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Sample records for human fetal heart

  1. Passive Fetal Heart Monitoring System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zuckerwar, Allan J. (Inventor); Mowrey, Dennis L. (Inventor)

    2003-01-01

    A fetal heart monitoring system and method for detecting and processing acoustic fetal heart signals transmitted by different signal transmission modes. One signal transmission mode, the direct contact mode, occurs in a first frequency band when the fetus is in direct contact with the maternal abdominal wall. Another signal transmission mode, the fluid propagation mode, occurs in a second frequency band when the fetus is in a recessed position with no direct contact with the maternal abdominal wall. The second frequency band is relatively higher than the first frequency band. The fetal heart monitoring system and method detect and process acoustic fetal heart signals that are in the first frequency band and in the second frequency band.

  2. Congenital Heart Block Maternal Sera Autoantibodies Target an Extracellular Epitope on the α1G T-Type Calcium Channel in Human Fetal Hearts

    PubMed Central

    Rath, Arianna; Liu, Jie; Silverman, Earl D.; Liu, Xiaoru; Siragam, Vinayakumar; Ackerley, Cameron; Su, Brenda Bin; Yan, Jane Yuqing; Capecchi, Marco; Biavati, Luca; Accorroni, Alice; Yuen, William; Quattrone, Filippo; Lung, Kalvin; Jaeggi, Edgar T.; Backx, Peter H.; Deber, Charles M.; Hamilton, Robert M.

    2013-01-01

    Background Congenital heart block (CHB) is a transplacentally acquired autoimmune disease associated with anti-Ro/SSA and anti-La/SSB maternal autoantibodies and is characterized primarily by atrioventricular (AV) block of the fetal heart. This study aims to investigate whether the T-type calcium channel subunit α1G may be a fetal target of maternal sera autoantibodies in CHB. Methodology/Principal Findings We demonstrate differential mRNA expression of the T-type calcium channel CACNA1G (α1G gene) in the AV junction of human fetal hearts compared to the apex (18–22.6 weeks gestation). Using human fetal hearts (20–22 wks gestation), our immunoprecipitation (IP), Western blot analysis and immunofluorescence (IF) staining results, taken together, demonstrate accessibility of the α1G epitope on the surfaces of cardiomyocytes as well as reactivity of maternal serum from CHB affected pregnancies to the α1G protein. By ELISA we demonstrated maternal sera reactivity to α1G was significantly higher in CHB maternal sera compared to controls, and reactivity was epitope mapped to a peptide designated as p305 (corresponding to aa305–319 of the extracellular loop linking transmembrane segments S5–S6 in α1G repeat I). Maternal sera from CHB affected pregnancies also reacted more weakly to the homologous region (7/15 amino acids conserved) of the α1H channel. Electrophysiology experiments with single-cell patch-clamp also demonstrated effects of CHB maternal sera on T-type current in mouse sinoatrial node (SAN) cells. Conclusions/Significance Taken together, these results indicate that CHB maternal sera antibodies readily target an extracellular epitope of α1G T-type calcium channels in human fetal cardiomyocytes. CHB maternal sera also show reactivity for α1H suggesting that autoantibodies can target multiple fetal targets. PMID:24039792

  3. A fetal human heart cardiac-inducing RNA (CIR) promotes the differentiation of stem cells into cardiomyocytes.

    PubMed

    Kochegarov, Andrei; Moses-Arms, Ashley; Lemanski, Larry F

    2015-08-01

    A specific human fetal heart RNA has been discovered, which has the ability to induce myocardial cell formation from mouse embryonic and human-induced pluripotent stem cells in culture. In this study, commercially obtained RNA from human fetal heart was cloned, sequenced, and synthesized using standard laboratory approaches. Molecular analyses of the specific fetal cardiac-inducing RNA (CIR), revealed that it is a fragment of N-sulfoglucosaminesulfohydrolase and the caspase recruitment domain family member 14 precursor. Stem cells transfected with CIRs often form into spindle-shaped cells characteristic of cardiomyocytes,and express the cardiac-specific contractile protein marker, troponin-T, in addition to tropomyosin and α-actinin as detected by immunohistochemical staining. Expression of these contractile proteins showed organization into sarcomeric myofibrils characteristic of striated cardiac muscle cells. Computer analyses of the RNA secondary structures of the active CIR show significant similarities to a RNA from salamander or myofibril-inducing RNA (MIR), which also promotes non-muscle cells to differentiate into cardiac muscle. Thus, these two RNAs, salamander MIR and the newly discovered human-cloned CIR reported here, appear to have evolutionarily conserved secondary structures suggesting that both play major roles in vertebrate heart development and, particularly, in the differentiation of cardiomyocytes from non-muscle cells during development. PMID:25761723

  4. Hypoxia and fetal heart development.

    PubMed

    Patterson, A J; Zhang, L

    2010-10-01

    Fetal hearts show a remarkable ability to develop under hypoxic conditions. The metabolic flexibility of fetal hearts allows sustained development under low oxygen conditions. In fact, hypoxia is critical for proper myocardial formation. Particularly, hypoxia inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) and vascular endothelial growth factor play central roles in hypoxia-dependent signaling in fetal heart formation, impacting embryonic outflow track remodeling and coronary vessel growth. Although HIF is not the only gene involved in adaptation to hypoxia, its role places it as a central figure in orchestrating events needed for adaptation to hypoxic stress. Although "normal" hypoxia (lower oxygen tension in the fetus as compared with the adult) is essential in heart formation, further abnormal hypoxia in utero adversely affects cardiogenesis. Prenatal hypoxia alters myocardial structure and causes a decline in cardiac performance. Not only are the effects of hypoxia apparent during the perinatal period, but prolonged hypoxia in utero also causes fetal programming of abnormality in the heart's development. The altered expression pattern of cardioprotective genes such as protein kinase c epsilon, heat shock protein 70, and endothelial nitric oxide synthase, likely predispose the developing heart to increased vulnerability to ischemia and reperfusion injury later in life. The events underlying the long-term changes in gene expression are not clear, but likely involve variation in epigenetic regulation. PMID:20712587

  5. Passive Fetal Heart Monitoring System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bryant, Timothy D. (Inventor); Wynkoop, Mark W. (Inventor); Holloway, Nancy M. H. (Inventor); Zuckerwar, Allan J. (Inventor)

    2004-01-01

    A fetal heart monitoring system preferably comprising a backing plate having a generally concave front surface and a generally convex back surface, and at least one sensor element attached to the concave front surface for acquiring acoustic fetal heart signals produced by a fetus within a body. The sensor element has a shape that conforms to the generally concave back surface of the backing plate. In one embodiment, the at least one sensor element comprises an inner sensor, and a plurality of outer sensors surrounding the inner sensor. The fetal heart monitoring system can further comprise a web belt, and a web belt guide movably attached to the web belt. The web belt guide being is to the convex back surface of the backing plate.

  6. Fetal heart extract facilitates the differentiation of human umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells into heart muscle precursor cells.

    PubMed

    Pham, Truc Le-Buu; Nguyen, Tam Thanh; Van Bui, Anh; Nguyen, My Thu; Van Pham, Phuc

    2016-08-01

    Human umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells (UCB-MSCs) are a promising stem cell source with the potential to modulate the immune system as well as the capacity to differentiate into osteoblasts, chondrocytes, and adipocytes. In previous publications, UCB-MSCs have been successfully differentiated into cardiomyocytes. This study aimed to improve the efficacy of differentiation of UCB-MSCs into cardiomyocytes by combining 5-azacytidine (Aza) with mouse fetal heart extract (HE) in the induction medium. UCB-MSCs were isolated from umbilical cord blood according to a published protocol. Murine fetal hearts were used to produce fetal HE using a rapid freeze-thaw procedure. MSCs at the 3rd to 5th passage were differentiated into cardiomyocytes in two kinds of induction medium: complete culture medium plus Aza (Aza group) and complete culture medium plus Aza and fetal HE (Aza + HE group). The results showed that the cells in both kinds of induction medium exhibited the phenotype of cardiomyocytes. At the transcriptional level, the cells expressed a number of cardiac muscle-specific genes such as Nkx2.5, Gata 4, Mef2c, HCN2, hBNP, α-Ca, cTnT, Desmin, and β-MHC on day 27 in the Aza group and on day 18 in the Aza + HE group. At the translational level, sarcomic α-actin was expressed on day 27 in the Aza group and day 18 in the Aza + HE group. Although they expressed specific genes and proteins of cardiac muscle cells, the induced cells in both groups did not contract and beat spontaneously. These properties are similar to properties of heart muscle precursor cells in vivo. These results demonstrated that the fetal HE facilitates the differentiation process of human UCB-MSCs into heart muscle precursor cells. PMID:25377264

  7. Passive fetal heart rate monitoring apparatus and method with enhanced fetal heart beat discrimination

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zahorian, Stephen A. (Inventor); Livingston, David L. (Inventor); Pretlow, III, Robert A. (Inventor)

    1996-01-01

    An apparatus for acquiring signals emitted by a fetus, identifying fetal heart beats and determining a fetal heart rate. Multiple sensor signals are outputted by a passive fetal heart rate monitoring sensor. Multiple parallel nonlinear filters filter these multiple sensor signals to identify fetal heart beats in the signal data. A processor determines a fetal heart rate based on these identified fetal heart beats. The processor includes the use of a figure of merit weighting of heart rate estimates based on the identified heart beats from each filter for each signal. The fetal heart rate thus determined is outputted to a display, storage, or communications channel. A method for enhanced fetal heart beat discrimination includes acquiring signals from a fetus, identifying fetal heart beats from the signals by multiple parallel nonlinear filtering, and determining a fetal heart rate based on the identified fetal heart beats. A figure of merit operation in this method provides for weighting a plurality of fetal heart rate estimates based on the identified fetal heart beats and selecting the highest ranking fetal heart rate estimate.

  8. Age-Dependent Changes in Geometry, Tissue Composition and Mechanical Properties of Fetal to Adult Cryopreserved Human Heart Valves

    PubMed Central

    van Geemen, Daphne; Soares, Ana L. F.; Oomen, Pim J. A.; Driessen-Mol, Anita; Janssen-van den Broek, Marloes W. J. T.; van den Bogaerdt, Antoon J.; Bogers, Ad J. J. C.; Goumans, Marie-José T. H.; Baaijens, Frank P. T.; Bouten, Carlijn V. C.

    2016-01-01

    There is limited information about age-specific structural and functional properties of human heart valves, while this information is key to the development and evaluation of living valve replacements for pediatric and adolescent patients. Here, we present an extended data set of structure-function properties of cryopreserved human pulmonary and aortic heart valves, providing age-specific information for living valve replacements. Tissue composition, morphology, mechanical properties, and maturation of leaflets from 16 pairs of structurally unaffected aortic and pulmonary valves of human donors (fetal-53 years) were analyzed. Interestingly, no major differences were observed between the aortic and pulmonary valves. Valve annulus and leaflet dimensions increase throughout life. The typical three-layered leaflet structure is present before birth, but becomes more distinct with age. After birth, cell numbers decrease rapidly, while remaining cells obtain a quiescent phenotype and reside in the ventricularis and spongiosa. With age and maturation–but more pronounced in aortic valves–the matrix shows an increasing amount of collagen and collagen cross-links and a reduction in glycosaminoglycans. These matrix changes correlate with increasing leaflet stiffness with age. Our data provide a new and comprehensive overview of the changes of structure-function properties of fetal to adult human semilunar heart valves that can be used to evaluate and optimize future therapies, such as tissue engineering of heart valves. Changing hemodynamic conditions with age can explain initial changes in matrix composition and consequent mechanical properties, but cannot explain the ongoing changes in valve dimensions and matrix composition at older age. PMID:26867221

  9. Human Fetal Behavior: 100 Years of Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kisilevsky, B. S.; Low, J. A.

    1998-01-01

    Reviews literature on human fetal behavior. Includes descriptions of coupling of body movements and fetal heart rate and behavior maturation from conception to term. Discusses use of stimulus-induced behavior to examine sensory and cognitive development, and spontaneous and stimulus-induced behavior to assess fetal well-being. Notes research focus…

  10. Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring during Labor

    MedlinePlus

    ... fetal heart rate. The other belt measures the length of contractions and the time between them. How ... uterus. Doppler Transducer: A device that uses sound waves to reflect motion—such as the fetal heartbeat— ...

  11. Assessment of fetal heart disorder by means of fetal magnetocardiography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Łozińska, Maria; Dunajski, Zbigniew

    2006-10-01

    Fetal magnetocardiography is new method for investigations of electrical activity of the fetal heart. The idea and build of system for magnetic signal registration is described. Two cases of premature atrial contraction and complete AV block diagnosis by means of magnetic field recording system are described.

  12. [Hypoxaemia, peripheral chemoreceptors and fetal heart rate].

    PubMed

    Secourgeon, J-F

    2012-02-01

    The perinatal results of the widespread adoption of the continuous electronic fetal heart rate monitoring during labor remain rather disappointing. This is due in part to a lack of consistent interpretation of the fetal heart tracings. Despite efforts by referral agencies over the past decade the situation has not improved. In defense of practitioners the heterogeneity and complexity of definitions and classifications patterns especially morphological currently proposed should be noted. Whereas with the recent advances in the field of neuroscience, it is now possible to visualize the chain of pathophysiological events that lead from the hypoxemic stimulus of the glomus cell to changes in the morphology of the fetal heart rate tracing. Thus by taking some examples of real situations, we propose a method of analysis that dissects the fetal heart tracing and take into account the functional specifications of the chemoreceptor when exposed to a hypoxic environment. Furthermore we can identify tracings with a "threshold effect" and also "sensitization and desensitization effects" according to the intensity, duration and recurrence of hypoxaemic episodes. This new approach based upon specific research into the mechanism behind the fetal heart rate abnormalities may be useful to complement the morphological study of the fetal heart tracing, to provide a better idea of the fetal status and to better define the indications of fetal blood sampling procedures. PMID:21798673

  13. Fetal Heart Rate Response to Maternal Exercise.

    PubMed

    Monga, Manju

    2016-09-01

    Current guidelines regarding recommended exercise in pregnancy appear consistent with reported research regarding fetal heart changes in response to maternal exercise. Fetal heart rate increases during pregnancy, but maternal exercise appears well tolerated if performed in uncomplicated pregnancies and not in the supine position. Maximal levels of exercise that are well tolerated by the fetus have not yet been well defined; however, recent literature suggests that sustained exercise during pregnancy may have beneficial effects on autonomic control of fetal heart rate and variability that may lead to long-term health benefits. PMID:27388963

  14. Interpretation of the electronic fetal heart rate during labor.

    PubMed

    Sweha, A; Hacker, T W; Nuovo, J

    1999-05-01

    Electronic fetal heart rate monitoring is commonly used to assess fetal well-being during labor. Although detection of fetal compromise is one benefit of fetal monitoring, there are also risks, including false-positive tests that may result in unnecessary surgical intervention. Since variable and inconsistent interpretation of fetal heart rate tracings may affect management, a systematic approach to interpreting the patterns is important. The fetal heart rate undergoes constant and minute adjustments in response to the fetal environment and stimuli. Fetal heart rate patterns are classified as reassuring, nonreassuring or ominous. Nonreassuring patterns such as fetal tachycardia, bradycardia and late decelerations with good short-term variability require intervention to rule out fetal acidosis. Ominous patterns require emergency intrauterine fetal resuscitation and immediate delivery. Differentiating between a reassuring and nonreassuring fetal heart rate pattern is the essence of accurate interpretation, which is essential to guide appropriate triage decisions. PMID:10323356

  15. [Disputes and history of fetal heart monitoring].

    PubMed

    Dueñas-García, Omar Felipe; Díaz-Sotomayor, Maricela

    2011-01-01

    The concept of fetal heart monitoring to determine the fetal wellbeing state has been employed for almost 300 years, but in the last 50 years it has observed drastic changes due to the incorporation of the electronic devices that has started controversy since the moment of its description and point of start. The purpose of this article is to mention the key points and controversial moments in the history of the cardiotocography PMID:23650679

  16. Acoustically based fetal heart rate monitor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baker, Donald A.; Zuckerwar, Allan J.

    1991-01-01

    The acoustically based fetal heart rate monitor permits an expectant mother to perform the fetal Non-Stress Test in her home. The potential market would include the one million U.S. pregnancies per year requiring this type of prenatal surveillance. The monitor uses polyvinylidene fluoride (PVF2) piezoelectric polymer film for the acoustic sensors, which are mounted in a seven-element array on a cummerbund. Evaluation of the sensor ouput signals utilizes a digital signal processor, which performs a linear prediction routine in real time. Clinical tests reveal that the acoustically based monitor provides Non-Stress Test records which are comparable to those obtained with a commercial ultrasonic transducer.

  17. Fetal heart rate classification using generative models.

    PubMed

    Dash, Shishir; Quirk, J Gerald; Djurić, Petar M

    2014-11-01

    This paper presents novel methods for classification of fetal heart rate (FHR) signals into categories that are meaningful for clinical implementation. They are based on generative models (GMs) and Bayesian theory. Instead of using scalar features that summarize information obtained from long-duration data, the models allow for explicit use of feature sequences derived from local patterns of FHR evolution. We compare our methods with a deterministic expert system for classification and with a support vector machine approach that relies on system-identification and heart rate variability features. We tested the classifiers on 83 retrospectively collected FHR records, with the gold-standard true diagnosis defined using umbilical cord pH values. We found that our methods consistently performed as well as or better than these, suggesting that the use of GMs and the Bayesian paradigm can bring significant improvement to automatic FHR classification approaches. PMID:24951678

  18. Signal processing methodologies for an acoustic fetal heart rate monitor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pretlow, Robert A., III; Stoughton, John W.

    1992-01-01

    Research and development is presented of real time signal processing methodologies for the detection of fetal heart tones within a noise-contaminated signal from a passive acoustic sensor. A linear predictor algorithm is utilized for detection of the heart tone event and additional processing derives heart rate. The linear predictor is adaptively 'trained' in a least mean square error sense on generic fetal heart tones recorded from patients. A real time monitor system is described which outputs to a strip chart recorder for plotting the time history of the fetal heart rate. The system is validated in the context of the fetal nonstress test. Comparisons are made with ultrasonic nonstress tests on a series of patients. Comparative data provides favorable indications of the feasibility of the acoustic monitor for clinical use.

  19. Exploring the Relationship between Fetal Heart Rate and Cognition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kisilevsky, Barbara S.; Hains, Sylvia M. J.

    2010-01-01

    A relationship between fetal heart rate (HR) and cognition is explored within the context of infant, child and adult studies where the association is well established. Lack of direct access to the fetus and maturational changes limit research paradigms and response measures for fetal studies. Nevertheless, neural regulation of HR shows a number of…

  20. Fetal heart rate changes associated with general anesthesia.

    PubMed

    Fedorkow, D M; Stewart, T J; Parboosingh, J

    1989-07-01

    Decreased fetal heart rate variability was noted 90 seconds after the induction of general anesthesia with sodium thiopentone and fentanyl in a patient undergoing basket extraction of a renal calculus at 30 weeks' gestation. The fetal sleep pattern lasted for 105 minutes after the anesthetic was discontinued, 45 minutes after the mother was fully awake. PMID:2730732

  1. Automated Fetal Heart Rate Analysis in Labor: Decelerations and Overshoots

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Georgieva, A. E.; Payne, S. J.; Moulden, M.; Redman, C. W. G.

    2010-10-01

    Electronic fetal heart rate (FHR) recording is a standard way of monitoring fetal health in labor. Decelerations and accelerations usually indicate fetal distress and normality respectively. But one type of acceleration may differ, namely an overshoot that may atypically reflect fetal stress. Here we describe a new method for detecting decelerations, accelerations and overshoots as part of a novel system for computerized FHR analysis (OxSyS). There was poor agreement between clinicians when identifying these FHR features visually, which precluded setting a gold standard of interpretation. We therefore introduced `modified' Sensitivity (SE°) and `modified' Positive Predictive Value (PPV°) as appropriate performance measures with which the algorithm was optimized. The relation between overshoots and fetal compromise in labor was studied in 15 cases and 15 controls. Overshoots showed promise as an indicator of fetal compromise. Unlike ordinary accelerations, overshoots cannot be considered to be reassuring features of fetal health.

  2. Automated Fetal Heart Rate Analysis in Labor: Decelerations and Overshoots

    SciTech Connect

    Georgieva, A. E.; Payne, S. J.; Moulden, M.; Redman, C. W. G.

    2010-10-25

    Electronic fetal heart rate (FHR) recording is a standard way of monitoring fetal health in labor. Decelerations and accelerations usually indicate fetal distress and normality respectively. But one type of acceleration may differ, namely an overshoot that may atypically reflect fetal stress. Here we describe a new method for detecting decelerations, accelerations and overshoots as part of a novel system for computerized FHR analysis (OxSyS). There was poor agreement between clinicians when identifying these FHR features visually, which precluded setting a gold standard of interpretation. We therefore introduced 'modified' Sensitivity (SE deg.) and 'modified' Positive Predictive Value (PPV deg.) as appropriate performance measures with which the algorithm was optimized. The relation between overshoots and fetal compromise in labor was studied in 15 cases and 15 controls. Overshoots showed promise as an indicator of fetal compromise. Unlike ordinary accelerations, overshoots cannot be considered to be reassuring features of fetal health.

  3. Fetal Echocardiography/Your Unborn Baby's Heart

    MedlinePlus

    ... in the Young, American Heart Association Overview of congenital heart disease: Congenital heart disease is a problem that occurs with the baby's ... Find answers to common questions about children and heart disease. CHD Personal Stories ... and hope. Popular Articles ...

  4. Transfer entropy analysis of maternal and fetal heart rate coupling.

    PubMed

    Marzbanrad, Faezeh; Kimura, Yoshitaka; Endo, Miyuki; Palaniswami, Marimuthu; Khandoker, Ahsan H

    2015-08-01

    Although evidence of the short term relationship between maternal and fetal heart rates has been found in previous model-based studies, knowledge about the mechanism and patterns of the coupling during gestation is still limited. In this study, a model-free method based on Transfer Entropy (TE) was applied to quantify the maternal-fetal heart rate couplings in both directions. Furthermore, analysis of the lag at which TE was maximum and its changes throughout gestation, provided more information about the mechanism of coupling and its latency. Experimental results based on fetal electrocardiograms (fECGs) and maternal ECG showed the evidence of coupling for 62 out of 65 healthy mothers and fetuses in each direction, by statistically validating against the surrogate pairs. The fetuses were divided into three gestational age groups: early (16-25 weeks), mid (26-31 weeks) and late (32-41 weeks) gestation. The maximum TE from maternal to fetal heart rate significantly increased from early to mid gestation, while the coupling delay on both directions decreased significantly from mid to late gestation. These changes occur concomitant with the maturation of the fetal sensory and autonomic nervous systems with advancing gestational age. In conclusion, the application of TE with delays revealed detailed information about the changes in fetal-maternal heart rate coupling strength and latency throughout gestation, which could provide novel clinical markers of fetal development and well-being. PMID:26738115

  5. Reliability of spectral analysis of fetal heart rate variability.

    PubMed

    Warmerdam, G J J; Vullings, R; Bergmans, J W M; Oei, S G

    2014-01-01

    Spectral analysis of fetal heart rate variability could provide information on fetal wellbeing. Unfortunately, fetal heart rate recordings are often contaminated by artifacts. Correction of these artifacts affects the outcome of spectral analysis, but it is currently unclear what level of artifact correction facilitates reliable spectral analysis. In this study, a method is presented that estimates the error in spectral powers due to artifact correction, based on the properties of the Continuous Wavelet Transformation. The results show that it is possible to estimate the error in spectral powers. The information about this error makes it possible for clinicians to assess the reliability of spectral analysis of fetal heart rate recordings that are contaminated by artifacts. PMID:25570577

  6. Quantification of fetal heart rate regularity using symbolic dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Leeuwen, P.; Cysarz, D.; Lange, S.; Geue, D.; Groenemeyer, D.

