in the placenta and describe pathways by which maternal insults can impair these processes and disrupt fetal brain development. We also review emerging evidence for placental dysfunction in the prenatal programming of neurodevelopmental disorders.

2012, July Placental adaptations to the maternal-fetal environment: implications for fetal growth and developmental programming. Sandovici I, Hoelle K, Angiolini E, Constância M. Metabolic Research Laboratories, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, Reprod Biomed Online. 2012 Jul 25

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