The role of the placenta in fetal programming-a review

Godfrey, Keith M. (2002) The role of the placenta in fetal programming-a review. Placenta, 23, (Supplement 1), S20-S27. (doi:10.1053/plac.2002.0773).


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The fetal origins hypothesis proposes that adult cardiovascular and metabolic disease originate through developmental plasticity and fetal adaptations arising from failure of the materno-placental supply of nutrients to match fetal requirements. The hypothesis is supported by experimental data in animals indicating that maternal nutrition can programme long term effects on the offspring without necessarily affecting size at birth. There is now evidence linking body composition in pregnant women and the balance of nutrient intake during pregnancy with raised levels of cardiovascular risk factors in the offspring. Maternal body composition and diet are thought to affect fetal development and programming as a result of both direct effects on substrate availability to the fetus and indirectly through changes in placental function and structure. Alterations in placental growth and vascular resistance, altered nutrient and hormone metabolism in the placenta, and changes in nutrient transfer and partitioning between mother, placenta and fetus all have important effects on the fetal adaptations thought to be central to programming. Future interventions to improve placental function are likely to have lifelong health benefits for the offspring.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1053/plac.2002.0773
Additional Information: Supplement 1
ISSNs: 0143-4004 (print)
Related URLs:
Subjects: R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Medicine > Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
ePrint ID: 25550
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2006
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 11:47

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