    2007-03-01

    Fetal heart rate complexity was examined on the basis of RR interval time series obtained in the second and third trimester of pregnancy. In each fetal RR interval time series, short term beat-to-beat heart rate changes were coded in 8bit binary sequences. Redundancies of the 28 different binary patterns were reduced by two different procedures. The complexity of these sequences was quantified using the approximate entropy (ApEn), resulting in discrete ApEn values which were used for classifying the sequences into 17 pattern sets. Also, the sequences were grouped into 20 pattern classes with respect to identity after rotation or inversion of the binary value. There was a specific, nonuniform distribution of the sequences in the pattern sets and this differed from the distribution found in surrogate data. In the course of gestation, the number of sequences increased in seven pattern sets, decreased in four and remained unchanged in six. Sequences that occurred less often over time, both regular and irregular, were characterized by patterns reflecting frequent beat-to-beat reversals in heart rate. They were also predominant in the surrogate data, suggesting that these patterns are associated with stochastic heart beat trains. Sequences that occurred more frequently over time were relatively rare in the surrogate data. Some of these sequences had a high degree of regularity and corresponded to prolonged heart rate accelerations or decelerations which may be associated with directed fetal activity or movement or baroreflex activity. Application of the pattern classes revealed that those sequences with a high degree of irregularity correspond to heart rate patterns resulting from complex physiological activity such as fetal breathing movements. The results suggest that the development of the autonomic nervous system and the emergence of fetal behavioral states lead to increases in not only irregular but also regular heart rate patterns. Using symbolic dynamics to

  7. Development of the human fetal testis.

    PubMed

    O'Shaughnessy, Peter J; Fowler, Paul A

    2014-05-01

    Masculinisation and adult fertility in the male are dependent on appropriate fetal endocrine programming. There is also now increasing evidence to indicate that the same mechanisms which regulate masculinisation also affect the general wellbeing of males throughout their life and, particularly, during ageing. Testosterone, secreted by the fetal testes, is the main factor regulating these processes and an understanding of fetal testis development in the human male is essential if we are to prevent adult reproductive disorders. This review focuses on what is known about human testis development and describes the effects of maternal smoking, a surrogate of possible xenotoxicant exposure on fetal testis and fetal liver function. PMID:24746112

  8. A genome resource to address mechanisms of developmental programming: determination of the fetal sheep heart transcriptome

    PubMed Central

    Cox, Laura A; Glenn, Jeremy P; Spradling, Kimberly D; Nijland, Mark J; Garcia, Roy; Nathanielsz, Peter W; Ford, Stephen P

    2012-01-01

    The pregnant sheep has provided seminal insights into reproduction related to animal and human development (ovarian function, fertility, implantation, fetal growth, parturition and lactation). Fetal sheep physiology has been extensively studied since 1950, contributing significantly to the basis for our understanding of many aspects of fetal development and behaviour that remain in use in clinical practice today. Understanding mechanisms requires the combination of systems approaches uniquely available in fetal sheep with the power of genomic studies. Absence of the full range of sheep genomic resources has limited the full realization of the power of this model, impeding progress in emerging areas of pregnancy biology such as developmental programming. We have examined the expressed fetal sheep heart transcriptome using high-throughput sequencing technologies. In so doing we identified 36,737 novel transcripts and describe genes, gene variants and pathways relevant to fundamental developmental mechanisms. Genes with the highest expression levels and with novel exons in the fetal heart transcriptome are known to play central roles in muscle development. We show that high-throughput sequencing methods can generate extensive transcriptome information in the absence of an assembled and annotated genome for that species. The gene sequence data obtained provide a unique genomic resource for sheep specific genetic technology development and, combined with the polymorphism data, augment annotation and assembly of the sheep genome. In addition, identification and pathway analysis of novel fetal sheep heart transcriptome splice variants is a first step towards revealing mechanisms of genetic variation and gene environment interactions during fetal heart development. PMID:22508961

  9. Robust estimation of fetal heart rate from US Doppler signals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voicu, Iulian; Girault, Jean-Marc; Roussel, Catherine; Decock, Aliette; Kouame, Denis

    2010-01-01

    Introduction: In utero, Monitoring of fetal wellbeing or suffering is today an open challenge, due to the high number of clinical parameters to be considered. An automatic monitoring of fetal activity, dedicated for quantifying fetal wellbeing, becomes necessary. For this purpose and in a view to supply an alternative for the Manning test, we used an ultrasound multitransducer multigate Doppler system. One important issue (and first step in our investigation) is the accurate estimation of fetal heart rate (FHR). An estimation of the FHR is obtained by evaluating the autocorrelation function of the Doppler signals for ills and healthiness foetus. However, this estimator is not enough robust since about 20% of FHR are not detected in comparison to a reference system. These non detections are principally due to the fact that the Doppler signal generated by the fetal moving is strongly disturbed by the presence of others several Doppler sources (mother' s moving, pseudo breathing, etc.). By modifying the existing method (autocorrelation method) and by proposing new time and frequency estimators used in the audio' s domain, we reduce to 5% the probability of non-detection of the fetal heart rate. These results are really encouraging and they enable us to plan the use of automatic classification techniques in order to discriminate between healthy and in suffering foetus.

  10. Heart disease link to fetal hypoxia and oxidative stress.

    PubMed

    Giussani, Dino A; Niu, Youguo; Herrera, Emilio A; Richter, Hans G; Camm, Emily J; Thakor, Avnesh S; Kane, Andrew D; Hansell, Jeremy A; Brain, Kirsty L; Skeffington, Katie L; Itani, Nozomi; Wooding, F B Peter; Cross, Christine M; Allison, Beth J

    2014-01-01

    The quality of the intrauterine environment interacts with our genetic makeup to shape the risk of developing disease in later life. Fetal chronic hypoxia is a common complication of pregnancy. This chapter reviews how fetal chronic hypoxia programmes cardiac and endothelial dysfunction in the offspring in adult life and discusses the mechanisms via which this may occur. Using an integrative approach in large and small animal models at the in vivo, isolated organ, cellular and molecular levels, our programmes of work have raised the hypothesis that oxidative stress in the fetal heart and vasculature underlies the mechanism via which prenatal hypoxia programmes cardiovascular dysfunction in later life. Developmental hypoxia independent of changes in maternal nutrition promotes fetal growth restriction and induces changes in the cardiovascular, metabolic and endocrine systems of the adult offspring, which are normally associated with disease states during ageing. Treatment with antioxidants of animal pregnancies complicated with reduced oxygen delivery to the fetus prevents the alterations in fetal growth, and the cardiovascular, metabolic and endocrine dysfunction in the fetal and adult offspring. The work reviewed offers both insight into mechanisms and possible therapeutic targets for clinical intervention against the early origin of cardiometabolic disease in pregnancy complicated by fetal chronic hypoxia. PMID:25015802

  11. Bacterial infection and human fetal wastage.

    PubMed

    Lessing, J B; Amster, R; Berger, S A; Peyser, M R

    1989-12-01

    Twenty-eight of 57 fetuses delivered after intrauterine death were found to have a variety of aerobic and facultative bacteria in the heart, anus, placenta, brain and cerebrospinal fluid. Subclinical maternal bacteremia, possibly originating in the urinary tract, appears to be a common cause of second- and third-trimester fetal demise. PMID:2695648

  12. Canine fetal heart rate: do accelerations or decelerations predict the parturition day in bitches?

    PubMed

    Gil, E M U; Garcia, D A A; Giannico, A T; Froes, T R

    2014-10-15

    Ultrasonography is a safe and efficient technique for monitoring fetal development and viability. One of the most important and widely used parameters to verify fetal viability is the fetal heart rate (HR). In human medicine, the fetal HR normally oscillates during labor in transient accelerations and decelerations associated with uterine contractions. The present study investigated whether these variations also occur in canine fetuses and its relationship to parturition. A cohort study was conducted in 15 pregnant bitches undergoing two-dimensional high-resolution ultrasonographic examination during the 8th and 9th week of gestation. Fetal HR was assessed in M-mode for 5 minutes in each fetus in all bitches. In addition, the bitches were monitored for clinical signs of imminent parturition. Associations between the HR, antepartum time, and delivery characteristics were evaluated with a Poisson regression model. Fetal HR acceleration and deceleration occurred in canine fetuses and predicted the optimal time of parturition. These findings can help veterinarians and sonographers better understand this phenomenon in canine fetuses. PMID:24888684

  13. Heart rate variability parameters and fetal movement complement fetal behavioral states detection via magnetography to monitor neurovegetative development

    PubMed Central

    Brändle, Johanna; Preissl, Hubert; Draganova, Rossitza; Ortiz, Erick; Kagan, Karl O.; Abele, Harald; Brucker, Sara Y.; Kiefer-Schmidt, Isabelle

    2015-01-01

    Fetal behavioral states are defined by fetal movement and heart rate variability (HRV). At 32 weeks of gestational age (GA) the distinction of four fetal behavioral states represented by combinations of quiet or active sleep or awakeness is possible. Prior to 32 weeks, only periods of fetal activity and quiesence can be distinguished. The increasing synchronization of fetal movement and HRV reflects the development of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) control. Fetal magnetocardiography (fMCG) detects fetal heart activity at high temporal resolution, enabling the calculation of HRV parameters. This study combined the criteria of fetal movement with the HRV analysis to complete the criteria for fetal state detection. HRV parameters were calculated including the standard deviation of the normal-to-normal R–R interval (SDNN), the mean square of successive differences of the R–R intervals (RMSSD, SDNN/RMSSD ratio, and permutation entropy (PE) to gain information about the developing influence of the ANS within each fetal state. In this study, 55 magnetocardiograms from healthy fetuses of 24–41 weeks’ GA were recorded for up to 45 min using a fetal biomagnetometer. Fetal states were classified based on HRV and movement detection. HRV parameters were calculated for each state. Before GA 32 weeks, 58.4% quiescence and 41.6% activity cycles were observed. Later, 24% quiet sleep state (1F), 65.4% active sleep state (2F), and 10.6% active awake state (4F) were observed. SDNN increased over gestation. Changes of HRV parameters between the fetal behavioral states, especially between 1F and 4F, were statistically significant. Increasing fetal activity was confirmed by a decrease in PE complexity measures. The fHRV parameters support the differentiation between states and indicate the development of autonomous nervous control of heart rate function. PMID:25904855

  14. Harnessing fetal and adult genetic reprograming for therapy of heart disease

    PubMed Central

    Nandi, Shyam Sundar; Mishra, Paras Kumar

    2015-01-01

    Heart is the first organ formed during organogenesis. The fetal heart undergoes several structural and functional modifications to form the four-chambered mammalian heart. The adult heart shows different adaptations during compensatory and decompensatory heart failure. However, one common adaptation in the pathological heart is fetal reprogramming, where the adult heart expresses several genes and miRNAs which are active in the fetal stage. The fetal reprogramming in the failing heart raises several questions, such as whether the switch of adult to fetal genetic programming is an adaptive response to cope with adverse remodeling of the heart, does the expression of fetal genes protect the heart during compensatory and/or decompensatory heart failure, does repressing the fetal gene in the failing heart is protective to the heart? To answer these questions, we need to understand the expression of genes and miRNAs that are reprogrammed in the failing heart. In view of this, we provided an overview of differentially expressed genes and miRNAs, and their regulation in this review. Further, we elaborated novel strategies for a plausible future therapy of cardiovascular diseases. PMID:25879081

  15. Prone position craniotomy in pregnancy without fetal heart rate monitoring.

    PubMed

    Jacob, Jean; Alexander, Ashish; Philip, Shoba; Thomas, Anoop

    2016-09-01

    A pregnant patient in second trimester scheduled for posterior fossa craniotomy in prone position is a challenge for the anesthesiologist. Things to consider are physiological changes during pregnancy, non-obstetric surgery in pregnant patients, neuroanesthetic principles, effects of prone positioning, and need for fetal heart rate (FHR) monitoring. We have described the anesthetic management of this case and discussed intra-operative FHR monitoring including controversies about its role, indications, and various options available as per fetal gestational age. In our case we attempted intermittent intra-operative FHR monitoring to optimize maternal positioning and fetal oxygenation even though the fetus was pre-viable. However the attempt was abandoned due to practical difficulties with prone positioning. Patient made good neurological recovery following the procedure and delivered a healthy term baby 4 months later. Decisions regarding fetal monitoring should be individualized based on viability of the fetus and feasibility of emergency cesarean delivery. Good communication between a multidisciplinary team involving neurosurgeon, anesthesiologist, obstetrician, and neonatologist is important for a successful outcome for mother and fetus. We conclude that prone position neurosurgery can safely be carried out in a pregnant patient with pre-viable fetus without FHR monitoring. PMID:27555144

  16. Fetal echocardiographic characteristics of fused heart in thoracopagus conjoined twins.

    PubMed

    Wu, Yu; Lv, Qing; Xie, Ming-Xing; Wan, Lin-Yuan; Ren, Ping-Ping; Ge, Andrew; Ge, Shuping

    2014-08-01

    Conjoined twins (CT) are rare with possible serious malformations in which soft tissue, bone, or some organs are joined in utero. The extent of cardiac fusion and intracardiac anatomy of CT determine the viability, natural history, and outcome of potential surgical intervention. Early prenatal diagnosis and assessment may provide a window of opportunity to counsel the family for their informed decision on the pregnancy and to plan for prenatal and perinatal care. In this report, we describe a case of thoracopagus twins diagnosed by fetal echocardiography at 23-week gestation. The 2 hearts fused at the atrial and ventricular levels. The outcome and review of literature on fetal echocardiographic characteristics of this malformation are discussed. PMID:24814222

  17. Design of an FECG scalp electrode fetal heart rate monitor.

    PubMed

    Reguig, F B; Kirk, D L

    1996-03-01

    The design of a fetal heart rate (FHR) monitor using fetal electrocardiogram (FECG) scalp electrodes is described. It is shown that the design approach followed two stages: generation of FHR pulses at R-R intervals and FHR computation. The former uses a simple hardware approach for QRS detection and R-wave enhancement, while the latter requires a software implementation in order to produce FHR traces on a beat to beat basis. The QRS detection is based on bandpass filtering using switched mode capacitor technique; the R-wave enhancement and amplitude information are achieved by differentiation followed by fullwave rectification and peak detection. An adaptive threshold together with a comparator circuit are used to generate FHR pulses at R-R intervals. Beat to beat variations of FHR traces are produced by hardware and software implementation on a Z80 microprocessor board. Results obtained by the FHR monitor are evaluated and contrasted to other commercial FHR monitors. PMID:8673321

  18. The Effect of Maternal Relaxation Training on Reactivity of Non-Stress Test, Basal Fetal Heart Rate, and Number of Fetal Heart Accelerations: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    Akbarzade, Marzieh; Rafiee, Bahare; Asadi, Nasrin; Zare, Najaf

    2015-01-01

    Background: Relaxation-training, as an anxiety-reducer intervention, plays an important role in fetal health. The present study aimed to analyze the effect of maternal relaxation on stress test (NST), basal fetal heart rate, and number of fetal heart accelerations. Methods: In this randomized controlled trial, 84 pregnant women were randomly divided into two groups of teaching relaxation and control groups in 2012. In the intervention group, 60-90 minute classes were held every week lasting for 4 weeks. Besides, home practice charts were given to the mothers and researchers controlled the home practices by phone calls every week. The control group received routine prenatal care. In the 4th week, NST was performed in the intervention group 30 minutes before and after the 4th session. In the control group, NST was done in the 4th week. The quantitative variables in the two groups were compared through ANOVA and Chi-square test. Results: The results of paired t-test showed that relaxation could improve the NST results (P=0.01). Mean and standard deviation of basal fetal heart rate was 138.95±8.18 before the intervention and 133.07±6.9 after the intervention. Paired t-test also showed that relaxation reduced the basal fetal heart rate (P=0.001). Mean and standard deviation of the number of fetal heart accelerations was 1.5±0.8 before the intervention and 2.2±0.9 after it. The results of paired t-test also showed that relaxation increased the number of fetal heart accelerations (P=0.001). Conclusions: Relaxation could improve the NST results, reduce the basal fetal heart rate, and increase the number of fetal heart accelerations. Therefore, relaxation is recommended during pregnancy. Trial Registration Number: IRCT2012072810418N1 PMID:25553334

  19. Methylomic trajectories across human fetal brain development.

    PubMed

    Spiers, Helen; Hannon, Eilis; Schalkwyk, Leonard C; Smith, Rebecca; Wong, Chloe C Y; O'Donovan, Michael C; Bray, Nicholas J; Mill, Jonathan

    2015-03-01

    Epigenetic processes play a key role in orchestrating transcriptional regulation during development. The importance of DNA methylation in fetal brain development is highlighted by the dynamic expression of de novo DNA methyltransferases during the perinatal period and neurodevelopmental deficits associated with mutations in the methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MECP2) gene. However, our knowledge about the temporal changes to the epigenome during fetal brain development has, to date, been limited. We quantified genome-wide patterns of DNA methylation at ∼ 400,000 sites in 179 human fetal brain samples (100 male, 79 female) spanning 23 to 184 d post-conception. We identified highly significant changes in DNA methylation across fetal brain development at >7% of sites, with an enrichment of loci becoming hypomethylated with fetal age. Sites associated with developmental changes in DNA methylation during fetal brain development were significantly underrepresented in promoter regulatory regions but significantly overrepresented in regions flanking CpG islands (shores and shelves) and gene bodies. Highly significant differences in DNA methylation were observed between males and females at a number of autosomal sites, with a small number of regions showing sex-specific DNA methylation trajectories across brain development. Weighted gene comethylation network analysis (WGCNA) revealed discrete modules of comethylated loci associated with fetal age that are significantly enriched for genes involved in neurodevelopmental processes. This is, to our knowledge, the most extensive study of DNA methylation across human fetal brain development to date, confirming the prenatal period as a time of considerable epigenomic plasticity. PMID:25650246

  20. Dual transmission model of the fetal heart tone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baker, Donald A.; Zuckerwar, Allan J.

    2001-05-01

    Detection of the fetal heart tone by auscultation is sometimes easy, other times very difficult. In the model proposed here, the level of difficulty depends upon the position of the fetus within the maternal abdomen. If the fetus lies in the classical left/right occiput anterior position (head down, back against the maternal abdominal wall), detection by a sensor or stethoscope on the maternal abdominal surface is easy. In this mode, named here the ``direct contact'' mode, the heartbeat pushes the fetus against the detecting sensor. The motion generates pressure by impact and does not involve acoustic propagation at all. If the fetus lies in a persistent occiput posterior position (spine-to-spine, fetus facing forward), detection is difficult. In this, the ``fluid propagation'' mode, sound generated by the fetal heart and propagating across the amniotic fluid produces extremely weak signals at the maternal surface, typically 30 dB lower than those of the direct contact mode. This reduction in tone level can be compensated by judicious selection of detection frequency band and by exploiting the difference between the background noise levels of the two modes. Experimental clinical results, demonstrating the tones associated with the two respective modes, will be presented.

  1. Fetal heart rate response to running in midpregnancy and late pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Clapp, J F

    1985-10-01

    Fetal heart rate was recorded at 20 and 32 weeks' gestation before and after 20 minutes of treadmill exercise. The intensity of the exercise was matched to each woman's current training level. On every occasion the fetal heart rate rose significantly after exercise. PMID:4050891

  2. Adrenergic receptors in human fetal liver membranes

    SciTech Connect

    Falkay, G.; Kovacs, L. )

    1990-01-01

    The adrenergic receptor binding capacities in human fetal and adult livers were measured to investigate the mechanism of the reduced alpha-1 adrenoreceptor response of the liver associated with a reciprocal increase in beta-adrenoreceptor activity in a number of conditions. Alpha-1 and beta-adrenoreceptor density were determined using {sup 3}H-prazosin and {sup 3}H-dihydroalprenolol, respectively, as radioligand. Heterogeneous populations of beta-adrenoreceptors were found in fetal liver contrast to adult. Decreased alpha-1 and increased beta-receptor density were found which may relate to a decreased level in cellular differentiation. These findings may be important for the investigation of perinatal hypoglycemia of newborns after treatment of premature labor with beta-mimetics. This is the first demonstration of differences in the ratio of alpha-1 and beta-adrenoceptors in human fetal liver.

  3. Incidence of fetal bradycardia and effect of placental injury on fetal heart rate during second-trimester genetic amniocentesis.

    PubMed

    Hanprasertpong, T; Petpichetchian, C; Ponglopisit, S; Suksai, M; Kor-Anantakul, O; Geater, A; Pruksanusak, N; Hanprasertpong, J

    2016-05-01

    A prospective study was conducted for comparing the incidence of fetal bradycardia and level of fetal heart rate change following a second-trimester genetic amniocentesis with and without placental injury. A total of 257 and 495 participants in injured and non-injured groups were analysed. The incidence of fetal bradycardia following amniocentesis was not statistically different between the two groups (1.17%, [95% CI 0.24, 3.37] and 0.20%, [95% CI 0.005, 1.12]) in injured and non-injured placenta groups, respectively; p = 0.118). The mean change in baseline fetal heart rate before and after amniocentesis was also not significantly different between the two groups (p = 0.844). No fetal death or pregnancy loss occurred within 4 weeks after the procedure. All 4 bradycardia participants were normal and healthy and had an appropriate weight for their gestational age. We conclude that placental injury during a second-trimester genetic amniocentesis due to advanced maternal age poses only a low risk of fetal bradycardia, and there is no evidence of differences between subjects with injured and non-injured placenta in the changes in fetal heart rate. PMID:26512899

  4. Metabolism of lipoproteins by human fetal hepatocytes

    SciTech Connect

    Carr, B.R.

    1987-12-01

    The rate of clearance of lipoproteins from plasma appears to play a role in the development of atherogenesis. The liver may account for as much as two thirds of the removal of low-density lipoprotein and one third of the clearance of high-density lipoprotein in certain animal species and humans, mainly by receptor-mediated pathways. The purpose of the present investigation was to determine if human fetal hepatocytes maintained in vitro take up and degrade lipoproteins. We first determined that the maximal binding capacity of iodine 125-iodo-LDL was approximately 300 ng of low-density lipoprotein protein/mg of membrane protein and an apparent dissociation constant of approximately 60 micrograms low-density lipoprotein protein/ml in membranes prepared from human fetal liver. We found that the maximal uptake of (/sup 125/I)iodo-LDL and (/sup 125/I)iodo-HDL by fetal hepatocytes occurred after 12 hours of incubation. Low-density lipoprotein uptake preceded the appearance of degradation products by 4 hours, and thereafter the degradation of low-density lipoprotein increased linearly for at least 24 hours. In contrast, high-density lipoprotein was not degraded to any extent by fetal hepatocytes. (/sup 125/I)Iodo-LDL uptake and degradation were inhibited more than 75% by preincubation with low-density lipoprotein but not significantly by high-density lipoprotein, whereas (/sup 125/I)iodo-HDL uptake was inhibited 70% by preincubation with high-density lipoprotein but not by low-density lipoprotein. In summary, human fetal hepatocytes take up and degrade low-density lipoprotein by a receptor-mediated process similar to that described for human extrahepatic tissues.

