Biological features of placental programming

Kent Thornburg, Kevin Kolahi, Melinda Pierce, Amy Valent, Rachel Drake, Samantha Louey

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    11 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The placenta is a key organ in programming the fetus for later disease. This review outlines nine of many structural and physiological features of the placenta which are associated with adult onset chronic disease. 1) Placental efficiency relates the placental mass to the fetal mass. Ratios at the extremes are related to cardiovascular disease risk later in life. 2) Placental shape predicts a large number of disease outcomes in adults but the regulators of placental shape are not known. 3) Non-human primate studies suggest that at about mid-gestation, the placenta becomes less plastic and less able to compensate for pathological stresses. 4) Recent studies suggest that lipids have an important role in regulating placental metabolism and thus the future health of offspring. 5) Placental inflammation affects nutrient transport to the fetus and programs for later disease. 6) Placental insufficiency leads to inadequate fetal growth and elevated risks for later life disease. 7) Maternal height, fat and muscle mass are important in combination with placental size and shape in predicting adult disease. 8) The placenta makes a host of hormones that influence fetal growth and are related to offspring disease. Unfortunately, our knowledge of placental growth and function lags far behind that of other organs. An investment in understanding placental growth and function will yield enormous benefits to human health because it is a key player in the origins of the most expensive and deadly chronic diseases that humans face.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)S47-S53
    JournalPlacenta
    Volume48
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

    Fingerprint

    Placenta
    Fetal Development
    Fetus
    Chronic Disease
    Placental Insufficiency
    Health
    Growth
    Primates
    Plastics
    Cardiovascular Diseases
    Fats
    Mothers
    Hormones
    Inflammation
    Lipids
    Food
    Pregnancy
    Muscles

    Keywords

    • Birthweight
    • Chronic disease
    • Inflammation
    • Placenta
    • Programming
    • Trophoblast

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Reproductive Medicine
    • Obstetrics and Gynecology
    • Developmental Biology

    Cite this

    Biological features of placental programming. / Thornburg, Kent; Kolahi, Kevin; Pierce, Melinda; Valent, Amy; Drake, Rachel; Louey, Samantha.

    In: Placenta, Vol. 48, 01.12.2016, p. S47-S53.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Thornburg, Kent ; Kolahi, Kevin ; Pierce, Melinda ; Valent, Amy ; Drake, Rachel ; Louey, Samantha. / Biological features of placental programming. In: Placenta. 2016 ; Vol. 48. pp. S47-S53.
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