Placental Size (placental + size)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Allometric studies on growth and development of the human placenta: growth of tissue compartments and diffusive conductances in relation to placental volume and fetal mass

Terry M. Mayhew
Abstract Correlations between placental size and fetal mass during gestation fail to account for changes in composition that accompany placental growth and maturation. This study uses stereological data on the sizes of different tissue compartments in human placentas from 10 weeks of gestation to term and relates them to placental volume and to fetal mass by means of allometric analysis. In addition, tissue dimensions are used to calculate a physiological transport measure (diffusive conductance) for the villous membrane. Histological sections randomly sampled from placentas and analysed stereologically provided estimates of structural quantities (volumes, exchange surface areas, lengths, numbers of nuclei, diffusion distances). These data were combined with a physicochemical quantity (Krogh's diffusion coefficient) in order to estimate oxygen diffusive conductances for the villous membrane and its two components (trophoblast and stroma). Allometric relationships between these quantities and placental volume or fetal mass were obtained by linear regression analyses after log-transformation. Placental tissues had different growth trajectories: most grew more rapidly than placental volume and all grew more slowly than fetal mass. Diffusion distances were inversely related to placental and fetal size. Differential growth impacted on diffusive conductances, which, again, did not improve commensurately with placental volume but did match exactly growth of the fetus. Findings show that successful integration between supply and demand can be achieved by differential tissue growth. Allometric analysis of results from recent studies on the murine placenta suggest further that diffusive conductances may also be matched to fetal mass during gestation and to fetal mass at term across species. [source]

The prenatal origins of lung cancer.


We have shown that people who were short at birth in relation to their weight are at increased risk of lung cancer. We suggested that this reflected low amino acid,high glucose delivery to the fetus and that this impaired the development of its antioxidant systems and made it vulnerable to tobacco smoke and other carcinogens in later life. Transfer of amino acids and glucose from mother to fetus depends on the placenta. We here examine how maternal and placental size are related to lung cancer. We studied two cohorts, totaling 20,431 people, born in Helsinki during 1924,1944. Their body size at birth and maternal body size had been recorded together with the weight of the placenta and two diameters of its surface. Of them, 385 had developed lung cancer. Three different maternal,placental,fetal phenotypes were associated with lung cancer. Common to each was a short mother and a newborn baby that was short in relation to its weight. Lung cancer was associated with either a small or a large placental surface area. In the three phenotypes, the hazard ratios associated with a 100 cm2 increase in placental surface were 0.36 (95% CI 0.14 to 0.87, P = 0.02), 2.31 (1.45 to 3.69, P < 0.001) and 2.04 (1.08 to 3.86, P = 0.03). We conclude that three different maternal,placental phenotypes were associated with later lung cancer. We suggest that each led to low amino acid-normal glucose transfer to the fetus, reflected in a newborn baby that was short in relation to its weight. Am. J. Hum. Biol. 2010. 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Boys live dangerously in the womb

Johan G. Eriksson
The growth of every human fetus is constrained by the limited capacity of the mother and placenta to deliver nutrients to it. At birth, boys tend to be longer than girls at any placental weight. Boy's placentas may therefore be more efficient than girls, but may have less reserve capacity. In the womb boys grow faster than girls and are therefore at greater risk of becoming undernourished. Fetal undernutrition leads to small size at birth and cardiovascular disorders, including hypertension, in later life. We studied 2003 men and women aged around 62 years who were born in Helsinki, Finland, of whom 644 had hypertension: we examined their body and placental size at birth. In both sexes, hypertension was associated with low birth weight. In men, hypertension was also associated with a long minor diameter of the placental surface. The dangerous growth strategy of boys may be compounded by the costs of compensatory placental enlargement in late gestation. In women, hypertension was associated with a small placental area, which may reduce nutrient delivery to the fetus. In men, hypertension was linked to the mothers' socioeconomic status, an indicator of their diets: in women it was linked to the mothers' heights, an indicator of their protein metabolism. Boys' greater dependence on their mothers' diets may enable them to capitalize on an improving food supply, but it makes them vulnerable to food shortages. The ultimate manifestation of their dangerous strategies may be that men have higher blood pressures and shorter lives than women. Am. J. Hum. Biol., 2010. 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Antiproliferative effect of Scutellaria barbata D. Don. on cultured human uterine leiomyoma cells by down-regulation of the expression of Bcl-2 protein