  5. The fetal heart response to static antenatal exercises in the supine position.

    PubMed

    Green, R C; Schneider, K; MacLENNAN, A H

    1988-01-01

    Continuous fetal heart rate traces were made in twenty-six low risk patients during static maternal exercises in the supine position, as prescribed in a hospital's antenatal education programme. Prior to exercise, fetal heart rate abnormalities were present in four patients. Three of these had an abnormal fetal outcome. During the exercises a further eight cases had reductions in fetal heart rate, variability or reactivity. An abnormal fetal outcome was recorded in two of these cases. The findings indicate uncertainty about the safety of antenatal exercises in the supine position in late pregnancy and, until further studies are available, it is prudent to advocate the practice of all antenatal exercises in a tilted position, and not at all where fetal compromise is suspected. PMID:25025977

  6. Improving Interprofessional Consistency in Electronic Fetal Heart Rate Interpretation.

    PubMed

    Govindappagari, Shravya; Zaghi, Sahar; Zannat, Ferdous; Reimers, Laura; Goffman, Dena; Kassel, Irene; Bernstein, Peter S

    2016-07-01

    Objective To determine if mandatory online training in electronic fetal monitoring (EFM) improved agreement in documentation between obstetric care providers and nurses on labor and delivery. Methods Health care professionals working in obstetrics at our institution were required to complete a course on EFM interpretation. We performed a retrospective chart review of 701 charts including patients delivered before and after the introduction of the course to evaluate agreement among providers in their documentation of their interpretations of the EFM tracings. Results Agreement between provider and nurse documentation at the time of admission improved for variability and accelerations (variability: 91.1 vs. 98.3%, p < 0.001; and accelerations: 75.2 vs. 87.7%, p < 0.001). Similarly, agreement improved at the time of the last note prior to delivery for documentation of variability and accelerations (variability: 82.1 vs. 90.6%, p = 0.001; and accelerations: 56.7 vs. 68.6%, p = 0.0012). Agreement in interpretation of decelerations both at the time of admission and at the time of delivery increased (86.3 vs. 90.6%, p = 0.0787, and 56.7 vs. 61.1%, p = 0.2314, respectively) but was not significant. Conclusion An online EFM course can significantly improve consistency in multidisciplinary documentation of fetal heart rate tracing interpretation. PMID:26906180

  7. Organization of the human fetal subpallium

    PubMed Central

    Pauly, Marie-Christin; Döbrössy, Máté D.; Nikkhah, Guido; Winkler, Christian; Piroth, Tobias

    2014-01-01

    The subpallium comprises large parts of the basal ganglia including striatum and globus pallidus. Genes and factors involved in the development of the subpallium have been extensively studied in most vertebrates, including amphibians, birds, and rodents. However, our knowledge on patterning of the human subpallium remains insufficient. Using double fluorescent immunohistochemistry, we investigated the protein distribution of transcription factors involved in patterning of the subventricular zone (SVZ) in the human forebrain at late embryonic development. Furthermore, we compared the development of cortical and striatal precursors between human fetal brain and E14 and E16 fetal rat brains. Our results reveal that DLX2 marks SVZ precursors in the entire subpallium. Individual subpallial subdomains can be identified based on co-expression of DLX2 with either PAX6 or NKX2-1. SVZ precursors in the dorsal LGE and preopto-hypothalamic boundary are characterized by DLX2/PAX6 co-expression, while precursors in the MGE and preoptic region co-express DLX2/NKX2-1. SVZ precursors in the ventral LGE are DLX2(+)/PAX6(-)/NKX2-1(-). In terms of staging comparisons, the development of the corpus striatum in the human fetal brain during late embryonic stages corresponds well with the development of the striatum observed in E14 fetal rat brains. Our study demonstrates that the pattern underlying the development of the subpallium is highly conserved between rodents and humans and suggests a similar function for these factors in human brain development. Moreover, our data directly influence the application of ganglionic eminence derived human tissue for cell therapeutic approaches in neurodegenerative disorders such as Huntington's disease. PMID:24474906

  8. Fetal heart rate monitoring: from Doppler to computerized analysis.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Ji Young; Park, In Yang

    2016-03-01

    The monitoring of fetal heart rate (FHR) status is an important method to check well-being of the baby during labor. Since the electronic FHR monitoring was introduced 40 years ago, it has been expected to be an innovative screening test to detect fetuses who are becoming hypoxic and who may benefit from cesarean delivery or operative vaginal delivery. However, several randomized controlled trials have failed to prove that electronic FHR monitoring had any benefit of reducing the perinatal mortality and morbidity. Also it is now clear that the FHR monitoring had high intra- and interobserver disagreements and increased the rate of cesarean delivery. Despite such limitations, the FHR monitoring is still one of the most important obstetric procedures in clinical practice, and the cardiotocogram is the most-used equipment. To supplement cardiotocogram, new methods of computerized FHR analysis and electrocardiogram have been developed, and several clinical researches have been currently performed. Computerized equipment makes us to analyze beat-to-beat variability and short term heart rate patterns. Furthermore, researches about multiparameters of FHR variability will be ongoing. PMID:27004196

  9. Fetal heart rate monitoring: from Doppler to computerized analysis

    PubMed Central

    Kwon, Ji Young

    2016-01-01

    The monitoring of fetal heart rate (FHR) status is an important method to check well-being of the baby during labor. Since the electronic FHR monitoring was introduced 40 years ago, it has been expected to be an innovative screening test to detect fetuses who are becoming hypoxic and who may benefit from cesarean delivery or operative vaginal delivery. However, several randomized controlled trials have failed to prove that electronic FHR monitoring had any benefit of reducing the perinatal mortality and morbidity. Also it is now clear that the FHR monitoring had high intra- and interobserver disagreements and increased the rate of cesarean delivery. Despite such limitations, the FHR monitoring is still one of the most important obstetric procedures in clinical practice, and the cardiotocogram is the most-used equipment. To supplement cardiotocogram, new methods of computerized FHR analysis and electrocardiogram have been developed, and several clinical researches have been currently performed. Computerized equipment makes us to analyze beat-to-beat variability and short term heart rate patterns. Furthermore, researches about multiparameters of FHR variability will be ongoing. PMID:27004196

  10. Differentiation of xenografted human fetal lung parenchyma

    PubMed Central

    Pavlovic, Jelena; Floros, Joanna; Phelps, David S.; Wigdahl, Brian; Welsh, Patricia; Weisz, Judith; Shearer, Debra A.; Pree, Alphonse Leure du; Myers, Roland; Howett, Mary K.

    2009-01-01

    The goal of this study was to characterize xenografted human fetal lung tissue with respect to developmental stage-specific cytodifferentiation. Human fetal lung tissue (pseudoglandular stage) was grafted either beneath the renal capsule or the skin of athymic mice (NCr-nu). Tissues were analyzed from 3 to 42 days post-engraftment for morphological alterations by light and electron microscopy (EM), and for surfactant protein mRNA and protein by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunocytochemistry (ICC), respectively. The changes observed resemble those seen in human lung development in utero in many respects, including the differentiation of epithelium to the saccular stage. Each stage occurred over approximately one week in the graft in contrast to the eight weeks of normal in utero development. At all time points examined, all four surfactant proteins (SP-A, SP-B, SP-C, and SP-D) were detected in the epithelium by ICC. Lamellar bodies were first identified by EM in 14 day xenografts. By day 21, a significant increase in lamellar body expression was observed. Cellular proliferation, as marked by PCNA ICC and elastic fiber deposition resembled those of canalicular and saccular in utero development. This model in which xenografted lung tissue in different stages of development is available may facilitate the study of human fetal lung development and the impact of various pharmacological agents on this process. PMID:17555893

  11. DNA Methylation Landscapes of Human Fetal Development

    PubMed Central

    van Iperen, Liesbeth; Suchiman, H. Eka D.; Tobi, Elmar W.; Carlotti, Françoise; de Koning, Eelco J. P.; Slagboom, P. Eline; Heijmans, Bastiaan T.; Chuva de Sousa Lopes, Susana M.

    2015-01-01

    Remodelling the methylome is a hallmark of mammalian development and cell differentiation. However, current knowledge of DNA methylation dynamics in human tissue specification and organ development largely stems from the extrapolation of studies in vitro and animal models. Here, we report on the DNA methylation landscape using the 450k array of four human tissues (amnion, muscle, adrenal and pancreas) during the first and second trimester of gestation (9,18 and 22 weeks). We show that a tissue-specific signature, constituted by tissue-specific hypomethylated CpG sites, was already present at 9 weeks of gestation (W9). Furthermore, we report large-scale remodelling of DNA methylation from W9 to W22. Gain of DNA methylation preferentially occurred near genes involved in general developmental processes, whereas loss of DNA methylation mapped to genes with tissue-specific functions. Dynamic DNA methylation was associated with enhancers, but not promoters. Comparison of our data with external fetal adrenal, brain and liver revealed striking similarities in the trajectory of DNA methylation during fetal development. The analysis of gene expression data indicated that dynamic DNA methylation was associated with the progressive repression of developmental programs and the activation of genes involved in tissue-specific processes. The DNA methylation landscape of human fetal development provides insight into regulatory elements that guide tissue specification and lead to organ functionality. PMID:26492326

  12. Ascorbic acid in fetal human brain

    PubMed Central

    Adlard, B. P. F.; De Souza, S. W.; Moon, Susan

    1974-01-01

    Ascorbic acid concentrations in fetal human forebrain in the period 11 to 19 weeks' gestational age were 4 to 11 times higher than those of adults. Levels fell progressively with increasing gestational age but, in term babies dying within 4 weeks of birth, were still at least 3 times those of adults. It was confirmed that, in women delivering at term, ascorbic acid concentrations are approximately 4 times higher in cord blood plasma than in maternal blood plasma. The possible importance of ascorbic acid for normal human brain development is discussed. PMID:4830116

  13. Interpreting Category II Fetal Heart Rate Tracings: Does Meconium Matter?

    PubMed Central

    FREY, Heather A.; TUULI, Methodius G.; SHANKS, Anthony L.; MACONES, George A.; CAHILL, Alison G.

    2014-01-01

    OBJECTIVE Category II fetal heart rate (FHR) tracings are considered indeterminate, thus improved risk stratification of category II FHR tracings is needed. We estimated whether the presence of meconium increased the risk of adverse neonatal outcomes. STUDY DESIGN This study was conducted within a prospective cohort of 5000 women with singleton pregnancies admitted in labor at term. Pregnancies with category II FHR in the 60 minutes prior to delivery were included. FHR data were extracted by trained nurses blinded to clinical outcome. The exposure was presence of meconium. The primary outcome was a composite neonatal morbidity defined as ≥1 of the following: neonatal death, neurologic morbidity, respiratory morbidity, hypotension requiring treatment, and sepsis. Secondary outcomes were nursery admission, cord pH, 5-minute Apgar score, and components of the composite. Logistic regression was used to adjust for confounders. RESULTS Of the 3,257 women with category II FHR tracings, 693 (21.3%) had meconium and 2,564 (78.7%) did not. Meconium was associated with higher risk of the composite morbidity (aOR 2.49, 95% CI 1.78-3.48) and increased risks of the secondary outcomes. The associations remained significant when infants with meconium aspiration syndrome were excluded. Thick meconium was significantly associated with the composite morbidity. CONCLUSIONS The presence of meconium is associated with an increased risk of neonatal morbidity in women with category II FHR pattern. This clinical factor may assist clinicians in managing category II FHR patterns in labor. PMID:24949543

  14. The Ontogenesis of Human Fetal Hormones

    PubMed Central

    Kaplan, S. L.; Grumbach, M. M.; Shepard, T. H.

    1972-01-01

    The content and concentration of immunoreactive growth hormone (GH) were measured in 117 human fetal pituitary glands from 68 days of gestation to term and in the pituitary glands of 20 children 1 month to 9 yr of age. Physicochemical and immunochemical properties of GH of fetal pituitary glands and GH from adult pituitary glands were indistinguishable by disc gel electrophoresis, immunoelectrophoresis, starch gel electrophoresis, and radioimmunoassay techniques. In the fetal pituitary gland, the GH content rose from mean levels of 0.44±0.2 μg at 10-14 wk of gestation, to 9.21±2.31 μg at 15-19 wk, to 59.38±11.08 μg at 20-24 wk, to 225.93±40.49 μg at 25-29 wk, to 577.67±90 μg at 30-34 wk, and to 675.17±112.33 μg at 35-40 wk. There was a significant positive correlation between growth hormone content of the pituitary and gestational age, crown-rump length, and the weight of the pituitary gland. The content and concentration (micrograms/milligram) of human growth hormone (HGH) in the fetal pituitary showed significant increments (P < 0.001) for each 4 wk period of gestation until 35 wk. Further increases in the HGH content were noted in pituitaries of children aged 1-9 yr (range of 832 to 11.211 μg). Immunoreactive GH was detected in fetal serum at a concentration of 14.5 ng/ml as early as 70 days gestation, the youngest fetus assayed. At 10-14 wk, the mean concentration of serum growth hormone was 65.2±7.6 ng/ml; at 15-19 wk 114.9±12.5 ng/ml; at 20-24 wk 119.3±19.8 ng/ml; at 25-29 wk 72.0±11.5 ng/ml; and 33.5±4.2 ng/ml at term. A significant negative correlation of serum growth hormone with advancing gestational age after 20-24 wk was observed (P < 0.001). In 17 fetuses paired serum and pituitary samples were assayed; no significant correlation between the concentration of serum GH and the pituitary content or concentration of GH was demonstrable. The serum concentration of chorionic somatomammotropin (HCS) in the fetus was unrelated to gestational

  15. Isolation and Characterization of Human Fetal Myoblasts

    PubMed Central

    Lapan, Ariya D.; Gussoni, Emanuela

    2011-01-01

    Dissociated human fetal skeletal muscle contains myogenic cells, as well as non-myogenic cells such as adipocytes, fibroblasts, and lymphocytes. It is therefore important to determine an efficient and reliable isolation method to obtain a purer population of myoblasts. Toward this end, fluorescence-activated cell sorting in conjunction with robust myogenic cell surface markers can be utilized to enrich for myoblasts in dissociated muscle. In this chapter, we describe a method to significantly enrich for myoblasts using melanoma cell adhesion molecule (MCAM), which we have determined to be an excellent marker of human fetal myoblasts. The myoblasts resulting from this isolation method can then be expanded in vitro and still retain significant myogenic activity as shown by an in vitro fusion assay. The ability to isolate a highly myogenic population from dissociated muscle facilitates the in vitro study of skeletal muscle development and muscle diseases. Furthermore, robust expansion of these cells will lead to new insights in the development of cell-based therapies for human muscle disorders. PMID:22130828

  16. [Studies on features of fetal movement and development of human fetus with use of fetal actogram].

    PubMed

    Tatsumura, M

    1991-08-01

    In 167 normal fetuses at 26 to 41 weeks of gestation, features of fetal movement and fetal development were investigated with use of actocardiograph in connection with a microcomputer system. The signals of fetal movement obtained by actocardiograph were stored in a floppy disc every 250 ms for 5 minutes through an AD-converter, and were analyzed every 5 minutes with the computer to reveal 3-dimensional (3-D) histograms. The 3-D histogram of fetal movement was composed of number, amplitude and interval of the signals in 11 voltage steps between 0.05 and 0.55V. The histogram clearly indicated state of fetal behavior, being either resting or active state. Fetal movement such as rolling movement, breathing movement and hiccup could be also identified with the computer analysis. In 68 normal fetuses at 14 to 41 weeks of gestation, the cross-correlation between fetal movement and fetal heart rate (FHR) were examined with the computer analysis. Finally fetal responses to acoustic and light stimulation were evaluated with use of pure-tone generator and flashlight. Acoustic stimulation was carried out in 53 normal fetuses at 28 to 41 weeks and light stimulation was performed in 116 normal fetuses at 18 to 41 weeks of gestation. The fetal responses were evaluated with actocardiogram. As a result, 1) Frequency in active state decreased and resting state increased as gestational weeks advanced, and then the frequencies of both state remained constant after 37 weeks of gestation. Duration of resting state also increased from 26 weeks to 37 weeks. These observations may suggest that fetal behavior can be established by 37 weeks of gestation. 2) Frequency in rolling movement decreased until 37 weeks of gestation, and then the movement increased during 38-41 weeks. Frequency in breathing movement increased to 33 weeks of gestation, then it remained constant. Hiccup occurred most frequently at 30-33 weeks, and it decreased thereafter. The function in fetal respiratory movement may

  17. Quantifying the Interactions between Maternal and Fetal Heart Rates by Transfer Entropy

    PubMed Central

    Marzbanrad, Faezeh; Kimura, Yoshitaka; Palaniswami, Marimuthu; Khandoker, Ahsan H.

    2015-01-01

    Evidence of the short term relationship between maternal and fetal heart rates has been found in previous studies. However there is still limited knowledge about underlying mechanisms and patterns of the coupling throughout gestation. In this study, Transfer Entropy (TE) was used to quantify directed interactions between maternal and fetal heart rates at various time delays and gestational ages. Experimental results using maternal and fetal electrocardiograms showed significant coupling for 63 out of 65 fetuses, by statistically validating against surrogate pairs. Analysis of TE showed a decrease in transfer of information from fetus to the mother with gestational age, alongside the maturation of the fetus. On the other hand, maternal to fetal TE was significantly greater in mid (26–31 weeks) and late (32–41 weeks) gestation compared to early (16–25 weeks) gestation (Mann Whitney Wilcoxon (MWW) p<0.05). TE further increased from mid to late, for the fetuses with RMSSD of fetal heart rate being larger than 4 msec in the late gestation. This difference was not observed for the fetuses with smaller RMSSD, which could be associated with the quiet sleep state. Delay in the information transfer from mother to fetus significantly decreased (p = 0.03) from mid to late gestation, implying a decrease in fetal response time. These changes occur concomitant with the maturation of the fetal sensory and autonomic nervous systems with advancing gestational age. The effect of maternal respiratory rate derived from maternal ECG was also investigated and no significant relationship was found between breathing rate and TE at any lag. In conclusion, the application of TE with delays revealed detailed information on the fetal-maternal heart rate coupling strength and latency throughout gestation, which could provide novel clinical markers of fetal development and well-being. PMID:26701122

  18. Fetal QRS detection and heart rate estimation: a wavelet-based approach.

    PubMed

    Almeida, Rute; Gonçalves, Hernâni; Bernardes, João; Rocha, Ana Paula

    2014-08-01

    Fetal heart rate monitoring is used for pregnancy surveillance in obstetric units all over the world but in spite of recent advances in analysis methods, there are still inherent technical limitations that bound its contribution to the improvement of perinatal indicators. In this work, a previously published wavelet transform based QRS detector, validated over standard electrocardiogram (ECG) databases, is adapted to fetal QRS detection over abdominal fetal ECG. Maternal ECG waves were first located using the original detector and afterwards a version with parameters adapted for fetal physiology was applied to detect fetal QRS, excluding signal singularities associated with maternal heartbeats. Single lead (SL) based marks were combined in a single annotator with post processing rules (SLR) from which fetal RR and fetal heart rate (FHR) measures can be computed. Data from PhysioNet with reference fetal QRS locations was considered for validation, with SLR outperforming SL including ICA based detections. The error in estimated FHR using SLR was lower than 20 bpm for more than 80% of the processed files. The median error in 1 min based FHR estimation was 0.13 bpm, with a correlation between reference and estimated FHR of 0.48, which increased to 0.73 when considering only records for which estimated FHR > 110 bpm. This allows us to conclude that the proposed methodology is able to provide a clinically useful estimation of the FHR. PMID:25070210

  19. The Application of an Anatomical Database for Fetal Congenital Heart Disease

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Li; Pei, Qiu-Yan; Li, Yun-Tao; Yang, Zhen-Juan

    2015-01-01

    Background: Fetal congenital heart anomalies are the most common congenital anomalies in live births. Fetal echocardiography (FECG) is the only prenatal diagnostic approach used to detect fetal congenital heart disease (CHD). FECG is not widely used, and the antenatal diagnosis rate of CHD varies considerably. Thus, mastering the anatomical characteristics of different kinds of CHD is critical for ultrasound physicians to improve FECG technology. The aim of this study is to investigate the applications of a fetal CHD anatomic database in FECG teaching and training program. Methods: We evaluated 60 transverse section databases including 27 types of fetal CHD built in the Prenatal Diagnosis Center in Peking University People's Hospital. Each original database contained 400–700 cross-sectional digital images with a resolution of 3744 pixels × 5616 pixels. We imported the database into Amira 5.3.1 (Australia Visage Imaging Company, Australia) three-dimensional (3D) software. The database functions use a series of 3D software visual operations. The features of the fetal CHD anatomical database were analyzed to determine its applications in FECG continuing education and training. Results: The database was rebuilt using the 3D software. The original and rebuilt databases can be displayed dynamically, continuously, and synchronically and can be rotated at arbitrary angles. The sections from the dynamic displays and rotating angles are consistent with the sections in FECG. The database successfully reproduced the anatomic structures and spatial relationship features of different fetal CHDs. We established a fetal CHD anatomy training database and a standardized training database for FECG. Ultrasound physicians and students can learn the anatomical features of fetal CHD and FECG through either centralized training or distance education. Conclusions: The database of fetal CHD successfully reproduced the anatomic structures and spatial relationship of different kinds of

  20. Application of higher-order cepstral techniques in problems of fetal heart signal extraction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sabry-Rizk, Madiha; Zgallai, Walid; Hardiman, P.; O'Riordan, J.

    1996-10-01

    Recently, cepstral analysis based on second order statistics and homomorphic filtering techniques have been used in the adaptive decomposition of overlapping, or otherwise, and noise contaminated ECG complexes of mothers and fetals obtained by a transabdominal surface electrodes connected to a monitoring instrument, an interface card, and a PC. Differential time delays of fetal heart beats measured from a reference point located on the mother complex after transformation to cepstra domains are first obtained and this is followed by fetal heart rate variability computations. Homomorphic filtering in the complex cepstral domain and the subuent transformation to the time domain results in fetal complex recovery. However, three problems have been identified with second-order based cepstral techniques that needed rectification in this paper. These are (1) errors resulting from the phase unwrapping algorithms and leading to fetal complex perturbation, (2) the unavoidable conversion of noise statistics from Gaussianess to non-Gaussianess due to the highly non-linear nature of homomorphic transform does warrant stringent noise cancellation routines, (3) due to the aforementioned problems in (1) and (2), it is difficult to adaptively optimize windows to include all individual fetal complexes in the time domain based on amplitude thresholding routines in the complex cepstral domain (i.e. the task of `zooming' in on weak fetal complexes requires more processing time). The use of third-order based high resolution differential cepstrum technique results in recovery of the delay of the order of 120 milliseconds.

  1. [Detection of Heart Rate of Fetal ECG Based on STFT and BSS].

    PubMed

    Wang, Xu; Cai, Kun

    2016-01-01

    Changes in heart rate of fetal is function regulating performance of the circulatory system and the central nervous system, it is significant to detect heart rate of fetus in perinatal fetal. This paper puts forward the fetal heart rate detection method based on short time Fourier transform and blind source separation. First of all, the mixed ECG signal was preprocessed, and then the wavelet transform technique was used to separate the fetal ECG signal with noise from mixed ECG signal, after that, the short-time Fourier transform and the blind separation were carried on it, and then calculated the correlation coefficient of it, Finally, An independent component that it has strongest correlation with the original signal was selected to make FECG peak detection and calculated the fetal instantaneous heart rate. The experimental results show that the method can improve the detection rate of the FECG peak (R), and it has high accuracy in fixing peak(R) location in the case of low signal-noise ratio. PMID:27197491

  2. Thyroid hormone is required for growth adaptation to pressure load in the ovine fetal heart.

    PubMed

    Segar, Jeffrey L; Volk, Ken A; Lipman, Michael H B; Scholz, Thomas D

    2013-03-01

    Thyroid hormone exerts broad effects on the adult heart, but little is known regarding the role of thyroid hormone in the regulation of cardiac growth early in development and in response to pathophysiological conditions. To address this issue, we determined the effects of fetal thyroidectomy on cardiac growth and growth-related gene expression in control and pulmonary-artery-banded fetal sheep. Fetal thyroidectomy (THX) and/or placement of a restrictive pulmonary artery band (PAB) were performed at 126 ± 1 days of gestation (term, 145 days). Four groups of animals [n = 5-6 in each group; (i) control; (ii) fetal THX; (iii) fetal PAB; and (iv) fetal PAB + THX] were monitored for 1 week prior to being killed. Fetal heart rate was significantly lower in the two THX groups compared with the non-THX groups, while mean arterial blood pressure was similar among groups. Combined left and right ventricle free wall + septum weight, expressed per kilogram of fetal weight, was significantly increased in PAB (6.27 ± 0.85 g kg(-1)) compared with control animals (4.72 ± 0.12 g kg(-1)). Thyroidectomy significantly attenuated the increase in cardiac mass associated with PAB (4.94 ± 0.13 g kg(-1)), while THX alone had no detectable effect on heart mass (4.95 ± 0.27 g kg(-1)). The percentage of binucleated cardiomyocytes was significantly decreased in THX and PAB +THX groups (∼16%) compared with the non-THX groups (∼27%). No differences in levels of activated Akt, extracellular signal-regulated kinase or c-Jun N-terminal kinase were detected among the groups. Markers of cellular proliferation but not apoptosis or expression of growth-related genes were lower in the THX and THX+ PAB groups relative to thyroid-intact animals. These findings suggest that in the late-gestation fetal heart, thyroid hormone has important cellular growth functions in both physiological and pathophysiological states. Specifically, thyroid hormone is required for adaptive fetal cardiac growth in

  3. Development of a piezopolymer pressure sensor for a portable fetal heart rate monitor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zuckerwar, A. J.; Pretlow, R. A.; Stoughton, J. W.; Baker, D. A.

    1993-01-01

    A piezopolymer pressure sensor has been developed for service in a portable fetal heart rate monitor, which will permit an expectant mother to perform the fetal nonstress test, a standard predelivery test, in her home. Several sensors are mounted in an array on a belt worn by the mother. The sensor design conforms to the distinctive features of the fetal heart tone, namely, the acoustic signature, frequency spectrum, signal amplitude, and localization. The components of a sensor serve to fulfill five functions: signal detection, acceleration cancellation, acoustical isolation, electrical shielding, and electrical isolation of the mother. A theoretical analysis of the sensor response yields a numerical value for the sensor sensitivity, which is compared to experiment in an in vitro sensor calibration. Finally, an in vivo test on patients within the last six weeks of term reveals that nonstress test recordings from the acoustic monitor compare well with those obtained from conventional ultrasound.

  4. Fetal Heart Rate and Variability: Stability and Prediction to Developmental Outcomes in Early Childhood

    PubMed Central

    DiPietro, Janet A.; Bornstein, Marc H.; Hahn, Chun-Shin; Costigan, Kathleen; Achy-Brou, Aristide

    2008-01-01

    Stability in cardiac indicators before birth and their utility in predicting variation in postnatal development were examined. Fetal heart rate and variability were measured longitudinally from 20 through 38 weeks gestation (n = 137) and again at age 2 (n = 79). Significant within-individual stability during the prenatal period and into childhood was demonstrated. Fetal heart rate variability at or after 28 weeks gestation and steeper developmental trajectories were significantly associated with mental and psychomotor development at 2 years (n = 82) and language ability at 2.5 years (n = 61). These data suggest that the foundations of individual differences in autonomic control originate during gestation and the developmental momentum of the fetal period continues after birth. PMID:17988321

  5. Measurements of Ultrasonic Attenuation Properties of Mid-Gestational Fetal Pig Hearts

    PubMed Central

    Gibson, Allyson A.; Singh, Gautam K.; Hoffman, Joseph J.; Ludomirsky, Achiau; Holland, Mark R.

    2009-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to measure the relative attenuation properties of the left and right ventricles in fetal pig hearts and to compare the spatial variation in attenuation measurements with those observed in previously published backscatter measurements. Approximately 1.0 mm thick, short-axis slices of excised, formalin-fixed heart were examined from 15 mid-gestational fetal pigs using a 50-MHz single-element transducer. Measurements of the attenuation properties demonstrate regional differences in the left and right ventricular myocardium that appear consistent with the previously reported regional differences in apparent integrated backscatter measurements of the same fetal pig hearts. For regions of perpendicular insonification relative to the myofiber orientation, the right ventricular free wall showed larger values for the slope of the attenuation coefficient from 30–60 MHz (1.48 ± 0.22 dB/(cm•MHz) (mean ± SD (standard deviation)) and attenuation coefficient at 45 MHz (46.3 ± 7.3 dB/cm (mean ± SD)) than the left ventricular free wall (1.18 ± 0.24 dB/(cm•MHz) and 37.0 ± 7.9 dB/cm (mean ± SD) for slope of attenuation coefficient and attenuation coefficient at 45 MHz, respectively). This attenuation study supports the hypothesis that intrinsic differences in the myocardium of the left and right ventricles exist in fetal pig hearts at mid-gestation. PMID:18977067

  6. Fetal Heart Rate and Variability: Stability and Prediction to Developmental Outcomes in Early Childhood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DiPietro, Janet A.; Bornstein, Marc H.; Hahn, Chun-Shin; Costigan, Kathleen; Achy-Brou, Aristide

    2007-01-01

    Stability in cardiac indicators before birth and their utility in predicting variation in postnatal development were examined. Fetal heart rate and variability were measured longitudinally from 20 through 38 weeks gestation (n = 137) and again at age 2 (n = 79). Significant within-individual stability during the prenatal period and into childhood…

  7. Fetal Heart Rate Reactivity Differs by Women's Psychiatric Status: An Early Marker for Developmental Risk?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Monk, Catherine; Sloan, Richard P.; Myers, Michael M.; Ellman, Lauren; Werner, Elizabeth; Jeon, Jiyeon; Tager, Felice; Fifer, William P.

    2004-01-01

    Objective: To determine whether there are differences in fetal heart rate (FHR) reactivity associated with women's psychiatric status. Method: In 57 women in their 36th to 38th week of pregnancy (mean age 27 [+ or -] 6 years), electrocardiogram, blood pressure (BP), respiration (RSP), and FHR were measured during baseline and a psychological…

  8. A portable fetal heart monitor and its adaption to the detection of certain prenatal abnormalities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zahorian, Stephen A.

    1994-01-01

    There were three primary objectives for this task: (1) The investigation of the feasibility of making the fetal heart rate monitor portable, using a laptop computer; (2) Improvements in the signal processing for the monitor; and (3) Implementation of a real-time hardware software system. These tasks have been completed as discussed in the following section.

  9. Fetal autonomic brain age scores, segmented heart rate variability analysis, and traditional short term variability.

    PubMed

    Hoyer, Dirk; Kowalski, Eva-Maria; Schmidt, Alexander; Tetschke, Florian; Nowack, Samuel; Rudolph, Anja; Wallwitz, Ulrike; Kynass, Isabelle; Bode, Franziska; Tegtmeyer, Janine; Kumm, Kathrin; Moraru, Liviu; Götz, Theresa; Haueisen, Jens; Witte, Otto W; Schleußner, Ekkehard; Schneider, Uwe

    2014-01-01

    Disturbances of fetal autonomic brain development can be evaluated from fetal heart rate patterns (HRP) reflecting the activity of the autonomic nervous system. Although HRP analysis from cardiotocographic (CTG) recordings is established for fetal surveillance, temporal resolution is low. Fetal magnetocardiography (MCG), however, provides stable continuous recordings at a higher temporal resolution combined with a more precise heart rate variability (HRV) analysis. A direct comparison of CTG and MCG based HRV analysis is pending. The aims of the present study are: (i) to compare the fetal maturation age predicting value of the MCG based fetal Autonomic Brain Age Score (fABAS) approach with that of CTG based Dawes-Redman methodology; and (ii) to elaborate fABAS methodology by segmentation according to fetal behavioral states and HRP. We investigated MCG recordings from 418 normal fetuses, aged between 21 and 40 weeks of gestation. In linear regression models we obtained an age predicting value of CTG compatible short term variability (STV) of R (2) = 0.200 (coefficient of determination) in contrast to MCG/fABAS related multivariate models with R (2) = 0.648 in 30 min recordings, R (2) = 0.610 in active sleep segments of 10 min, and R (2) = 0.626 in quiet sleep segments of 10 min. Additionally segmented analysis under particular exclusion of accelerations (AC) and decelerations (DC) in quiet sleep resulted in a novel multivariate model with R (2) = 0.706. According to our results, fMCG based fABAS may provide a promising tool for the estimation of fetal autonomic brain age. Beside other traditional and novel HRV indices as possible indicators of developmental disturbances, the establishment of a fABAS score normogram may represent a specific reference. The present results are intended to contribute to further exploration and validation using independent data sets and multicenter research structures. PMID:25505399

  10. Modulation of Serotonin Transporter Function during Fetal Development Causes Dilated Heart Cardiomyopathy and Lifelong Behavioral Abnormalities

    PubMed Central

    Noorlander, Cornelle W.; Ververs, Frederique F. T.; Nikkels, Peter G. J.; van Echteld, Cees J. A.; Visser, Gerard H. A.; Smidt, Marten P.

    2008-01-01

    Background Women are at great risk for mood and anxiety disorders during their childbearing years and may become pregnant while taking antidepressant drugs. In the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most frequently prescribed drugs, while it is largely unknown whether this medication affects the development of the central nervous system of the fetus. The possible effects are the product of placental transfer efficiency, time of administration and dose of the respective SSRI. Methodology/Principal Findings In order to attain this information we have setup a study in which these parameters were measured and the consequences in terms of physiology and behavior are mapped. The placental transfer of fluoxetine and fluvoxamine, two commonly used SSRIs, was similar between mouse and human, indicating that the fetal exposure of these SSRIs in mice is comparable with the human situation. Fluvoxamine displayed a relatively low placental transfer, while fluoxetine showed a relatively high placental transfer. Using clinical doses of fluoxetine the mortality of the offspring increased dramatically, whereas the mortality was unaffected after fluvoxamine exposure. The majority of the fluoxetine-exposed offspring died postnatally of severe heart failure caused by dilated cardiomyopathy. Molecular analysis of fluoxetine-exposed offspring showed long-term alterations in serotonin transporter levels in the raphe nucleus. Furthermore, prenatal fluoxetine exposure resulted in depressive- and anxiety-related behavior in adult mice. In contrast, fluvoxamine-exposed mice did not show alterations in behavior and serotonin transporter levels. Decreasing the dose of fluoxetine resulted in higher survival rates and less dramatic effects on the long-term behavior in the offspring. Conclusions These results indicate that prenatal fluoxetine exposure affects fetal development, resulting in cardiomyopathy and a higher

  11. Isolation and characterization of multipotent cells from human fetal dermis.

    PubMed

    Chinnici, Cinzia Maria; Amico, Giandomenico; Monti, Marcello; Motta, Stefania; Casalone, Rosario; Petri, Sergio Li; Spada, Marco; Gridelli, Bruno; Conaldi, Pier Giulio

    2014-01-01

    We report that cells from human fetal dermis, termed here multipotent fetal dermal cells, can be isolated with high efficiency by using a nonenzymatic, cell outgrowth method. The resulting cell population was consistent with the definition of mesenchymal stromal cells by the International Society for Cellular Therapy. As multipotent fetal dermal cells proliferate extensively, with no loss of multilineage differentiation potential up to passage 25, they may be an ideal source for cell therapy to repair damaged tissues and organs. Multipotent fetal dermal cells were not recognized as targets by T lymphocytes in vitro, thus supporting their feasibility for allogenic transplantation. Moreover, the expansion protocol did not affect the normal phenotype and karyotype of cells. When compared with adult dermal cells, fetal cells displayed several advantages, including a greater cellular yield after isolation, the ability to proliferate longer, and the retention of differentiation potential. Interestingly, multipotent fetal dermal cells expressed the pluripotency marker SSEA4 (90.56 ± 3.15% fetal vs. 10.5 ± 8.5% adult) and coexpressed mesenchymal and epithelial markers (>80% CD90(+)/CK18(+) cells), coexpression lacking in the adult counterparts isolated under the same conditions. Multipotent fetal dermal cells were able to form capillary structures, as well as differentiate into a simple epithelium in vitro, indicating skin regeneration capabilities. PMID:23768775

  12. Using uterine activity to improve fetal heart rate variability analysis for detection of asphyxia during labor.

    PubMed

    Warmerdam, G J J; Vullings, R; Van Laar, J O E H; Van der Hout-Van der Jagt, M B; Bergmans, J W M; Schmitt, L; Oei, S G

    2016-03-01

    During labor, uterine contractions can cause temporary oxygen deficiency for the fetus. In case of severe and prolonged oxygen deficiency this can lead to asphyxia. The currently used technique for detection of asphyxia, cardiotocography (CTG), suffers from a low specificity. Recent studies suggest that analysis of fetal heart rate variability (HRV) in addition to CTG can provide information on fetal distress. However, interpretation of fetal HRV during labor is difficult due to the influence of uterine contractions on fetal HRV. The aim of this study is therefore to investigate whether HRV features differ during contraction and rest periods, and whether these differences can improve the detection of asphyxia. To this end, a case-control study was performed, using 14 cases with asphyxia that were matched with 14 healthy fetuses. We did not find significant differences for individual HRV features when calculated over the fetal heart rate without separating contractions and rest periods (p  >  0.30 for all HRV features). Separating contractions from rest periods did result in a significant difference. In particular the ratio between HRV features calculated during and outside contractions can improve discrimination between fetuses with and without asphyxia (p  <  0.04 for three out of four ratio HRV features that were studied in this paper). PMID:26862891

  13. Monitoring Fetal Heart Rate during Pregnancy: Contributions from Advanced Signal Processing and Wearable Technology

    PubMed Central

    Signorini, Maria G.

    2014-01-01

    Monitoring procedures are the basis to evaluate the clinical state of patients and to assess changes in their conditions, thus providing necessary interventions in time. Both these two objectives can be achieved by integrating technological development with methodological tools, thus allowing accurate classification and extraction of useful diagnostic information. The paper is focused on monitoring procedures applied to fetal heart rate variability (FHRV) signals, collected during pregnancy, in order to assess fetal well-being. The use of linear time and frequency techniques as well as the computation of non linear indices can contribute to enhancing the diagnostic power and reliability of fetal monitoring. The paper shows how advanced signal processing approaches can contribute to developing new diagnostic and classification indices. Their usefulness is evaluated by comparing two selected populations: normal fetuses and intra uterine growth restricted (IUGR) fetuses. Results show that the computation of different indices on FHRV signals, either linear and nonlinear, gives helpful indications to describe pathophysiological mechanisms involved in the cardiovascular and neural system controlling the fetal heart. As a further contribution, the paper briefly describes how the introduction of wearable systems for fetal ECG recording could provide new technological solutions improving the quality and usability of prenatal monitoring. PMID:24639886

  14. O/sup 6/-methylguanine DNA methyltransferase in human fetal tissues: fetal and maternal factors

    SciTech Connect

    D'Ambrosio, S.M.; Samuel, M.J.; Dutta-Choudhury, T.A.; Wani, A.A.

    1986-03-01

    O/sup 6/-Methylguanine methyltransferase (O/sup 6/-MT) was measured and compared in extracts of 7 human fetal tissues obtained from 21 different fetal specimens as a function of fetal age and race, and maternal smoking and drug usage. Activity was determined from the proteinase-K solubilized radioactivity transferred from the DNA to the O/sup 6/-MT. S9 homogenates were incubated with a heat depurinated (/sup 3/H)-methylnitrosourea alkylated DNA. Liver exhibited the highest activity followed by kidney, lung, small intestine, large intestine, skin and brain. Each of the tissues exhibited a 3- to 5-fold level of interindividual variation of O/sup 6/-MT. There did not appear to be any significant difference of O/sup 6/-MT in the tissues obtained from mothers who smoked cigarettes during pregnancy. Also, fetal race and age did not appear to account for the level of variation of O/sup 6/-MT. The fetal tissues obtained from an individual using phenobarbital and smoking exhibited 4-fold increases in O/sup 6/-MT activity. The tissues obtained from another individual on kidney dialysis were 2- to 3-fold higher than the normal population. These data suggest that the variation in human O/sup 6/-MT can not be explained by racial or smoking factors, but may be modulated by certain drugs.

  15. Use of Audible and Chart-recorded Ultrasonography to Monitor Fetal Heart Rate and Uterine Blood Flow Parameters in Cattle

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The objective of the present study was to evaluate the use of audible chart-recorded doppler ultrasonography (DUS) to monitor both uterine blood flow and fetal heart rate (FHR) during pregnancy in dairy cattle. Possible applications of DUS include the monitoring of fetal distress when a pregnancy be...

  16. Toward the improvement in fetal monitoring during labor with the inclusion of maternal heart rate analysis.

    PubMed

    Gonçalves, Hernâni; Pinto, Paula; Silva, Manuela; Ayres-de-Campos, Diogo; Bernardes, João

    2016-04-01

    Fetal heart rate (FHR) monitoring is used routinely in labor, but conventional methods have a limited capacity to detect fetal hypoxia/acidosis. An exploratory study was performed on the simultaneous assessment of maternal heart rate (MHR) and FHR variability, to evaluate their evolution during labor and their capacity to detect newborn acidemia. MHR and FHR were simultaneously recorded in 51 singleton term pregnancies during the last two hours of labor and compared with newborn umbilical artery blood (UAB) pH. Linear/nonlinear indices were computed separately for MHR and FHR. Interaction between MHR and FHR was quantified through the same indices on FHR-MHR and through their correlation and cross-entropy. Univariate and bivariate statistical analysis included nonparametric confidence intervals and statistical tests, receiver operating characteristic curves and linear discriminant analysis. Progression of labor was associated with a significant increase in most MHR and FHR linear indices, whereas entropy indices decreased. FHR alone and in combination with MHR as FHR-MHR evidenced the highest auROC values for prediction of fetal acidemia, with 0.76 and 0.88 for the UAB pH thresholds 7.20 and 7.15, respectively. The inclusion of MHR on bivariate analysis achieved sensitivity and specificity values of nearly 100 and 89.1 %, respectively. These results suggest that simultaneous analysis of MHR and FHR may improve the identification of fetal acidemia compared with FHR alone, namely during the last hour of labor. PMID:26219610

  17. Consumer information on fetal heart rate monitoring during labor: a content analysis: a content analysis.

    PubMed

    Torres, Jennifer; De Vries, Raymond; Low, Lisa Kane

    2014-01-01

    Electronic fetal monitoring (EFM) is used for the majority of births that occur in the United States. While there are indications for use of EFM for women with high-risk pregnancies, its use in low-risk pregnancies is less evidence-based. In low-risk women, the use of EFM is associated with an increased risk for cesarean birth compared with the use of intermittent auscultation of the fetal heart rate. The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the existence of evidence-based information on fetal heart rate monitoring in popular consumer-focused maternity books and Web sites. Content analysis of information in consumer-oriented Web sites and books was completed using the NVivo software (QRSinternational, Melbourne, Australia). Themes identified included lack of clear terminology when discussing fetal monitoring, use of broad categories such as low risk and high risk, limited presentation of information about intermittent auscultation, and presentation of EFM as the standard of care, particularly upon admission into the labor unit. More than one-third of the sources did not mention auscultation, and conflicting information about monitoring methods was presented. The availability of accurate, publically accessible information offers consumers the opportunity to translate knowledge into the power to seek evidence-based care practices during their maternity care experience. PMID:24781772

  18. Gestational Dietary Protein Is Associated with Sex Specific Decrease in Blood Flow, Fetal Heart Growth and Post-Natal Blood Pressure of Progeny

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Study Overview The incidence of adverse pregnancy outcomes is higher in pregnancies where the fetus is male. Sex specific differences in feto-placental perfusion indices identified by Doppler assessment have recently been associated with placental insufficiency and fetal growth restriction. This study aims to investigate sex specific differences in placental perfusion and to correlate these changes with fetal growth. It represents the largest comprehensive study under field conditions of uterine hemodynamics in a monotocous species, with a similar long gestation period to the human. Primiparous 14mo heifers in Australia (n=360) and UK (n=180) were either individually or group fed, respectively, diets with differing protein content (18, 14, 10 or 7% crude protein (CP)) from 60d prior to 98 days post conception (dpc). Fetuses and placentae were excised at 98dpc (n = 48). Fetal development an median uterine artery blood flow were assessed monthly from 36dpc until term using B-mode and Doppler ultrasonography. MUA blood flow to the male feto-placental unit increased in early pregnancy associated with increased fetal growth. Protein restriction before and shortly after conception (-60d up to 23dpc) increased MUA diameter and indices of velocity during late pregnancy, reduced fetal heart weight in the female fetus and increased heart rate at birth, but decreased systolic blood pressure at six months of age. Conclusion and Significance Sex specific differences both in feto-placental Doppler perfusion indices and response of these indices to dietary perturbations were observed. Further, maternal diet affected development of fetal cardiovascular system associated with altered fetal haemodynamics in utero, with such effects having a sex bias. The results from this study provide further insight into the gender specific circulatory differences present in the fetal period and developing cardiovascular system. PMID:25915506

  19. Reducing sojourn points from recurrence plots to improve transition detection: Application to fetal heart rate transitions.

    PubMed

    Zaylaa, Amira; Charara, Jamal; Girault, Jean-Marc

    2015-08-01

    The analysis of biomedical signals demonstrating complexity through recurrence plots is challenging. Quantification of recurrences is often biased by sojourn points that hide dynamic transitions. To overcome this problem, time series have previously been embedded at high dimensions. However, no one has quantified the elimination of sojourn points and rate of detection, nor the enhancement of transition detection has been investigated. This paper reports our on-going efforts to improve the detection of dynamic transitions from logistic maps and fetal hearts by reducing sojourn points. Three signal-based recurrence plots were developed, i.e. embedded with specific settings, derivative-based and m-time pattern. Determinism, cross-determinism and percentage of reduced sojourn points were computed to detect transitions. For logistic maps, an increase of 50% and 34.3% in sensitivity of detection over alternatives was achieved by m-time pattern and embedded recurrence plots with specific settings, respectively, and with a 100% specificity. For fetal heart rates, embedded recurrence plots with specific settings provided the best performance, followed by derivative-based recurrence plot, then unembedded recurrence plot using the determinism parameter. The relative errors between healthy and distressed fetuses were 153%, 95% and 91%. More than 50% of sojourn points were eliminated, allowing better detection of heart transitions triggered by gaseous exchange factors. This could be significant in improving the diagnosis of fetal state. PMID:25308517

  20. Spatio-temporal image correlation (STIC): new technology for evaluation of the fetal heart.

    PubMed

    DeVore, G R; Falkensammer, P; Sklansky, M S; Platt, L D

    2003-10-01

    Spatio-temporal image correlation (STIC) is a new approach for clinical assessment of the fetal heart. It offers an easy to use technique to acquire data from the fetal heart and to aid in visualization with both two-dimensional and three-dimensional (3D) cine sequences. The acquisition is performed in two steps: first, images are acquired by a single, automatic volume sweep. Second, the system analyzes the image data according to their spatial and temporal domain and processes an online dynamic 3D image sequence that is displayed in a multiplanar reformatted cross-sectional display and/or a surface rendered display. The examiner can navigate within the heart, re-slice, and produce all of the standard image planes necessary for a comprehensive diagnosis. The advantages of STIC for use in evaluation of the fetal heart are as follows: the technique delivers a temporal resolution which corresponds to a B-mode frame rate of approximately 80 frames/s; it provides the examiner with an unlimited number of images for review; it allows for correlation between image planes that are perpendicular to the main image acquisition plane; it may shorten the evaluation time when complex heart defects are suspected; it enables the reconstruction of a 3D rendered image that contains depth and volume which may provide additional information that is not available from the thin multiplanar image slices (e.g. for pulmonary veins, septal thickness); it lends itself to storage and review of volume data by the examiner or by experts at a remote site; it provides the examiner with the ability to review all images in a looped cine sequence. PMID:14528474

  1. Direct effect of cocaine on epigenetic regulation of PKCepsilon gene repression in the fetal rat heart.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Kurt; Zhang, Haitao; Zhang, Lubo

    2009-10-01

    Maternal cocaine administration during gestation caused a down-regulation of PKCepsilon expression in the heart of adult offspring resulting in an increased sensitivity to ischemia and reperfusion injury. The present study investigated the direct effect of cocaine in epigenetic modification of PKCepsilon gene repression in the fetal heart. Hearts were isolated from gestational day 17 fetal rats and treated with cocaine in an ex vivo organ culture system. Cocaine treatment for 48 h resulted in significant decreases in PKCepsilon protein and mRNA abundance and increases in CpG methylation at two SP1 binding sites in the PKCepsilon promoter region (-346 and -268). Electrophoretic mobility shift assays demonstrated that CpG methylation of both SP1 sites inhibited SP1 binding. Consistently, chromatin immunoprecipitation assays showed that cocaine treatment significantly decreased binding of SP1 to the SP1 sites in the intact fetal heart. Reporter gene assays revealed that site-directed mutations of CpG methylation at both SP1 sites significantly reduced the PKCepsilon promoter activity while methylation of a single site at either -346 or -268 did not have a significant effect. The causal effect of increased methylation in the cocaine-induced down-regulation of PKCepsilon was demonstrated with the use of DNA methylation inhibitors. The presence of either 5-aza-2'-deoxycytodine or procainamide blocked the cocaine-induced increase in SP1 sites methylation and decrease in PKCepsilon mRNA. The results demonstrate a direct effect of cocaine in epigenetic modification of DNA methylation and programming of cardiac PKCepsilon gene repression linking prenatal cocaine exposure and pathophysiological consequences in the heart of adult offspring. PMID:19538969

  2. Sca-1+ cells from fetal heart with high aldehyde dehydrogenase activity exhibit enhanced gene expression for self-renewal, proliferation, and survival.