Kyung-Woon Kim
Abstract Scutellaria barbata D. Don (Lamiaceae; SB) inhibited the growth of leiomyomal cells (LM). A time-dependent antiproliferative effect was noted when 10,5m buserelin, gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist or 20,40 g/mL SB was added. The inhibition of cell growth decreased with the addition of the PKC activator (12-O-tetradecanoylphorbor-13-acetate; TPA) much as it did with the addition of SB, and the decreases in the viable cells caused by the addition of SB were reversed completely by pretreatment with a protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor (calphostin C). The findings suggest that SB inhibits cell proliferation in cultured human uterine leiomyoma cells accompanied by PKC activation. Next, the study investigated the effect of SB on fetal development for toxicity. Pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats, from gestation day 6,15, were administered 20 g/L or 50 g/L SB in the drinking water and then killed on day 20. No maternal toxicity was observed, however, embryonic loss in the treatment groups was double that of the controls (p < 0.05). No gross morphologic malformations were seen in the treated fetuses. Fetuses exposed to SB were found to be significantly heavier than the controls, an effect that was greater in female fetuses and was not correlated with increased placental size. The results suggest that the SB had no toxicity and that in utero exposure to SB resulted in increased early embryo loss with increased growth in surviving fetuses. On the other hand, Western blot analyses revealed that Bcl-2 protein of a 26 kDa was abundant in leiomyomal cells, but not in normal myometrial cells. The addition of progesterone (100 ng/mL) resulted in a striking increase in Bcl-2 protein expression in the cultured leiomyoma cells. However, the addition of SB (20 g/mL) resulted in a significant reduction in Bcl-2 protein expression in the cells. The results indicated that human uterine leiomyomal cells express Bcl-2 protein and progesterone enhances its expression, however, SB reduces the expression of Bcl-2 protein in human uterine leiomyoma cells. Copyright 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Seasonal Variation of Reproductive Performance, Foetal Development and Progesterone Concentrations of Sheep in the Subtropics

A Ali
Contents The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of breeding season [late spring (LSP) vs winter (WIN)] on reproductive performances, foetal development and progesterone (P4) concentrations of sheep in the subtropics. Ewes of Farafra breed were exposed for mating in LSP (n = 79) and WIN (n = 45). Ultrasonographic examinations were performed at days 25, 45 and 75 of mating to estimate the pregnancy rate, incidence of twinning and percentage of foetal losses. Foetal growth rate was determined at 10-day interval, and blood samples were taken on days 0 (oestrus), 8, 18 of oestrous cycle and on days 30, 45, 60 and 90 of pregnancy for P4 analysis. The results showed that pregnancy and lambing rates were greater (p < 0.01) for ewes mated in LSP (93.7% and 92.4%) than for those mated in WIN (75.6% and 71.1%), respectively. There was no effect of season on the incidence of twinning (overall 19.1%) or the frequency of foetal losses (overall 7.3%). Transient reduction of placental size, foetal growth and P4 concentration was observed following LSP matings. In conclusion, pregnancy and lambing rates were higher following LSP matings. Summer heat stress of the late spring mated ewes transiently interferes with foetal growth and P4 concentrations. [source]

Adaptations in placental nutrient transfer capacity to meet fetal growth demands depend on placental size in mice

P. M. Coan
Experimental reduction in placental growth often leads to increased placental efficiency measured as grams of fetus produced per gram of placenta, although little is known about the mechanisms involved. This study tested the hypothesis that the smallest placenta within a litter is the most efficient at supporting fetal growth by examining the natural intra-litter variation in placental nutrient transfer capacity in normal pregnant mice. The morphology, nutrient transfer and expression of key growth and nutrient supply genes (Igf2P0, Grb10, Slc2a1, Slc2a3, Slc38a1, Slc38a2 and Slc38a4) were compared in the lightest and heaviest placentas of a litter at days 16 and 19 of pregnancy, when mouse fetuses are growing most rapidly in absolute terms. The data show that there are morphological and functional adaptations in the lightest placenta within a litter, which increase active transport of amino acids per gram of placenta and maintain normal fetal growth close to term, despite the reduced placental mass. The specific placental adaptations differ with age. At E16, they are primarily morphological with an increase in the volume fraction of the labyrinthine zone responsible for nutrient exchange, whereas at E19 they are more functional with up-regulated placental expression of the glucose transporter gene, Slc2a1/GLUT1 and one isoform the System A family of amino acid transporters, Slc38a2/SNAT2. Thus, this adaptability in placental phenotype provides a functional reserve capacity for maximizing fetal growth during late gestation when placental growth is compromised. [source]