    PubMed

    Dey, Devaveena; Pan, Guodong; Varma, Nadimpalli Ravi S; Palaniyandi, Suresh Selvaraj

    2015-01-01

    Stem/progenitor cells from multiple tissues have been isolated based on enhanced activity of cytosolic aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) enzyme. ALDH activity has emerged as a reliable marker for stem/progenitor cells, such that ALDH(bright/high) cells from multiple tissues have been shown to possess enhanced stemness properties (self-renewal and multipotency). So far though, not much is known about ALDH activity in specific fetal organs. In this study, we sought to analyze the presence and activity of the ALDH enzyme in the stem cell antigen-1-positive (Sca-1+) cells of fetal human heart. Biochemical assays showed that a subpopulation of Sca-1+ cells (15%) possess significantly high ALDH1 activity. This subpopulation showed increased expression of self-renewal markers compared to the ALDH(low) fraction. The ALDH(high) fraction also exhibited significant increase in proliferation and pro-survival gene expression. In addition, only the ALDH(high) and not the ALDH(low) fraction could give rise to all the cell types of the original population, demonstrating multipotency. ALDH(high) cells showed increased resistance against aldehyde challenge compared to ALDH(low) cells. These results indicate that ALDH(high) subpopulation of the cultured human fetal cells has enhanced self-renewal, multipotency, high proliferation, and survival, indicating that this might represent a primitive stem cell population within the fetal human heart. PMID:25861413

  3. A Three-Way Interaction among Maternal and Fetal Variants Contributing to Congenital Heart Defects.

    PubMed

    Li, Ming; Li, Jingyun; Wei, Changshuai; Lu, Qing; Tang, Xinyu; Erickson, Stephen W; MacLeod, Stewart L; Hobbs, Charlotte A

    2016-01-01

    Congenital heart defects (CHDs) develop through a complex interplay between genetic variants, epigenetic modifications, and maternal environmental exposures. Genetic studies of CHDs have commonly tested single genetic variants for association with CHDs. Less attention has been given to complex gene-by-gene and gene-by-environment interactions. In this study, we applied a recently developed likelihood-ratio Mann-Whitney (LRMW) method to detect joint actions among maternal variants, fetal variants, and maternal environmental exposures, allowing for high-order statistical interactions. All subjects are participants from the National Birth Defect Prevention Study, including 623 mother-offspring pairs with CHD-affected pregnancies and 875 mother-offspring pairs with unaffected pregnancies. Each individual has 872 single nucleotide polymorphisms encoding for critical enzymes in the homocysteine, folate, and trans-sulfuration pathways. By using the LRMW method, three variants (fetal rs625879, maternal rs2169650, and maternal rs8177441) were identified with a joint association to CHD risk (nominal P-value = 1.13e-07). These three variants are located within genes BHMT2, GSTP1, and GPX3, respectively. Further examination indicated that maternal SNP rs2169650 may interact with both fetal SNP rs625879 and maternal SNP rs8177441. Our findings suggest that the risk of CHD may be influenced by both the intragenerational interaction within the maternal genome and the intergenerational interaction between maternal and fetal genomes. PMID:26612412

  4. Three-dimensional scaffolds of fetal decellularized hearts exhibit enhanced potential to support cardiac cells in comparison to the adult.

    PubMed

    Silva, A C; Rodrigues, S C; Caldeira, J; Nunes, A M; Sampaio-Pinto, V; Resende, T P; Oliveira, M J; Barbosa, M A; Thorsteinsdóttir, S; Nascimento, D S; Pinto-do-Ó, P

    2016-10-01

    A main challenge in cardiac tissue engineering is the limited data on microenvironmental cues that sustain survival, proliferation and functional proficiency of cardiac cells. The aim of our study was to evaluate the potential of fetal (E18) and adult myocardial extracellular matrix (ECM) to support cardiac cells. Acellular three-dimensional (3D) bioscaffolds were obtained by parallel decellularization of fetal- and adult-heart explants thereby ensuring reliable comparison. Acellular scaffolds retained main constituents of the cardiac ECM including distinctive biochemical and structural meshwork features of the native equivalents. In vitro, fetal and adult ECM-matrices supported 3D culture of heart-derived Sca-1(+) progenitors and of neonatal cardiomyocytes, which migrated toward the center of the scaffold and displayed elongated morphology and excellent viability. At the culture end-point, more Sca-1(+) cells and cardiomyocytes were found adhered and inside fetal bioscaffolds, compared to the adult. Higher repopulation yields of Sca-1(+) cells on fetal ECM relied on β1-integrin independent mitogenic signals. Sca-1(+) cells on fetal bioscaffolds showed a gene expression profile that anticipates the synthesis of a permissive microenvironment for cardiomyogenesis. Our findings demonstrate the superior potential of the 3D fetal microenvironment to support and instruct cardiac cells. This knowledge should be integrated in the design of next-generation biomimetic materials for heart repair. PMID:27424216

  5. Humans at high altitude: hypoxia and fetal growth

    PubMed Central

    Moore, Lorna G.; Charles, Shelton M.; Julian, Colleen G.

    2011-01-01

    High-altitude studies offer insight into the evolutionary processes and physiological mechanisms affecting the early phases of the human lifespan. Chronic hypoxia slows fetal growth and reduces the pregnancy-associated rise in uterine artery (UA) blood flow. Multigenerational vs. shorter-term high-altitude residents are protected from the altitude-associated reductions in UA flow and fetal growth. Presently unknown is whether this fetal-growth protection is due to the greater delivery or metabolism of oxygen, glucose or other substrates or to other considerations such as mechanical factors protecting fragile fetal villi, the creation of a reserve protecting against ischemia/reperfusion injury, or improved placental O2 transfer as the result of narrowing the A-V O2 difference and raising uterine PvO2. Placental growth and development appear to be normal or modified at high altitude in ways likely to benefit diffusion. Much remains to be learned concerning the effects of chronic hypoxia on embryonic development. Further research is required for identifying the fetoplacental and maternal mechanisms responsible for transforming the maternal vasculature and regulating UA blood flow and fetal growth. Genomic as well as epigenetic studies are opening new avenues of investigation that can yield insights into the basic pathways and evolutionary processes involved. PMID:21536153

  6. Fetal cardiac interventions: clinical and experimental research.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Shi-Min; Humuruola, Gulimila

    2016-01-01

    Fetal cardiac interventions for congenital heart diseases may alleviate heart dysfunction, prevent them evolving into hypoplastic left heart syndrome, achieve biventricular outcome and improve fetal survival. Candidates for clinical fetal cardiac interventions are now restricted to cases of critical aortic valve stenosis with evolving hypoplastic left heart syndrome, pulmonary atresia with an intact ventricular septum and evolving hypoplastic right heart syndrome, and hypoplastic left heart syndrome with an intact or highly restrictive atrial septum as well as fetal heart block. The therapeutic options are advocated as prenatal aortic valvuloplasty, pulmonary valvuloplasty, creation of interatrial communication and fetal cardiac pacing. Experimental research on fetal cardiac intervention involves technical modifications of catheter-based cardiac clinical interventions and open fetal cardiac bypass that cannot be applied in human fetuses for the time being. Clinical fetal cardiac interventions are plausible for midgestation fetuses with the above-mentioned congenital heart defects. The technical success, biventricular outcome and fetal survival are continuously being improved in the conditions of the sophisticated multidisciplinary team, equipment, techniques and postnatal care. Experimental research is laying the foundations and may open new fields for catheter-based clinical techniques. In the present article, the clinical therapeutic options and experimental fetal cardiac interventions are described. PMID:27279868

  7. Fetal cardiac interventions: clinical and experimental research

    PubMed Central

    Humuruola, Gulimila

    2016-01-01

    Fetal cardiac interventions for congenital heart diseases may alleviate heart dysfunction, prevent them evolving into hypoplastic left heart syndrome, achieve biventricular outcome and improve fetal survival. Candidates for clinical fetal cardiac interventions are now restricted to cases of critical aortic valve stenosis with evolving hypoplastic left heart syndrome, pulmonary atresia with an intact ventricular septum and evolving hypoplastic right heart syndrome, and hypoplastic left heart syndrome with an intact or highly restrictive atrial septum as well as fetal heart block. The therapeutic options are advocated as prenatal aortic valvuloplasty, pulmonary valvuloplasty, creation of interatrial communication and fetal cardiac pacing. Experimental research on fetal cardiac intervention involves technical modifications of catheter-based cardiac clinical interventions and open fetal cardiac bypass that cannot be applied in human fetuses for the time being. Clinical fetal cardiac interventions are plausible for midgestation fetuses with the above-mentioned congenital heart defects. The technical success, biventricular outcome and fetal survival are continuously being improved in the conditions of the sophisticated multidisciplinary team, equipment, techniques and postnatal care. Experimental research is laying the foundations and may open new fields for catheter-based clinical techniques. In the present article, the clinical therapeutic options and experimental fetal cardiac interventions are described. PMID:27279868

  8. Correlating multidimensional fetal heart rate variability analysis with acid-base balance at birth.

    PubMed

    Frasch, Martin G; Xu, Yawen; Stampalija, Tamara; Durosier, Lucien D; Herry, Christophe; Wang, Xiaogang; Casati, Daniela; Seely, Andrew Je; Alfirevic, Zarko; Gao, Xin; Ferrazzi, Enrico

    2014-12-01

    Fetal monitoring during labour currently fails to accurately detect acidemia. We developed a method to assess the multidimensional properties of fetal heart rate variability (fHRV) from trans-abdominal fetal electrocardiogram (fECG) during labour. We aimed to assess this novel bioinformatics approach for correlation between fHRV and neonatal pH or base excess (BE) at birth.We enrolled a prospective pilot cohort of uncomplicated singleton pregnancies at 38-42 weeks' gestation in Milan, Italy, and Liverpool, UK. Fetal monitoring was performed by standard cardiotocography. Simultaneously, with fECG (high sampling frequency) was recorded. To ensure clinician blinding, fECG information was not displayed. Data from the last 60 min preceding onset of second-stage labour were analyzed using clinically validated continuous individualized multiorgan variability analysis (CIMVA) software in 5 min overlapping windows. CIMVA allows simultaneous calculation of 101 fHRV measures across five fHRV signal analysis domains. We validated our mathematical prediction model internally with 80:20 cross-validation split, comparing results to cord pH and BE at birth.The cohort consisted of 60 women with neonatal pH values at birth ranging from 7.44 to 6.99 and BE from -0.3 to -18.7 mmol L(-1). Our model predicted pH from 30 fHRV measures (R(2) = 0.90, P < 0.001) and BE from 21 fHRV measures (R(2) = 0.77, P < 0.001).Novel bioinformatics approach (CIMVA) applied to fHRV derived from trans-abdominal fECG during labor correlated well with acid-base balance at birth. Further refinement and validation in larger cohorts are needed. These new measurements of fHRV might offer a new opportunity to predict fetal acid-base balance at birth. PMID:25407948

  9. Diagnostic Accuracy of Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring in the Identification of Neonatal Encephalopathy

    PubMed Central

    GRAHAM, Ernest M.; ADAMI, Rebecca R.; MCKENNEY, Stephanie L.; JENNINGS, Jacky M.; BURD, Irina; WITTER, Frank R.

    2014-01-01

    Objective To estimate the diagnostic accuracy of electronic fetal heart rate abnormalities in the identification of neonates with encephalopathy treated with whole-body hypothermia. Methods Between January 1, 2007, and July 1, 2013, there were 39 neonates born at two hospitals within our system treated with whole-body hypothermia within 6 hours of birth. Neurologically normal controls were matched to each case by gestational age and mode of delivery in a 2:1 fashion. The last hour of electronic fetal heart rate monitoring before delivery was evaluated by three obstetricians blinded to outcome. Results The differences in tracing category were not significantly different (cases 10.3% I, 76.9% II, 12.8% III; controls 9.0% I, 89.7% II, 1.3% III, p=0.18). Bivariate analysis showed cases had significantly increased late decelerations, total deceleration area 30 (debt 30) and 60 minutes (debt 60) prior to delivery and were more likely to be nonreactive. Multivariable logistic regression showed cases had a significant decrease in early decelerations (P=0.03) and a significant increase in debt 30 (0.01) and debt 60 (P=0.005). The area under the ROC curve, sensitivity and specificity were 0.72, 23.1%, 94.9% for early decelerations; 0.66, 33.3% and 87.2% for debt 30 and 0.68, 35.9% and 89.7% for debt 60. Conclusion Abnormalities during the last hour of fetal heart rate monitoring before delivery are poorly predictive of neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy qualifying for whole-body hypothermia treatment within 6 hours of birth. PMID:25162250

  10. Maternal and Fetal Outcomes in Pregnant Women with a Prosthetic Mechanical Heart Valve

    PubMed Central

    Ayad, Sherif W.; Hassanein, Mahmoud M.; Mohamed, Elsayed A.; Gohar, Ahmed M.

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND Pregnancy is associated with several cardiocirculatory changes that can significantly impact underlying cardiac disease. These changes include an increase in cardiac output, sodium, and water retention leading to blood volume expansion, and reductions in systemic vascular resistance and systemic blood pressure. In addition, pregnancy results in a hypercoagulable state that increases the risk of thromboembolic complications. OBJECTIVES The aim of this study is to assess the maternal and fetal outcomes of pregnant women with mechanical prosthetic heart valves (PHVs). METHODS This is a prospective observational study that included 100 pregnant patients with cardiac mechanical valve prostheses on anticoagulant therapy. The main maternal outcomes included thromboembolic or hemorrhagic complications, prosthetic valve thrombosis, and acute decompensated heart failure. Fetal outcomes included miscarriage, fetal death, live birth, small-for-gestational age, and warfarin embryopathy. The relationship between the following were observed: – Maternal and fetal complications and the site of the replaced valve (mitral, aortic, or double)– Maternal and fetal complications and warfarin dosage (≤5 mg, >5 mg)– Maternal and fetal complications and the type of anticoagulation administered during the first trimester RESULTS This study included 60 patients (60%) with mitral valve replacement (MVR), 22 patients (22%) with aortic valve replacement (AVR), and 18 patients (18%) with double valve replacement (DVR). A total of 65 patients (65%) received >5 mg of oral anticoagulant (warfarin), 33 patients (33%) received ≤5 mg of warfarin, and 2 patients (2%) received low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH; enoxaparin sodium) throughout the pregnancy. A total of 17 patients (17%) received oral anticoagulant (warfarin) during the first trimester: 9 patients received a daily warfarin dose of >5 mg while the remaining 8 patients received a daily dose of ≤5 mg. Twenty

  11. Isolation, Culture, and Imaging of Human Fetal Pancreatic Cell Clusters

    PubMed Central

    Lopez, Ana D.; Kayali, Ayse G.; Hayek, Alberto; King, Charles C.

    2014-01-01

    For almost 30 years, scientists have demonstrated that human fetal ICCs transplanted under the kidney capsule of nude mice matured into functioning endocrine cells, as evidenced by a significant increase in circulating human C-peptide following glucose stimulation1-9. However in vitro, genesis of insulin producing cells from human fetal ICCs is low10; results reminiscent of recent experiments performed with human embryonic stem cells (hESC), a renewable source of cells that hold great promise as a potential therapeutic treatment for type 1 diabetes. Like ICCs, transplantation of partially differentiated hESC generate glucose responsive, insulin producing cells, but in vitro genesis of insulin producing cells from hESC is much less robust11-17. A complete understanding of the factors that influence the growth and differentiation of endocrine precursor cells will likely require data generated from both ICCs and hESC. While a number of protocols exist to generate insulin producing cells from hESC in vitro11-22, far fewer exist for ICCs10,23,24. Part of that discrepancy likely comes from the difficulty of working with human fetal pancreas. Towards that end, we have continued to build upon existing methods to isolate fetal islets from human pancreases with gestational ages ranging from 12 to 23 weeks, grow the cells as a monolayer or in suspension, and image for cell proliferation, pancreatic markers and human hormones including glucagon and C-peptide. ICCs generated by the protocol described below result in C-peptide release after transplantation under the kidney capsule of nude mice that are similar to C-peptide levels obtained by transplantation of fresh tissue6. Although the examples presented here focus upon the pancreatic endoderm proliferation and β cell genesis, the protocol can be employed to study other aspects of pancreatic development, including exocrine, ductal, and other hormone producing cells. PMID:24895054

  12. Eleven fetal echocardiographic planes using 4-dimensional ultrasound with spatio-temporal image correlation (STIC): a logical approach to fetal heart volume analysis

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Theoretically, a cross-sectional image of any cardiac planes can be obtained from a STIC fetal heart volume dataset. We described a method to display 11 fetal echocardiographic planes from STIC volumes. Methods Fetal heart volume datasets were acquired by transverse acquisition from 200 normal fetuses at 15 to 40 weeks of gestation. Analysis of the volume datasets using the described technique to display 11 echocardiographic planes in the multiplanar display mode were performed offline. Results Volume datasets from 18 fetuses were excluded due to poor image resolution. The mean visualization rates for all echocardiographic planes at 15-17, 18-22, 23-27, 28-32 and 33-40 weeks of gestation fetuses were 85.6% (range 45.2-96.8%, N = 31), 92.9% (range 64.0-100%, N = 64), 93.4% (range 51.4-100%, N = 37), 88.7%(range 54.5-100%, N = 33) and 81.8% (range 23.5-100%, N = 17) respectively. Conclusions Overall, the applied technique can favorably display the pertinent echocardiographic planes. Description of the presented method provides a logical approach to explore the fetal heart volumes. PMID:20843340

  13. Selective Toll-Like Receptor Expression in Human Fetal Lung

    PubMed Central

    Petrikin, Joshua E; Gaedigk, Roger; Leeder, J Steven; Truog, William E

    2010-01-01

    Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are critical components of the innate immune system, acting as pattern recognition molecules and triggering an inflammatory response. TLR associated gene products are of interest in modulating inflammatory related pulmonary diseases of the neonate. The ontogeny of TLR related genes in human fetal lung has not been previously described and could elucidate additional functions and identify strategies for attenuating the effects of fetal inflammation. We examined the expression of 84 TLR related genes on 23 human fetal lung samples from three groups with estimated ages of 60 (57-59d), 90 (89-91d), and 130 (117-154d) days. Using a false detection rate algorithm, we identified 32 genes displaying developmental regulation with TLR2 having the greatest up-regulation of TLR genes (9.2 fold increase) and TLR4 unchanged. We confirmed the TLR2 up-regulation by examining an additional 133 fetal lung tissue samples with a fluorogenic polymerase chain reaction assay (TaqMan®) and found an exponential best-fit curve over the time studied. The best-fit curve predicts a 6.1 fold increase from 60d to 130d. We conclude that TLR2 is developmentally expressed from the early pseudoglandular stage of lung development to the canalicular stage. PMID:20581745

  14. Isolation of Leukocytes from the Human Maternal-fetal Interface.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yi; Plazyo, Olesya; Romero, Roberto; Hassan, Sonia S; Gomez-Lopez, Nardhy

    2015-01-01

    Pregnancy is characterized by the infiltration of leukocytes in the reproductive tissues and at the maternal-fetal interface (decidua basalis and decidua parietalis). This interface is the anatomical site of contact between maternal and fetal tissues; therefore, it is an immunological site of action during pregnancy. Infiltrating leukocytes at the maternal-fetal interface play a central role in implantation, pregnancy maintenance, and timing of delivery. Therefore, phenotypic and functional characterizations of these leukocytes will provide insight into the mechanisms that lead to pregnancy disorders. Several protocols have been described in order to isolate infiltrating leukocytes from the decidua basalis and decidua parietalis; however, the lack of consistency in the reagents, enzymes, and times of incubation makes it difficult to compare these results. Described herein is a novel approach that combines the use of gentle mechanical and enzymatic dissociation techniques to preserve the viability and integrity of extracellular and intracellular markers in leukocytes isolated from the human tissues at the maternal-fetal interface. Aside from immunophenotyping, cell culture, and cell sorting, the future applications of this protocol are numerous and varied. Following this protocol, the isolated leukocytes can be used to determine DNA methylation, expression of target genes, in vitro leukocyte functionality (i.e., phagocytosis, cytotoxicity, T-cell proliferation, and plasticity, etc.), and the production of reactive oxygen species at the maternal-fetal interface. Additionally, using the described protocol, this laboratory has been able to describe new and rare leukocytes at the maternal-fetal interface. PMID:26067211

  15. Enabling research with human embryonic and fetal tissue resources

    PubMed Central

    Gerrelli, Dianne; Lisgo, Steven; Copp, Andrew J.; Lindsay, Susan

    2015-01-01

    Summary Congenital anomalies are a significant burden on human health. Understanding the developmental origins of such anomalies is key to developing potential therapies. The Human Developmental Biology Resource (HDBR), based in London and Newcastle UK, was established to provide embryonic and fetal material for a variety of human studies ranging from single gene expression analysis to large scale genomic/transcriptomic studies. Increasingly HDBR material is enabling the derivation of stem cell lines and contributing towards developments in tissue engineering. Use of the HDBR and other fetal tissue resources discussed here will contribute to the long term aims of understanding the causation and pathogenesis of congenital anomalies, and developing new methods for their treatment and prevention. PMID:26395135

  16. Fetal Heart

    MedlinePlus

    ... There is actually no direct contact between the circulatory systems of the mother and fetus. The fetus does ... use its own lungs until birth, so its circulatory system is different from that of a newborn baby. ...

  17. Fetal Diagnostics and Fetal Intervention.

    PubMed

    McLaughlin, Ericka S; Schlosser, Brian A; Border, William L

    2016-03-01

    Advances in ultrasound technology and specialized training have allowed clinicians to diagnose congenital heart disease in utero and counsel families on perinatal outcomes and management strategies, including fetal cardiac interventions and fetal surgery. This article gives a detailed approach to fetal cardiac assessment and provides the reader with accompanying figures and video clips to illustrate unique views and sweeps invaluable to diagnosing congenital heart disease. We demonstrate that using a sequential segmental approach to evaluate cardiac anatomy enables one to decipher the most complex forms of congenital heart disease. Also provided is a review of fetal cardiac intervention and surgery from the fetal cardiologist's perspective. PMID:26876119

  18. Perivascular mesenchymal progenitors in human fetal and adult liver.

    PubMed

    Gerlach, Jörg C; Over, Patrick; Turner, Morris E; Thompson, Robert L; Foka, Hubert G; Chen, William C W; Péault, Bruno; Gridelli, Bruno; Schmelzer, Eva

    2012-12-10

    The presence of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) has been described in various organs. Pericytes possess a multilineage differentiation potential and have been suggested to be one of the developmental sources for MSCs. In human liver, pericytes have not been defined. Here, we describe the identification, purification, and characterization of pericytes in human adult and fetal liver. Flow cytometry sorting revealed that human adult and fetal liver contains 0.56%±0.81% and 0.45%±0.39% of CD146(+)CD45(-)CD56(-)CD34(-) pericytes, respectively. Of these, 41% (adult) and 30% (fetal) were alkaline phosphatase-positive (ALP(+)). In situ, pericytes were localized around periportal blood vessels and were positive for NG2 and vimentin. Purified pericytes could be cultured extensively and had low population doubling times. Immunofluorescence of cultures demonstrated that cells were positive for pericyte and mesenchymal cell markers CD146, NG2, CD90, CD140b, and vimentin, and negative for endothelial, hematopoietic, stellate, muscle, or liver epithelial cell markers von Willebrand factor, CD31, CD34, CD45, CD144, CD326, CK19, albumin, α-fetoprotein, CYP3A7, glial fibrillary acid protein, MYF5, and Pax7 by gene expression; myogenin and alpha-smooth muscle actin expression were variable. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis of cultures confirmed surface expression of CD146, CD73, CD90, CD10, CD13, CD44, CD105, and ALP and absence of human leukocyte antigen-DR. In vitro differentiation assays demonstrated that cells possessed robust osteogenic and myogenic, but low adipogenic and low chondrogenic differentiation potentials. In functional in vitro assays, cells had typical mesenchymal strong migratory and invasive activity. In conclusion, human adult and fetal livers harbor pericytes that are similar to those found in other organs and are distinct from hepatic stellate cells. PMID:22931482

  19. High resolution MR imaging of the fetal heart with cardiac triggering: a feasibility study in the sheep fetus.

    PubMed

    Yamamura, Jin; Schnackenburg, Bernhard; Kooijmann, Hendrik; Frisch, Michael; Hecher, Kurt; Adam, Gerhard; Wedegärtner, Ulrike

    2009-10-01

    The aim of this study was to perform fetal cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with triggering of the fetal heart beat in utero in a sheep model. All experimental protocols were reviewed and the usage of ewes and fetuses was approved by the local animal protection authorities. Images of the hearts of six pregnant ewes were obtained by using a 1.5-T MR system (Philips Medical Systems, Best, Netherlands). The fetuses were chronically instrumented with a carotid catheter to measure the fetal heart frequency for the cardiac triggering. Pulse wave triggered, breath-hold cine-MRI with steady-state free precession (SSFP) was achieved in short axis, two-, four- and three-chamber views. The left ventricular volume and thus the function were measured from the short axis. The fetal heart frequencies ranged between 130 and 160 bpm. The mitral, tricuspid, aortic, and pulmonary valves could be clearly observed. The foramen ovale could be visualized. Myocardial contraction was shown in cine sequences. The average blood volume at the end systole was 3.4 + or - 0.2 ml (+ or - SD). The average volume at end diastole was 5.2 + or - 0.2 ml; thus the stroke volumes of the left ventricle in the systole were between 1.7 and 1.9 ml with ejection fractions of 38.6% and 39%, respectively. The pulse wave triggered cardiac MRI of the fetal heart allowed evaluation of anatomical structures and functional information. This feasibility study demonstrates the applicability of MRI for future evaluation of fetuses with complex congenital heart defects, once a noninvasive method has been developed to perform fetal cardiac triggering. PMID:19430796

  20. Scattering transform for intrapartum fetal heart rate variability fractal analysis: a case-control study.

    PubMed

    Chudáček, Václav; Andén, Joakim; Mallat, Stéphane; Abry, Patrice; Doret, Muriel

    2014-04-01

    Intrapartum fetal heart rate monitoring, aiming at early acidosis detection, constitutes an important public health stake. Scattering transform is proposed here as a new tool to analyze intrapartum fetal heart rate (FHR) variability. It consists of a nonlinear extension of the underlying wavelet transform, that thus preserves its multiscale nature. Applied to an FHR signal database constructed in a French academic hospital, the scattering transform is shown to permit to efficiently measure scaling exponents characterizing the fractal properties of intrapartum FHR temporal dynamics, that relate not only to the sole covariance (correlation scaling exponent), but also to the full dependence structure of data (intermittency scaling exponent). Such exponents are found to satisfactorily discriminate temporal dynamics of healthy subjects (from that of nonhealthy ones) and to emphasize the role of the highest frequencies (around and above 1 Hz) in intrapartum FHR variability. This permits us to achieve satisfactory classification performance that improves on those obtained from the analysis of International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) criteria, notably by classifying as healthy a number of subjects that were incorrectly classified as nonhealthy by classical clinically used FIGO criteria. Combined to obstetrician annotations, these scaling exponents enable us to sketch a typology of these FIGO-false positive subjects. Also, they permit us to monitor the evolution along time of the intrapartum health status of the fetuses and to estimate an optimal detection time-frame. PMID:24658235

  1. The association of histologic placental inflammation with category II fetal heart tracings.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Barrett K; Su, Emily; Grobman, William; Huang, Michael; Ernst, Linda M

    2012-01-01

    The present study assessed whether placentas in women delivered by cesarean for category II fetal heart tracings (FHT) exhibit a higher incidence of acute inflammation than those of women delivered by cesarean for labor arrest. This case control study included singleton pregnancies ≥36 weeks of gestation delivered by cesarean for an FHT indication (cases) or because of labor arrest (controls) 2005-2009 at Prentice Women's Hospital. Exclusions were maternal diabetes, hypertension, known thrombophilia, connective tissue disorders, clinical evidence of chorioamnionitis, placental abruption, fetal anomalies, stillbirth, or an infant with a birth weight less than the 10th percentile. Women were included in the case group if the indication for cesarean delivery was based on the FHT and review of the FHT determined that they were designated as category II prior to delivery. A perinatal pathologist, unaware of indications for delivery, assessed placental inflammation in maternal and fetal compartments. Stage and grade of acute inflammation, from none to severe (scored 0-3), in the membranes, chorionic plate, chorionic vessels, and umbilical cord were assessed, and overall maternal and fetal inflammatory stages were assigned. Findings indicative of chronic inflammation were also noted. Other than lower umbilical artery cord gases in women with category II FHT, cases (n  =  51) and controls (n  =  27) had similar baseline characteristics and newborn outcomes, as well as similar placental pathologic findings. In uncomplicated patients, the presence or extent of placental inflammation does not appear to differ between women delivered for category II FHT and labor arrest. PMID:22671990

  2. Automated Quantitation of Uterine Contractility (UC) and Fetal Heart Rate (FHR) in Labor Surveillance

    PubMed Central

    Bieniarz, J.; Rabin, S.; Mercado, R.; Altamirano, Z.; Burd, L.; Scommegna, A.

    1981-01-01

    Automated quantitation of UC and FHR tabulated in half hour averages throughout labor could improve human expertise in early diagnosis of fetal distress. Such continuous 24 hr/day surveillance system developed in our laboratory for simultaneous monitoring of 10 women in labor is presented. Clinical reliability and usefulness of data supplied by the computer are being validated now by clinical and biochemical assessment of the fetus, newborn, and baby.

  3. Fetal echocardiography

    MedlinePlus

    ... Fetal echocardiography is a test that uses sound waves ( ultrasound ) to evaluate the baby's heart for problems ... over the area. The probe sends out sound waves, which bounce off the baby's heart and create ...

  4. Data from acellular human heart matrix.

    PubMed

    Sánchez, Pedro L; Fernández-Santos, M Eugenia; Espinosa, M Angeles; González-Nicolas, M Angeles; Acebes, Judith R; Costanza, Salvatore; Moscoso, Isabel; Rodríguez, Hugo; García, Julio; Romero, Jesús; Kren, Stefan M; Bermejo, Javier; Yotti, Raquel; Del Villar, Candelas Pérez; Sanz-Ruiz, Ricardo; Elizaga, Jaime; Taylor, Doris A; Fernández-Avilés, Francisco

    2016-09-01

    Perfusion decellularization of cadaveric hearts removes cells and generates a cell-free extracellular matrix scaffold containing acellular vascular conduits, which are theoretically sufficient to perfuse and support tissue-engineered heart constructs. This article contains additional data of our experience decellularizing and testing structural integrity and composition of a large series of human hearts, "Acellular human heart matrix: a critical step toward whole heat grafts" (Sanchez et al., 2015) [1]. Here we provide the information about the heart decellularization technique, the valve competence evaluation of the decellularized scaffolds, the integrity evaluation of epicardial and myocardial coronary circulation, the pressure volume measurements, the primers used to assess cardiac muscle gene expression and, the characteristics of donors, donor hearts, scaffolds and perfusion decellularization process. PMID:27331090

  5. Evaluation of fetal echocardiography as a routine antenatal screening tool for detection of congenital heart disease

    PubMed Central

    Nayak, Krishnananda; Shetty, Ranjan; Narayan, Pratap Kumar

    2016-01-01

    Background Fetal echocardiography plays a pivotal role in identifying the congenital heart defects (CHDs) in utero. Though foetal echocardiography is mostly reserved for high risk pregnant women, its role as a routine prenatal screening tool still needs to be defined. Performing foetal echocardiography based on only these indications can lead to a significant numbers of CHD cases going undetected who will be deprived of further management leading to increased early neonatal mortalities. The aim of this study is to assess the incidence of CHDs by fetal echocardiography in an unselected population of pregnant women in comparison with pregnant women with conventional high risk factors for CHD. Methods This study enrolled consecutive pregnant women who attended antenatal clinic between 2008 and 2012 in a tertiary care hospital. These pregnant women were categorized into two groups: high risk group included pregnant women with traditional risk factors for CHD as laid down by Pediatric Council of the American Society of Echocardiography and low risk group. Detailed fetal 2 D echocardiography was done. Results A total of 1,280 pregnant women were included in study. The 118 women were categorized as the high risk group while remaining 1,162 were included in the low risk group. Twenty six cases of CHDs were detected based on abnormal foetal echocardiography (20.3 per 1,000). Two of the 26 cases of CHD occurred in high risk group whereas the remaining 24 occurred in low risk pregnancy. The difference in the incidence of CHDs between the two groups was not significant statistically (P=0.76). Conclusions Our study shows no difference in incidence of CHDs between pregnancies associated with high risk factors compared to low risk pregnancies. So we advocate foetal echocardiography should be included as a part of routine antenatal screening and all pregnant women irrespective of risk factors for CHDs. PMID:26885491

  6. Combining latent class analysis labeling with multiclass approach for fetal heart rate categorization.

    PubMed

    Karvelis, P; Spilka, J; Georgoulas, G; Chudáček, V; Stylios, C D; Lhotská, L

    2015-05-01

    The most common approach to assess fetal well-being during delivery is monitoring of fetal heart rate and uterine contractions-the cardiotocogram (CTG). Nevertheless, 40 years since the introduction of CTG to clinical practice, its evaluation is still challenging with high inter- and intra-observer variability. Therefore the development of more objective methods has become an issue of major importance in the field. Unlike the usually proposed approaches to assign classes for classification methods that rely either on biochemical parameters (e.g. pH value) or a simple aggregation of expert judgment, this work investigates the use of an alternative labeling system using latent class analysis (LCA) along with an ordinal classification scheme. The study is performed on a well-documented open-access database, where nine expert obstetricians provided CTG annotations. The LCA is proposed here to produce more objective class labels while the ordinal classification aims to explore the natural ordering, and representation of increased severity, for obtaining the final results. The results are promising suggesting that more effort should be put into this proposed approach. PMID:25894994

  7. The performance and reliability of wavelet denoising for Doppler ultrasound fetal heart rate signal preprocessing.

    PubMed

    Papadimitriou, S; Papadopoulos, V; Gatzounas, D; Tzigounis, V; Bezerianos, A

    1997-01-01

    The present paper deals with the performance and the reliability of a Wavelet Denoising method for Doppler ultrasound Fetal Heart Rate (FHR) recordings. It displays strong evidence that the denoising process extracts the actual noise components. The analysis is approached with three methods. First, the power spectrum of the denoised FHR displays more clearly an 1/fa scaling law, i.e. the characteristic of fractal time series. Second, the rescaled scale analysis technique reveals a Hurst exponent at the range of 0.7-0.8 that corresponds to a long memory persistent process. Moreover, the variance of the Hurst exponent across time scales is smaller at the denoised signal. Third, a chaotic attractor reconstructed with the embedding dimension technique becomes evident at the denoised signals, while it is completely obscured at the unfiltered ones. PMID:10179728

  8. Fetal cardiology: changing the definition of critical heart disease in the newborn.

    PubMed

    Słodki, M; Respondek-Liberska, M; Pruetz, J D; Donofrio, M T

    2016-08-01

    Infants born with congenital heart disease (CHD) may require emergent treatment in the newborn period. These infants are likely to benefit the most from a prenatal diagnosis, which allows for optimal perinatal planning. Several cardiac centers have created guidelines for the management of these high-risk patients with CHD. This paper will review and compare several prenatal CHD classification systems with a particular focus on the most critical forms of CHD in the fetus and newborn. A contemporary definition of critical CHD is one which requires urgent intervention in the first 24 h of life to prevent death. Such cardiac interventions may be not only life saving for the infant but also decrease subsequent morbidity. Critical CHD cases may require delivery at specialized centers that can provide perinatal, obstetric, cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery care. Fetuses diagnosed in mid-gestation require detailed fetal diagnostics and serial monitoring during the prenatal period, in order to assess for ongoing changes and identify progression to a more severe cardiac status. Critical CHD may progress in utero and there is still much to be learned about how to best predict those who will require urgent neonatal interventions. Despite improved therapeutic capabilities, newborns with critical CHD continue to have significant morbidity and mortality due to compromise that begins in the delivery room. Fetal echocardiography is the best way to predict the need for specialized care at birth to improve outcome. Once the diagnosis is made of critical CHD, delivery at the proper time and in appropriate institution with specific care protocols should be initiated. More work needs to be done to better delineate the risk factors for progression of critical CHD and to determine which newborns will require specialized care. The most frequently described forms of critical CHD requiring immediate intervention include hypoplastic left heart syndrome with intact or severely restricted

  9. Center for Fetal Monkey Gene Transfer for Heart, Lung, and Blood Diseases: An NHLBI Resource for the Gene Therapy Community

    PubMed Central

    Skarlatos, Sonia I.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract The goals of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Center for Fetal Monkey Gene Transfer for Heart, Lung, and Blood Diseases are to conduct gene transfer studies in monkeys to evaluate safety and efficiency; and to provide NHLBI-supported investigators with expertise, resources, and services to actively pursue gene transfer approaches in monkeys in their research programs. NHLBI-supported projects span investigators throughout the United States and have addressed novel approaches to gene delivery; “proof-of-principle”; assessed whether findings in small-animal models could be demonstrated in a primate species; or were conducted to enable new grant or IND submissions. The Center for Fetal Monkey Gene Transfer for Heart, Lung, and Blood Diseases successfully aids the gene therapy community in addressing regulatory barriers, and serves as an effective vehicle for advancing the field. PMID:22974119

  10. Conotruncal Heart Defects and Common Variants in Maternal and Fetal Genes in Folate, Homocysteine and Transsulfuration Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Hobbs, Charlotte A.; Cleves, Mario A.; MacLeod, Stewart L.; Erickson, Stephen W.; Tang, Xinyu; Li, Jingyun; Li, Ming; Nick, Todd; Malik, Sadia

    2014-01-01

    Background We investigated the association between conotruncal heart defects (CTDs) and maternal and fetal single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 60 genes in the folate, homocysteine and pathways. We also investigated whether periconceptional maternal folic acid supplementation modified associations between CTDs and SNPs. Methods Participants were enrolled in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study between 1997 and 2007. DNA samples from 616 case-parental triads affected by CTDs and 1,645 control-parental triads were genotyped using an Illumina® Golden Gate custom SNP panel. A hybrid design analysis, optimizing data from case and control trios, was used to identify maternal and fetal SNPs associated with CTDs. Results Among 921 SNPs, 17 maternal and 17 fetal SNPs had a Bayesian false-discovery probability (BFDP) of <0.8. Ten of the 17 maternal SNPs and 2 of the 17 fetal SNPs were found within the glutamate-cysteine ligase, catalytic subunit (GCLC) gene. Fetal SNPs with the lowest BFDP (rs2612101, rs2847607, rs2847326, rs2847324) were found within the thymidylate synthetase (TYMS) gene. Additional analyses indicated that the risk of CTDs associated with candidate SNPs was modified by periconceptional folic acid supplementation. Nineteen maternal and 9 fetal SNPs had BFDP <0.8 for gene-by-environment (GxE) interactions with maternal folic acid supplementation. Conclusions These results support previous studies suggesting that maternal and fetal SNPs within folate, homocysteine and transsulfuration pathways are associated with CTD risk. Maternal use of supplements containing folic acid may modify the impact of SNPs on the developing heart. PMID:24535845

  11. Perinatal Oxidative Stress May Affect Fetal Ghrelin Levels in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Zhong-Cheng; Bilodeau, Jean-François; Monique Nuyt, Anne; Fraser, William D.; Julien, Pierre; Audibert, Francois; Xiao, Lin; Garofalo, Carole; Levy, Emile

    2015-01-01

    In vitro cell model studies have shown that oxidative stress may affect beta-cell function. It is unknown whether oxidative stress may affect metabolic health in human fetuses/newborns. In a singleton pregnancy cohort (n = 248), we studied maternal (24–28 weeks gestation) and cord plasma biomarkers of oxidative stress [malondialdehyde (MDA), F2-isoprostanes] in relation to fetal metabolic health biomarkers including cord plasma glucose-to-insulin ratio (an indicator of insulin sensitivity), proinsulin-to-insulin ratio (an indicator of beta-cell function), insulin, IGF-I, IGF-II, leptin, adiponectin and ghrelin concentrations. Strong positive correlations were observed between maternal and cord plasma biomarkers of oxidative stress (r = 0.33 for MDA, r = 0.74 for total F2-isoprostanes, all p < 0.0001). Adjusting for gestational age at blood sampling, cord plasma ghrelin concentrations were consistently negatively correlated to oxidative stress biomarkers in maternal (r = −0.32, p < 0.0001 for MDA; r = −0.31, p < 0.0001 for F2-isoprostanes) or cord plasma (r = −0.13, p = 0.04 for MDA; r = −0.32, p < 0.0001 for F2-isoprostanes). Other fetal metabolic health biomarkers were not correlated to oxidative stress. Adjusting for maternal and pregnancy characteristics, similar associations were observed. Our study provides the first preliminary evidence suggesting that oxidative stress may affect fetal ghrelin levels in humans. The implications in developmental “programming” the vulnerability to metabolic syndrome related disorders remain to be elucidated. PMID:26643495

  12. 21 CFR 884.2900 - Fetal stethoscope.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... Fetal stethoscope. (a) Identification. A fetal stethoscope is a device used for listening to fetal heart sounds. It is designed to transmit the fetal heart sounds not only through sound channels by...

  13. 21 CFR 884.2900 - Fetal stethoscope.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... Fetal stethoscope. (a) Identification. A fetal stethoscope is a device used for listening to fetal heart sounds. It is designed to transmit the fetal heart sounds not only through sound channels by...

  14. 21 CFR 884.2900 - Fetal stethoscope.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... Fetal stethoscope. (a) Identification. A fetal stethoscope is a device used for listening to fetal heart sounds. It is designed to transmit the fetal heart sounds not only through sound channels by...

  15. 21 CFR 884.2900 - Fetal stethoscope.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... Fetal stethoscope. (a) Identification. A fetal stethoscope is a device used for listening to fetal heart sounds. It is designed to transmit the fetal heart sounds not only through sound channels by...

  16. 21 CFR 884.2900 - Fetal stethoscope.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... Fetal stethoscope. (a) Identification. A fetal stethoscope is a device used for listening to fetal heart sounds. It is designed to transmit the fetal heart sounds not only through sound channels by...

  17. Comparison of Immune Profiles in Fetal Hearts with Idiopathic Dilated Cardiomyopathy, Maternal Autoimmune-Associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy and the Normal Fetus.

    PubMed

    Nield, Lynne E; von Both, Ingo; Popel, Najla; Strachan, Kate; Manlhiot, Cedric; Shannon, Patrick; McCrindle, Brian W; Atkinson, Adelle; Miner, Steven E S; Jaeggi, Edgar T; Taylor, Glenn P

    2016-02-01

    The etiology of idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (iDCM) remains unknown. Immune therapies have improved outcome in fetuses with DCM born to mothers with autoimmune disease (aDCM). The purpose of this retrospective study was to compare the myocardial B and T cell profiles in fetuses and neonates with idiopathic DCM (iDCM) versus autoimmune-mediated DCM (aDCM) and to describe the normal cell maturation within the human fetal myocardium. Of 60 fetal autopsy cases identified from institutional databases, 10 had aDCM (18-38 weeks), 12 iDCM (19-37 weeks) and 38 had normal hearts (11-40 weeks). Paraffin-embedded myocardium sections were stained for all lymphocyte (CD45), B cells (CD20, CD79a), T cells (CD3, CD4, CD7, CD8) and monocyte (CD68) surface markers. Two independent, blinded cell counts were performed. Normal hearts expressed all B and T cell markers in a bimodal fashion, with peaks at 22 and 37 weeks of gestation. The aDCM cohort was most distinct from normal hearts, with less overall T cell markers [EST -9.1 (2.6) cells/mm(2), p = 0.001], CD4 [EST -2.0 (0.6), p = 0.001], CD3 [EST -3.9 (1.0), p < 0.001], CD7 [EST -3.0 (1.1), p = 0.01] overall B cell markers [EST -4.9 (1.8), p = 0.01] and CD79a counts [EST -2.3 (0.9), p = 0.01]. The iDCM group had less overall B cell markers [EST -4.0 (1.8), p = 0.03] and CD79a [EST -1.7 (0.9), p = 0.05], but no difference in T cell markers. Autoimmune-mediated DCM fetuses have less B and T cell markers, whereas iDCM fetuses have less B cell markers compared with normal fetal hearts. The fetal immune system may play a role in the normal development of the heart and evolution of dilated cardiomyopathy. PMID:26481221

  18. Effects of docosahexaenoic acid supplementation during pregnancy on fetal heart rate and variability: A randomized clinical trial☆, ☆☆

    PubMed Central

    Gustafson, K.M.; Carlson, S.E.; Colombo, J.; Yeh, H.-W.; Shaddy, D.J.; Li, S.; Kerling, E.H.

    2013-01-01

    DHA (22:6n-3) supplementation during infancy has been associated with lower heart rate (HR) and improved neurobehavioral outcomes. We hypothesized that maternal DHA supplementation would improve fetal cardiac autonomic control and newborn neurobehavior. Pregnant women were randomized to 600 mg/day of DHA or placebo oil capsules at 14.4 (+/−4) weeks gestation. Fetal HRand HRV were calculated from magnetocardiograms (MCGs) at 24, 32 and 36 weeks gestational age (GA). Newborn neurobehavior was assessed using the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS). Postpartum maternal and infant red blood cell (RBC) DHA was significantly higher in the supplemented group as were metrics of fetal HRV and newborn neurobehavior in the autonomic and motor clusters. Higher HRV is associated with more responsive and flexible autonomic nervous system (ANS). Coupled with findings of improved autonomic and motor behavior, these data suggest that maternal DHA supplementation during pregnancy may impart an adaptive advantage to the fetus. PMID:23433688

  19. Effects of docosahexaenoic acid supplementation during pregnancy on fetal heart rate and variability: a randomized clinical trial.

    PubMed

    Gustafson, K M; Carlson, S E; Colombo, J; Yeh, H-W; Shaddy, D J; Li, S; Kerling, E H

    2013-05-01

    DHA (22:6n-3) supplementation during infancy has been associated with lower heart rate (HR) and improved neurobehavioral outcomes. We hypothesized that maternal DHA supplementation would improve fetal cardiac autonomic control and newborn neurobehavior. Pregnant women were randomized to 600 mg/day of DHA or placebo oil capsules at 14.4 (+/-4) weeks gestation. Fetal HR and HRV were calculated from magnetocardiograms (MCGs) at 24, 32 and 36 weeks gestational age (GA). Newborn neurobehavior was assessed using the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS). Post-partum maternal and infant red blood cell (RBC) DHA was significantly higher in the supplemented group as were metrics of fetal HRV and newborn neurobehavior in the autonomic and motor clusters. Higher HRV is associated with more responsive and flexible autonomic nervous system (ANS). Coupled with findings of improved autonomic and motor behavior, these data suggest that maternal DHA supplementation during pregnancy may impart an adaptive advantage to the fetus. PMID:23433688

  20. Interobserver reliability to interpret intrapartum electronic fetal heart rate monitoring: Does a standardized algorithm improve agreement among clinicians?

    PubMed

    Uccella, S; Cromi, A; Colombo, G F; Bogani, G; Casarin, J; Agosti, M; Ghezzi, F

    2015-04-01

    Our aim was to investigate the accuracy in predicting intrapartum fetal acidaemia and the interobserver reproducibility of a mathematical algorithm for the interpretation of electronic fetal heart rate (FHR) monitoring throughout labour. Eight physicians (blinded to the clinical outcomes of the deliveries) evaluated four randomly selected intrapartum FHR tracings by common visual interpretation, trying to predict umbilical artery base excess at birth. They subsequently were asked to re-evaluate the tracings using a mathematical algorithm for FHR tracing interpretation. Common visual interpretation allowed a correct estimation of the umbilical artery base excess in 34.4% of cases, with a poor interobserver reproducibility (Kappa correlation coefficient = 0.24). After implementation of the algorithm, the proportion of correct estimates significantly increased to 90.6% (p < 0.001), with excellent inter-clinician agreement (κ: 0.85). To conclude, incorporation of a standardised algorithm reduces the interobserver variability and allows a better estimation of fetal acidaemia at birth. PMID:25254299

  1. Xenotransplantation Models to Study the Effects of Toxicants on Human Fetal Tissues1

    PubMed Central

    Spade, Daniel J.; McDonnell, Elizabeth V.; Heger, Nicholas E.; Sanders, Jennifer A.; Saffarini, Camelia M.; Gruppuso, Philip A.; De Paepe, Monique E.; Boekelheide, Kim

    2015-01-01

    Many diseases that manifest throughout the lifetime are influenced by factors affecting fetal development. Fetal exposure to xenobiotics, in particular, may influence the development of adult diseases. Established animal models provide systems for characterizing both developmental biology and developmental toxicology. However, animal model systems do not allow researchers to assess the mechanistic effects of toxicants on developing human tissue. Human fetal tissue xenotransplantation models have recently been implemented to provide human-relevant mechanistic data on the many tissue-level functions that may be affected by fetal exposure to toxicants. This review describes the development of human fetal tissue xenotransplant models for testis, prostate, lung, liver, and adipose tissue, aimed at studying the effects of xenobiotics on tissue development, including implications for testicular dysgenesis, prostate disease, lung disease, and metabolic syndrome. The mechanistic data obtained from these models can complement data from epidemiology, traditional animal models, and in vitro studies to quantify the risks of toxicant exposures during human development. PMID:25477288

  2. Fetal Heart Rate Reactivity Differs by Women’s Psychiatric Status during Psychological Stress, but Not Paced Breathing

    PubMed Central

    Fifer, William P.; Myers, Michael M.; Bagiella, Emilia; Duong, Jimmy K.; Chen, Ivy S.; Leotti, Lauren

    2013-01-01

    Objective Prenatal exposure to women’s mood dysregulation is associated with variation in neurobehavioral profiles in children. Few studies have assessed these relationships during the prenatal period. Methods In 113 women in the 36th – 38th gestational week (mean age 26.3 ± 5.4 years), electrocardiogram, blood pressure, respiration, salivary cortisol, and fetal heart rate (HR) were measured during baseline, a psychological challenge (Stroop color–word matching task), and a standardized paced breathing protocol. Subjects underwent the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV prior to testing and were grouped as: depressed, co–morbid for depression and anxiety, anxiety disorder only, and control. Results There was a significant main effect of maternal diagnostic group on fetal HR only during the Stroop task: fetuses of women in the co–morbid group had a greater HR increase compared to controls (p < .05). Overall, fetuses showed robust increases in HR during paced breathing (p < .0001), but there was no significant difference by maternal diagnosis. For both tasks, changes in fetal HR were independent of women’s concurrent cardiorespiratory activity. Finally, although cortisol was higher in the co-morbid group (p <.05), independent of diagnosis, there was a trend for maternal baseline cortisol to be positively associated with average fetal HR (p = .08). Conclusions These findings indicate that variation in fetal HR reactivity — an index of emerging regulatory capacities — is likely influenced by multiple acute and chronic factors associated with women’s psychobiology. PMID:21400485

  3. Specific heart granules and natriuretic peptide in the developing myocardium of fetal and neonatal rats and hamsters.

    PubMed Central

    Navaratnam, V; Woodward, J M; Skepper, J N

    1989-01-01

    The ontogenesis of specific heart granules and of the related natriuretic peptide activity in heart muscle was studied in fetal and neonatal rats and golden hamsters by ultrastructural analysis including immunogold labelling for ANP-28 and by radioimmunoassay. In both species, immunoreactive granules first appear in the myocardial sleeve of the embryonic heart tube during the looping stages which precede chamber formation and the peptide becomes detectable by radioimmunoassay two or three days later by which time the chambers are identifiable. Granule density and ANP concentration in the rat are higher than in the hamster at all stages of development. Almost all atrial myocytes express ANP in fetal hearts whereas, in the ventricular wall, cells containing immunoreactive granules are scattered. The density of granules in atrial myocytes increases during further stages of fetal and neonatal development, while it decreases markedly even in those ventricular myocytes which are immunoreactive. Changes in the ultrastructural appearance of ventricular SHG suggest that the mode of production of ANP changes in ventricular myocytes after birth but does not change in atrial cells. There is no correlation between the distribution of immunoreactive ventricular myocytes and that of the conducting system. In both species, the concentration of ANP in the atrial well is higher than ventricular levels from the outset and the disparity becomes exaggerated with development till, in six months old adult animals, the atrial to ventricular concentration ratio is about 3 x 10(3):1 in the rat and 1.5 x 10(3): 1 in the hamster. In the hamster, a distinct gradient of ANP concentration between the right and left atria is already established in the early fetal period and it becomes enhanced in the neonatal period. In the rat, however, a slight difference becomes discernible only after birth. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 6 Fig. 7 PMID:2532637

  4. The effect of warfarin dosage on maternal and fetal outcomes in pregnant women with prosthetic heart valves

    PubMed Central

    Soma-Pillay, P; Nene, Z; Mathivha, T M; Macdonald, A P

    2011-01-01

    There are several challenges in the management of pregnant women with mechanical heart valves. Pregnancy increases the risk of thromboembolism and there is currently no consensus on the safest anticoagulation method during pregnancy. The objective of the study was to determine the correlation between the warfarin dose and pregnancy outcome in pregnant women with prosthetic heart valves. Warfarin in pregnancy was associated with a low risk of valve thrombosis or maternal death. The risk for fetal abnormalities was not related to the maternal warfarin dosage. However, the risk for stillbirth was significantly increased with increasing doses of warfarin.

  5. Three-dimensional digital visible heart model and myocardial pathological characteristics of fetal single ventricle connected with aortic coarctation.

    PubMed

    Ren, B; Jiang, Y; Xia, H M; Li, X Y; Tan, L W; Li, Y; Li, Q Y; Li, X S; Gao, Y H

    2013-01-01

    This study aimed to provide data for imaging diagnosis and clinical surgical plans by reconstructing a three-dimensional (3-D) digital visible heart model of single ventricle (SV) connection with aortic coarctation (CoA) and characterizing the myocardial and vascular wall pathological characteristics. Fifteen miscarried fetus cadavers with SV and CoA were selected. Fourteen cardiac specimens were systematically reviewed for segmental anatomy and conventional histological examinations. One fetus cadaver was used to obtain the structural dataset of the fetal body and to reconstruct a 3-D digital visible heart model. Specimen pathological dissection indicated hypertrophic myocardium SV, significant aortic wall thickening, and localized coarctation area elevation. Ten cases of SV with left ventricular morphology displayed a large muscle ridge and solitus normally aligned great arteries. Five cases of SV with right ventricular morphology had coarse, parallel trabeculations and received a common atrioventricular valve. The reconstructed 3-D heart and the main internal structures were realistic, which were beneficial for clinical and image teaching of fetal heart development. The change of characteristics of the myocardium and great vascular wall was obvious and may be the critical cause leading to progressive dysfunction in the postnatal heart. PMID:24301785

  6. Cortisol stimulates proliferation and apoptosis in the late gestation fetal heart: differential effects of mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid receptors

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Xiaodi; Reini, Seth A.; Richards, Elaine; Wood, Charles E.

    2013-01-01

    We have previously found that modest chronic increases in maternal cortisol result in an enlarged fetal heart. To explore the mechanisms of this effect, we used intrapericardial infusions of a mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) antagonist (canrenoate) or of a glucocorticoid receptor (GR) antagonist (mifepristone) in the fetus during maternal infusion of cortisol (1 mg·kg−1·day−1). We have shown that the MR antagonist blocked the increase in fetal heart weight and in wall thickness resulting from maternal cortisol infusion. In the current study we extended those studies and found that cortisol increased Ki67 staining in both ventricles, indicating cell proliferation, but also increased active caspase-3 staining in cells of the conduction pathway in the septum and subendocardial layers of the left ventricle, suggesting increased apoptosis in Purkinje fibers. The MR antagonist blocked the increase in cell proliferation, whereas the GR antagonist blocked the increased apoptosis in Purkinje fibers. We also found evidence of activation of caspase-3 in c-kit-positive cells, suggesting apoptosis in stem cell populations in the ventricle. These studies suggest a potentially important role of corticosteroids in the terminal remodeling of the late gestation fetal heart and suggest a mechanism for the cardiac enlargement with excess corticosteroid exposure. PMID:23785077

  7. Brain macrophages and microglia in human fetal hydrocephalus.

    PubMed

    Ulfig, Norbert; Bohl, Jürgen; Neudörfer, Frank; Rezaie, Payam

    2004-08-01

    Whereas several studies have addressed the activation of microglia (the resident mononuclear phagocytes of the brain) and macrophages within the nervous system in experimental animal models of congenital and induced hydrocephalus, little is known of their state of activation or regional distribution in human fetal hydrocephalus. This investigation aimed to address such questions. Ten human fetal cases [20-36 gestational weeks (GW) at postmortem] previously diagnosed with hydrocephalus on ultrasound examination in utero, and 10 non-hydrocephalic controls (22-38 GW at postmortem) were assessed immufcnohistochemically with antibodies directed against MHC class II and CD68 antigens, and lectin histochemistry with Lycopersicon esculentum (tomato lectin). Adjacent sections were also immunoreacted with an antiserum to laminin to detect cerebral blood vessels. Eight out of the 10 hydrocephalus cases showed numerous CD68 and tomato lectin-positive macrophages located at focal regions along the ependymal lining of the lateral ventricles (particularly within the occipital horn). However, only five of these cases demonstrated MHC class II positive macrophages associated with the ventricular lining. Microglial reactivity within periventricular regions could also be identified using the lectin in four cases, two of which were also immunoreactive with CD68 (but not with MHC class II). By comparison, in control cases five out of 10 fetal brains (aged between 20 and 24 GW) showed few or no ependymal or supraependymal macrophages. One case at 28 GW, and cases at 32 and 38 GW (two of which were diagnosed with intrauterine hypoxic-ischemia) did, however, show some MHC class II (CD68 negative) cells located at the ependymal surface. Nevertheless, these were not as numerous or intensely immunoreactive as in the hydrocephalus cases. Microglia interspersed throughout the intermediate zone and circumscribing the basal ganglia were within normal confines in all cases examined. Hydrocephalic

  8. Morphology and biomechanics of human heart

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chelnokova, Natalia O.; Golyadkina, Anastasiya A.; Kirillova, Irina V.; Polienko, Asel V.; Ivanov, Dmitry V.

    2016-03-01

    Object of study: A study of the biomechanical characteristics of the human heart ventricles was performed. 80 hearts were extracted during autopsy of 80 corpses of adults (40 women and 40 men) aged 31-70 years. The samples were investigated in compliance with the recommendations of the ethics committee. Methods: Tension and compression tests were performed with help of the uniaxial testing machine Instron 5944. Cardiometry was also performed. Results: In this work, techniques for human heart ventricle wall biomechanical properties estimation were developed. Regularities of age and gender variability in deformative and strength properties of the right and left ventricle walls were found. These properties were characterized by a smooth growth of myocardial tissue stiffness and resistivity at a relatively low strain against reduction in their strength and elasticity from 31-40 to 61-70 years. It was found that tissue of the left ventricle at 61-70 years had a lower stretchability and strength compared with tissues of the right ventricle and septum. These data expands understanding of the morphological organization of the heart ventricles, which is very important for the development of personalized medicine. Taking into account individual, age and gender differences of the heart ventricle tissue biomechanical characteristics allows to rationally choosing the type of patching materials during reconstructive operations on heart.

  9. Fetal Circulatory Variation in an Acute Incident Causing Bradycardia

    PubMed Central

    Olgan, Safak; Sakinci, Mehmet; Dogan, Nasuh Utku; Cagliyan, Erkan; Altunyurt, Sabahattin

    2014-01-01

    Umbilical artery\\vein, middle cerebral artery, and ductus venosus Doppler velocimetry were performed at 33 weeks of gestation in the settings of an intrauterine growth restricted fetus during a heart rate deceleration. Interestingly, we recorded a sudden onset redistribution of fetal blood flow with fetal bradycardia. Spontaneous normalization of waveforms was observed once fetal heart rate returned to normal. Our case provides evidence to circulatory variation of a human fetus resulting from an acute incident causing bradycardia. PMID:25580322

  10. Human fetal globin gene expression is regulated by LYAR

    PubMed Central

    Ju, Junyi; Wang, Ying; Liu, Ronghua; Zhang, Yichong; Xu, Zhen; Wang, Yadong; Wu, Yupeng; Liu, Ming; Cerruti, Loretta; Zou, Fengwei; Ma, Chi; Fang, Ming; Tan, Renxiang; Jane, Stephen M.; Zhao, Quan

    2014-01-01

    Human globin gene expression during development is modulated by transcription factors in a stage-dependent manner. However, the mechanisms controlling the process are still largely unknown. In this study, we found that a nuclear protein, LYAR (human homologue of mouse Ly-1 antibody reactive clone) directly interacted with the methyltransferase PRMT5 which triggers the histone H4 Arg3 symmetric dimethylation (H4R3me2s) mark. We found that PRMT5 binding on the proximal γ-promoter was LYAR-dependent. The LYAR DNA-binding motif (GGTTAT) was identified by performing CASTing (cyclic amplification and selection of targets) experiments. Results of EMSA and ChIP assays confirmed that LYAR bound to a DNA region corresponding to the 5′-untranslated region of the γ-globin gene. We also found that LYAR repressed human fetal globin gene expression in both K562 cells and primary human adult erythroid progenitor cells. Thus, these data indicate that LYAR acts as a novel transcription factor that binds the γ-globin gene, and is essential for silencing the γ-globin gene. PMID:25092918

  11. Human fetal globin gene expression is regulated by LYAR.

    PubMed

    Ju, Junyi; Wang, Ying; Liu, Ronghua; Zhang, Yichong; Xu, Zhen; Wang, Yadong; Wu, Yupeng; Liu, Ming; Cerruti, Loretta; Zou, Fengwei; Ma, Chi; Fang, Ming; Tan, Renxiang; Jane, Stephen M; Zhao, Quan

    2014-09-01

    Human globin gene expression during development is modulated by transcription factors in a stage-dependent manner. However, the mechanisms controlling the process are still largely unknown. In this study, we found that a nuclear protein, LYAR (human homologue of mouse Ly-1 antibody reactive clone) directly interacted with the methyltransferase PRMT5 which triggers the histone H4 Arg3 symmetric dimethylation (H4R3me2s) mark. We found that PRMT5 binding on the proximal γ-promoter was LYAR-dependent. The LYAR DNA-binding motif (GGTTAT) was identified by performing CASTing (cyclic amplification and selection of targets) experiments. Results of EMSA and ChIP assays confirmed that LYAR bound to a DNA region corresponding to the 5'-untranslated region of the γ-globin gene. We also found that LYAR repressed human fetal globin gene expression in both K562 cells and primary human adult erythroid progenitor cells. Thus, these data indicate that LYAR acts as a novel transcription factor that binds the γ-globin gene, and is essential for silencing the γ-globin gene. PMID:25092918

  12. A human fetal prostate xenograft model of developmental estrogenization.

    PubMed

    Saffarini, Camelia M; McDonnell-Clark, Elizabeth V; Amin, Ali; Boekelheide, Kim

    2015-01-01

    Prostate cancer is a common disease in older men. Rodent models have demonstrated that an early and later-life exposure to estrogen can lead to cancerous lesions and implicated hormonal dysregulation as an avenue for developing future prostate neoplasia. This study utilizes a human fetal prostate xenograft model to study the role of estrogen in the progression of human disease. Histopathological lesions were assessed in 7-, 30-, 90-, 200-, and 400-day human prostate xenografts. Gene expression for cell cycle, tumor suppressors, and apoptosis-related genes (ie, CDKN1A, CASP9, ESR2, PTEN, and TP53) was performed for 200-day estrogen-treated xenografts. Glandular hyperplasia was observed in xenografts given both an initial and secondary exposure to estradiol in both 200- and 400-day xenografts. Persistent estrogenic effects were verified using immunohistochemical markers for cytokeratin 10, p63, and estrogen receptor α. This model provides data on the histopathological state of the human prostate following estrogenic treatment, which can be utilized in understanding the complicated pathology associated with prostatic disease and early and later-life estrogenic exposures. PMID:25633637

  13. Evaluation of prenatal diagnosis of associated congenital heart diseases by fetal ultrasonographic examination in Europe.

    PubMed

    Stoll, C; Garne, E; Clementi, M

    2001-04-01

    Ultrasound scans in the mid trimester of pregnancy are now a routine part of antenatal care in most European countries. With the assistance of Registries of Congenital Anomalies a study was undertaken in Europe. The objective of the study was to evaluate prenatal detection of congenital heart defects (CHD) by routine ultrasonographic examination of the fetus. All congenital malformations suspected prenatally and all congenital malformations, including chromosome anomalies, confirmed at birth were identified from the Congenital Malformation Registers, including 20 registers from the following European countries: Austria, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands, UK and Ukrainia. These registries follow the same methodology. The study period was 1996-1998, 709 030 births were covered, and 8126 cases with congenital malformations were registered. If more than one cardiac malformation was present the case was coded as complex cardiac malformation. CHD were subdivided into 'isolated' when only a cardiac malformation was present and 'associated' when at least one other major extra cardiac malformation was present. The associated CHD were subdivided into chromosomal, syndromic non-chromosomal and multiple. The study comprised 761 associated CHD including 282 cases with multiple malformations, 375 cases with chromosomal anomalies and 104 cases with non-chromosomal syndromes. The proportion of prenatal diagnosis of associated CHD varied in relation to the ultrasound screening policies from 17.9% in countries without routine screening (The Netherlands and Denmark) to 46.0% in countries with only one routine fetal scan and 55.6% in countries with two or three routine fetal scans. The prenatal detection rate of chromosomal anomalies was 40.3% (151/375 cases). This rate for recognized syndromes and multiply malformed with CHD was 51.9% (54/104 cases) and 48.6% (137/282 cases), respectively; 150/229 Down syndrome (65.8%) were

  14. Wnt/β-Catenin Stimulation and Laminins Support Cardiovascular Cell Progenitor Expansion from Human Fetal Cardiac Mesenchymal Stromal Cells

    PubMed Central

    Månsson-Broberg, Agneta; Rodin, Sergey; Bulatovic, Ivana; Ibarra, Cristián; Löfling, Marie; Genead, Rami; Wärdell, Eva; Felldin, Ulrika; Granath, Carl; Alici, Evren; Le Blanc, Katarina; Smith, C.I. Edvard; Salašová, Alena; Westgren, Magnus; Sundström, Erik; Uhlén, Per; Arenas, Ernest; Sylvén, Christer; Tryggvason, Karl; Corbascio, Matthias; Simonson, Oscar E.; Österholm, Cecilia; Grinnemo, Karl-Henrik

    2016-01-01

    Summary The intrinsic regenerative capacity of human fetal cardiac mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) has not been fully characterized. Here we demonstrate that we can expand cells with characteristics of cardiovascular progenitor cells from the MSC population of human fetal hearts. Cells cultured on cardiac muscle laminin (LN)-based substrata in combination with stimulation of the canonical Wnt/β-catenin pathway showed increased gene expression of ISL1, OCT4, KDR, and NKX2.5. The majority of cells stained positive for PDGFR-α, ISL1, and NKX2.5, and subpopulations also expressed the progenitor markers TBX18, KDR, c-KIT, and SSEA-1. Upon culture of the cardiac MSCs in differentiation media and on relevant LNs, portions of the cells differentiated into spontaneously beating cardiomyocytes, and endothelial and smooth muscle-like cells. Our protocol for large-scale culture of human fetal cardiac MSCs enables future exploration of the regenerative functions of these cells in the context of myocardial injury in vitro and in vivo. PMID:27052314

  15. Fetal Aortic Valvuloplasty for Evolving Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome: Postnatal Outcomes of the First 100 Patients

    PubMed Central

    Freud, Lindsay R.; McElhinney, Doff B.; Marshall, Audrey C.; Marx, Gerald R.; Friedman, Kevin G.; del Nido, Pedro J.; Emani, Sitaram M.; Lafranchi, Terra; Silva, Virginia; Wilkins-Haug, Louise E.; Benson, Carol B.; Lock, James E.; Tworetzky, Wayne

    2015-01-01

    Background Fetal aortic valvuloplasty (FAV) can be performed for severe mid-gestation aortic stenosis (AS) in an attempt to prevent progression to hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). A subset of patients has achieved a biventricular (BV) circulation after FAV. The postnatal outcomes and survival of the BV patients, compared to those managed as HLHS, have not been reported. Methods and Results We included 100 patients who underwent FAV for severe mid-gestation AS with evolving HLHS from March 2000 to January 2013. Patients were categorized based on postnatal management as BV or HLHS. Clinical records were reviewed. Eighty-eight fetuses were live-born, and 38 had a BV circulation (31 from birth, 7 converted after initial univentricular palliation). Left-sided structures, namely aortic and mitral valve sizes and LV volume, were significantly larger in the BV group at the time of birth (p-values <0.01). After a median follow-up of 5.4 years, freedom from cardiac death among all BV patients was 96±4% at 5 years and 84±12% at 10 years, which was better than HLHS patients (log-rank p=0.04). There was no cardiac mortality in patients with a BV circulation from birth. All but 1 of the BV patients required postnatal intervention; 42% underwent aortic and/or mitral valve replacement. On most recent echocardiogram, the median LV end-diastolic volume z-score was +1.7 (range: -1.3, +8.2), and 80% had normal ejection fraction. Conclusions Short- and intermediate-term survival among patients who underwent FAV and achieved a BV circulation postnatally is encouraging. However, morbidity still exists, and on-going assessment is warranted. PMID:25052401

  16. Transplantation of electively aborted human fetal tissue: physicians' attitudes.

    PubMed Central

    Mullen, M A; Williams, J I; Lowy, F H

    1994-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To provide empirical data on the attitudes of Ontario family physicians and gynecologists toward the use of electively aborted fetal tissue for transplantation (FTT). DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey. SETTING: Ontario. PARTICIPANTS: Random samples of 300 physicians from the membership list of the College of Family Physicians of Canada and 300 from the membership list of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada; 248 family physicians and 186 gynecologists responded, for an overall response rate of 72%. OUTCOME MEASURES: Physicians' attitudes toward incentives to collect fetal tissue at abortion, patient-management issues, consent issues and potential conflicts in the supply and demand of fetal tissue. RESULTS: Of those surveyed 75% agreed that there should be no incentives to collect fetal tissue at abortion, 90% believed that decisions to abort must be separate from decisions to donate fetal tissue, 94% agreed that an option to donate fetal tissue should be discussed only after a firm decision to abort has been made, and 88% stated that the demand for fetal tissue should not hinder the availability of new abortion technology such as the abortifacient pill (RU 486). CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest that there is general approval for FTT. Apparent variations between responses to global statements and to practice-oriented statements suggest strategies for effective Canadian public policy regarding FTT. PMID:8039086

  17. Fetal neural transplantation: placing the ethical debate within the context of society's use of human material.

    PubMed

    Jones, D Gareth

    1991-01-01

    In this paper I wish to place the debate about the use of fetal tissue, as in fetal neural transplantation, within the context of society's use of, and dependence upon, human material for many teaching, research, and therapeutic purposes. I shall argue that such an emphasis is required if we are to be consistent in our approach to the ethical dimensions of the fetal neural transplantation debate. What will emerge is the ambivalence of society's ethical attitudes and also the diversity of perspectives in most debates involving the use of human material. PMID:11650946

  18. Cryopreservation, Culture, and Transplantation of Human Fetal Mesencephalic Tissue into Monkeys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Redmond, D. E.; Naftolin, F.; Collier, T. J.; Leranth, C.; Robbins, R. J.; Sladek, C. D.; Roth, R. H.; Sladek, J. R.

    1988-11-01

    Studies in animals suggest that fetal neural grafts might restore lost neurological function in Parkinson's disease. In monkeys, such grafts survive for many months and reverse signs of parkinsonism, without attendant graft rejection. The successful and reliable application of a similar transplantation procedure to human patients, however, will require neural tissue obtained from human fetal cadavers, with demonstrated cellular identity, viability, and biological safety. In this report, human fetal neural tissue was successfully grafted into the brains of monkeys. Neural tissue was collected from human fetal cadavers after 9 to 12 weeks of gestation and cryopreserved in liquid nitrogen. Viability after up to 2 months of storage was demonstrated by cell culture and by transplantation into monkeys. Cryopreservation and storage of human fetal neural tissue would allow formation of a tissue bank. The stored cells could then be specifically tested to assure their cellular identity, viability, and bacteriological and virological safety before clinical use. The capacity to collect and maintain viable human fetal neural tissue would also facilitate research efforts to understand the development and function of the human brain and provide opportunities to study neurological diseases.

  19. Performance of Different Scan Protocols of Fetal Echocardiography in the Diagnosis of Fetal Congenital Heart Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yifei; Hua, Yimin; Fang, Jie; Wang, Chuan; Qiao, Lina; Wan, Chaomin; Mu, Dezhi; Zhou, Kaiyu

    2013-01-01

    Objective The rapid progress in fetal echocardiography has lead to early detection of congenital heart diseases. Increasing evidences have shown that prenatal diagnosis could be life saving in certain cases. However, there is no agreement on which protocol is most adaptive diagnostic one. Thus, we use meta-analysis to conduct a pooled performance test on 5 diagnostic protocols. Methods We searched PUBMED, EMBASE, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and WHO clinical trails registry center to identify relevant studies up to August, 2012. We performed meta-analysis in a fixed/random-effect model using Meta-disc 1.4. We used STATA 11.0 to estimate the publication bias and SPSS 17.0 to evaluate variance. Results We use results from 81 studies in 63 articles to analyze the pooled accuracy. The overall performance of pooled sensitivities of spatiotemporal image correlation (STIC), extend cardiac echography examination (ECEE) and 4 chambers view + outflow tract view + 3 vessels and trachea view (4 CV+OTV+3 VTV) were around 0.90, which was significant higher than that of 4 chambers view + outflow tract view or 3 vessels and trachea view (4 CV+OTV/3 VTV) and 4 chambers view (4 CV). Unfortunately the pooled specificity of STIC was 0.92, which was significant lower than that of other 4 protocols which reached at 1.00. The area under the summary receiver operating characteristic curves value of STIC, ECEE, 4 CV+OTV+3 VTV, 4 CV+OTV/3 VTV and 4 CV were 0.9700, 0.9971, 0.9983, 0.9929 and 0.9928 respectively. Conclusion These results suggest a great diagnostic potential for fetal echocardiography detection as a reliable method of fetal congenital heart disease. But at least 3 sections view (4 CV, OTV and 3 VTV) should be included in scan protocol, while the STIC can be used to provide more information for local details of defects, and can not be used to make a definite diagnosis alone with its low specificity. PMID:23750263

  20. Characterization of a Carrier-Mediated Transport System for Taurine in the Fetal Mouse Heart In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Grosso, David S.; Roeske, William R.; Bressler, Rubin

    1978-01-01

    Cardiac taurine levels are elevated in hypertension and congestive heart failure. A possible mechanism for this increase in taurine is an alteration of its uptake. We sought to identify and characterize a carrier-mediated transport system for taurine in the mammalian myocardium utilizing the fetal mouse heart in organ culture. Hearts from fetuses of 16-19 days gestational age used in these studies had an endogenous taurine content of 14.1±0.5 nmol/mg tissue. The uptake of [3H]taurine was linear for up to 8 h. Taurine was accumulated against a concentration gradient as demonstrated by a net increase in taurine concentration when hearts were incubated in 0.5 mM taurine. [3H]Taurine uptake was saturable, Km = 0.44 mM, temperature dependent, and required sodium. The close structural analogues, hypotaurine and β-alanine, reduced [3H]taurine uptake by 87% when present in 100-fold excess. The α-amino acids alanine, α-aminoisobutyric acid, glycine, leucine, and threonine did not inhibit uptake. Other taurine analogues tested were guanidinotaurine, guanidinopropionic acid, γ-aminobutyric acid, 2-aminoethane phosphonic acid, aminomethane sulfonic acid, 3-aminopropane sulfonic acid, N-acetyltaurine, and isethionic acid. We conclude that a carrier-mediated transport system for taurine exists in the fetal mouse heart based on the demonstration of (a) temperature dependence, (b) saturability, and (c) structural selectivity of the uptake process. Transport was demonstrated to be mediated by a β-amino acid uptake system. In addition, taurine uptake was observed to be sodium dependent, energy dependent, and capable of accumulating taurine against a concentration gradient. PMID:659583

  1. GLI3 Links Environmental Arsenic Exposure and Human Fetal Growth.

    PubMed

    Winterbottom, Emily F; Fei, Dennis L; Koestler, Devin C; Giambelli, Camilla; Wika, Eric; Capobianco, Anthony J; Lee, Ethan; Marsit, Carmen J; Karagas, Margaret R; Robbins, David J

    2015-06-01

    Although considerable evidence suggests that in utero arsenic exposure affects children's health, these data are mainly from areas of the world where groundwater arsenic levels far exceed the World Health Organization limit of 10 μg/L. We, and others, have found that more common levels of in utero arsenic exposure may also impact children's health. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms are poorly understood. To address this issue, we analyzed the expression of key developmental genes in fetal placenta in a birth cohort of women using unregulated water supplies in a US region with elevated groundwater arsenic. We identified several genes whose expression associated with maternal arsenic exposure in a fetal sex-specific manner. In particular, expression of the HEDGEHOG pathway component, GLI3, in female placentae was both negatively associated with arsenic exposure and positively associated with infant birth weight. This suggests that modulation of GLI3 in the fetal placenta, and perhaps in other fetal tissues, contributes to arsenic's detrimental effects on fetal growth. We showed previously that arsenic-exposed NIH3T3 cells have reduced GLI3 repressor protein. Together, these studies identify GLI3 as a key signaling node that is affected by arsenic, mediating a subset of its effects on developmental signaling and fetal health. PMID:26288817

  2. Human hepatic stem cells from fetal and postnatal donors

    PubMed Central

    Schmelzer, Eva; Zhang, Lili; Bruce, Andrew; Wauthier, Eliane; Ludlow, John; Yao, Hsin-lei; Moss, Nicholas; Melhem, Alaa; McClelland, Randall; Turner, William; Kulik, Michael; Sherwood, Sonya; Tallheden, Tommi; Cheng, Nancy; Furth, Mark E.; Reid, Lola M.

    2007-01-01

    Human hepatic stem cells (hHpSCs), which are pluripotent precursors of hepatoblasts and thence of hepatocytic and biliary epithelia, are located in ductal plates in fetal livers and in Canals of Hering in adult livers. They can be isolated by immunoselection for epithelial cell adhesion molecule–positive (EpCAM+) cells, and they constitute ∼0.5–2.5% of liver parenchyma of all donor ages. The self-renewal capacity of hHpSCs is indicated by phenotypic stability after expansion for >150 population doublings in a serum-free, defined medium and with a doubling time of ∼36 h. Survival and proliferation of hHpSCs require paracrine signaling by hepatic stellate cells and/or angioblasts that coisolate with them. The hHpSCs are ∼9 μm in diameter, express cytokeratins 8, 18, and 19, CD133/1, telomerase, CD44H, claudin 3, and albumin (weakly). They are negative for α-fetoprotein (AFP), intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM) 1, and for markers of adult liver cells (cytochrome P450s), hemopoietic cells (CD45), and mesenchymal cells (vascular endothelial growth factor receptor and desmin). If transferred to STO feeders, hHpSCs give rise to hepatoblasts, which are recognizable by cordlike colony morphology and up-regulation of AFP, P4503A7, and ICAM1. Transplantation of freshly isolated EpCAM+ cells or of hHpSCs expanded in culture into NOD/SCID mice results in mature liver tissue expressing human-specific proteins. The hHpSCs are candidates for liver cell therapies. PMID:17664288

  3. Structural and functional maturation of the fetal human choriocapillaris

    PubMed Central

    Baba, Takayuki; Grebe, Rhonda; Hasegawa, Takuya; Bhutto, Imran; Merges, Carol; McLeod, D. Scott; Lutty, Gerard A.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine the structural and functional maturation of the choriocapillaris (CC). We sought to determine when fenestrations formed, pericytes invest the capillaries and endothelial cells became functional. Methods Immunohistochemistry was performed on cryopreserved sections of embryonic/fetal human eyes from 7 to 22 weeks gestation (WG) using antibodies against PAL-E, PV-1 (fenestrations), carbonic anhydrase IV (CA IV), eNOS, and alpha smooth muscle actin (αSMA) and NG2 (two pericyte markers) and endothelial cell (EC) markers (CD34, CD31). Alkaline phosphatase (APase) enzymatic activity was demonstrated by enzyme histochemistry. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was performed on 11, 14, 16 and 22 WG eyes. Adult human eyes were used as positive controls. Results All EC markers were present in CC by 7 WG. PAL-E, CA IV and eNOS immunoreactivities and APase activity were present in CC by 7–9 WG. TEM analysis demonstrated how structurally immature this vasculature was even at 11 WG: no basement membrane, absence of pericytes, and poorly formed lumens that were filled with filopodia. The few fenestrations that were observed were often present within the luminal space in the filopodia. Contiguous fenestrations and significant PV-1 were not observed until 21–22 WG. αSMA was prominent at 22 WG and the maturation of pericytes was confirmed by TEM. Conclusions It appears that EC and their precursors have several mature functional characteristics well before they are structurally mature. Although EC make tight junctions early in development, contiguous fenestrations and mature pericytes occur much later in development. PMID:19264887

  4. KeyGenes, a Tool to Probe Tissue Differentiation Using a Human Fetal Transcriptional Atlas

    PubMed Central

    Roost, Matthias S.; van Iperen, Liesbeth; Ariyurek, Yavuz; Buermans, Henk P.; Arindrarto, Wibowo; Devalla, Harsha D.; Passier, Robert; Mummery, Christine L.; Carlotti, Françoise; de Koning, Eelco J.P.; van Zwet, Erik W.; Goeman, Jelle J.; Chuva de Sousa Lopes, Susana M.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Differentiated derivatives of human pluripotent stem cells in culture are generally phenotypically immature compared to their adult counterparts. Their identity is often difficult to determine with certainty because little is known about their human fetal equivalents in vivo. Cellular identity and signaling pathways directing differentiation are usually determined by extrapolating information from either human adult tissue or model organisms, assuming conservation with humans. To resolve this, we generated a collection of human fetal transcriptional profiles at different developmental stages. Moreover, we developed an algorithm, KeyGenes, which uses this dataset to quantify the extent to which next-generation sequencing or microarray data resemble specific cell or tissue types in the human fetus. Using KeyGenes combined with the human fetal atlas, we identified multiple cell and tissue samples unambiguously on a limited set of features. We thus provide a flexible and expandable platform to monitor and evaluate the efficiency of differentiation in vitro. PMID:26028532

  5. FETAL HEART RATE MONITORING PATTERNS IN WOMEN WITH AMNIOTIC FLUID PROTEOMIC PROFILES INDICATIVE OF INFLAMMATION

    PubMed Central

    Buhimschi, Catalin S.; Abdel-Razeq, Sonya; Cackovic, Michael; Pettker, Christian M.; Dulay, Antonette T.; Bahtiyar, Mert Ozan; Zambrano, Eduardo; Martin, Ryan; Norwitz, Errol R.; Bhandari, Vineet; Buhimschi, Irina A.

    2009-01-01

    We hypothesized that abnormal fetal heart rate monitoring patterns (FHR-MP) occur more often in pregnancies complicated by intra-amniotic inflammation. Therefore, our objective was to examine the relationships between FHR-MP abnormalities, intra-amniotic inflammation and/or infection, acute histological chorioamnionitis and early-onset neonatal sepsis (EONS) in pregnancies complicated by preterm birth. Additionally, the ability of various FHR-MPs to predict EONS was investigated. FHR-MP from 87 singleton premature neonates delivered within 48 hours from amniocentesis [gestational age: 28.9 ± 3.3 weeks] were analyzed blindly using strict NICHD criteria. Strips were evaluated at three time points: at admission, at amniocentesis and prior to delivery. Intra-amniotic inflammation was established based on a previously validated proteomic fingerprint (MR score). Diagnoses of histological chorioamnionitis and EONS were based on well-recognized pathological, clinical and laboratory criteria. We determined that fetuses of women with severe intra-amniotic inflammation had a higher FHR baseline throughout the entire monitoring period and an increased frequency of a non-reactive FHR-MP at admission. Of all FHR-MP, a non-reassuring test at admission had 32% sensitivity, 95% specificity, 73% positive predictive value, 77% negative predictive value, and 76% accuracy in predicting EONS. Although a non-reassuring FHR-MP at admission was significantly associated with EONS after correcting for gestational age (OR: 5.6 [95%CI: 1.2–26.2], p=0.030), the majority of the neonates that developed EONS had an overall reassuring FHR-MP. Non-reassuring FHR-MPs at either amniocentesis or delivery had no association with EONS. We conclude that in cases complicated by preterm birth, a non-reassuring FHR-MP at the initial evaluation is a specific but not a sensitive predictor of EONS. An abnormal FHR-MP can thus raise the level of awareness that a fetus with EONS may be born, but is not a

  6. Human fetal inner ear involvement in congenital cytomegalovirus infection

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is a leading cause of sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL). The mechanisms of pathogenesis of CMV-related SNHL are still unclear. The aim is to study congenital CMV-related damage in the fetal inner ear, in order to better understand the underlying pathophysiology behind CMV-SNHL. Results We studied inner ears and brains of 20 human fetuses, all at 21 week gestational age, with a high viral load in the amniotic fluid, with and without ultrasound (US) brain abnormalities. We evaluated histological brain damage, inner ear infection, local inflammatory response and tissue viral load. Immunohistochemistry revealed that CMV was positive in 14/20 brains (70%) and in the inner ears of 9/20 fetuses (45%). In the cases with inner ear infection, the marginal cell layer of the stria vascularis was always infected, followed by infection in the Reissner’s membrane. The highest tissue viral load was observed in the inner ear with infected Organ of Corti. Vestibular labyrinth showed CMV infection of sensory cells in the utricle and in the crista ampullaris. US cerebral anomalies were detected in 6 cases, and in all those cases, the inner ear was always involved. In the other 14 cases with normal brain scan, histological brain damage was present in 8 fetuses and 3 of them presented inner ear infection. Conclusions CMV-infection of the marginal cell layer of the stria vascularis may alter potassium and ion circulation, dissipating the endocochlear potential with consequent SNHL. Although abnormal cerebral US is highly predictive of brain and inner ear damage, normal US findings cannot exclude them either. PMID:24252374

  7. Identification of CYP3A7 for Glyburide Metabolism in Human Fetal Livers

    PubMed Central

    Shuster, Diana L.; Risler, Linda J.; Prasad, Bhagwat; Calamia, Justina C.; Voellinger, Jenna L.; Kelly, Edward J.; Unadkat, Jashvant D.; Hebert, Mary F.; Shen, Danny D.; Thummel, Kenneth E.; Mao, Qingcheng

    2014-01-01

    Glyburide is commonly prescribed for the treatment of gestational diabetes mellitus; however, fetal exposure to glyburide is not well understood and may have short- and long-term consequences for the health of the child. Glyburide can cross the placenta; fetal concentrations at term are nearly comparable to maternal levels. Whether or not glyburide is metabolized in the fetus and by what mechanisms has yet to be determined. In this study, we determined the kinetic parameters for glyburide depletion by CYP3A isoenzymes; characterized glyburide metabolism by human fetal liver tissues collected during the first or early second trimester of pregnancy; and identified the major enzyme responsible for glyburide metabolism in human fetal livers. CYP3A4 had the highest metabolic capacity towards glyburide, followed by CYP3A7 and CYP3A5 (Clint,u = 37.1, 13.0, and 8.7 ml/min/nmol P450, respectively). M5 was the predominant metabolite generated by CYP3A7 and human fetal liver microsomes (HFLMs) with approximately 96% relative abundance. M5 was also the dominant metabolite generated by CYP3A4, CYP3A5, and adult liver microsomes; however, M1-M4 were also present, with up to 15% relative abundance. CYP3A7 protein levels in HFLMs were highly correlated with glyburide Clint, 16α-OH DHEA formation, and 4′-OH midazolam formation. Likewise, glyburide Clint was highly correlated with 16α-OH DHEA formation. Fetal demographics as well as CYP3A5 and CYP3A7 genotype did not alter CYP3A7 protein levels or glyburide Clint. These results indicate that human fetal livers metabolize glyburide predominantly to M5 and that CYP3A7 is the major enzyme responsible for glyburide metabolism in human fetal livers. PMID:25450675

  8. Expression of Stem Cell Markers in the Human Fetal Kidney

    PubMed Central

    Metsuyanim, Sally; Harari-Steinberg, Orit; Buzhor, Ella; Omer, Dorit; Pode-Shakked, Naomi; Ben-Hur, Herzl; Halperin, Reuvit; Schneider, David; Dekel, Benjamin

    2009-01-01

    In the human fetal kidney (HFK) self-renewing stem cells residing in the metanephric mesenchyme (MM)/blastema are induced to form all cell types of the nephron till 34th week of gestation. Definition of useful markers is crucial for the identification of HFK stem cells. Because wilms' tumor, a pediatric renal cancer, initiates from retention of renal stem cells, we hypothesized that surface antigens previously up-regulated in microarrays of both HFK and blastema-enriched stem-like wilms' tumor xenografts (NCAM, ACVRIIB, DLK1/PREF, GPR39, FZD7, FZD2, NTRK2) are likely to be relevant markers. Comprehensive profiling of these putative and of additional stem cell markers (CD34, CD133, c-Kit, CD90, CD105, CD24) in mid-gestation HFK was performed using immunostaining and FACS in conjunction with EpCAM, an epithelial surface marker that is absent from the MM and increases along nephron differentiation and hence can be separated into negative, dim or bright fractions. No marker was specifically localized to the MM. Nevertheless, FZD7 and NTRK2 were preferentially localized to the MM and emerging tubules (<10% of HFK cells) and were mostly present within the EpCAMneg and EpCAMdim fractions, indicating putative stem/progenitor markers. In contrast, single markers such as CD24 and CD133 as well as double-positive CD24+CD133+ cells comprise >50% of HFK cells and predominantly co-express EpCAMbright, indicating they are mostly markers of differentiation. Furthermore, localization of NCAM exclusively in the MM and in its nephron progenitor derivatives but also in stroma and the expression pattern of significantly elevated renal stem/progenitor genes Six2, Wt1, Cited1, and Sall1 in NCAM+EpCAM- and to a lesser extent in NCAM+EpCAM+ fractions confirmed regional identity of cells and assisted us in pinpointing the presence of subpopulations that are putative MM-derived progenitor cells (NCAM+EpCAM+FZD7+), MM stem cells (NCAM+EpCAM-FZD7+) or both (NCAM+FZD7+). These results and

  9. Identification and Analysis of Intermediate Size Noncoding RNAs in the Human Fetal Brain

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Xiaoyan; Fan, Zhen; Chen, Runsheng

    2011-01-01

    The involvement of noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) in the development of the human brain remains largely unknown. Applying a cloning strategy for detection of intermediate size (50–500 nt) ncRNAs (is-ncRNAs) we have identified 82 novel transcripts in human fetal brain tissue. Most of the novel is-ncRNAs are not well conserved in vertebrates, and several transcripts were only found in primates. Northern blot and microarray analysis indicated considerable variation in expression across human fetal brain development stages and fetal tissues for both novel and known is-ncRNAs. Expression of several of the novel is-ncRNAs was conspicuously absent in one or two brain cancer cell lines, and transient overexpression of some transcripts in cancer cells significantly inhibited cell proliferation. Overall, our results suggest that is-ncRNAs play important roles in the development and tumorigenesis of human brain. PMID:21789175

  10. The extracellular calcium-sensing receptor regulates human fetal lung development via CFTR

    PubMed Central

    Brennan, Sarah C.; Wilkinson, William J.; Tseng, Hsiu-Er; Finney, Brenda; Monk, Bethan; Dibble, Holly; Quilliam, Samantha; Warburton, David; Galietta, Luis J.; Kemp, Paul J.; Riccardi, Daniela

    2016-01-01

    Optimal fetal lung growth requires anion-driven fluid secretion into the lumen of the developing organ. The fetus is hypercalcemic compared to the mother and here we show that in the developing human lung this hypercalcaemia acts on the extracellular calcium-sensing receptor, CaSR, to promote fluid-driven lung expansion through activation of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator, CFTR. Several chloride channels including TMEM16, bestrophin, CFTR, CLCN2 and CLCA1, are also expressed in the developing human fetal lung at gestational stages when CaSR expression is maximal. Measurements of Cl−-driven fluid secretion in organ explant cultures show that pharmacological CaSR activation by calcimimetics stimulates lung fluid secretion through CFTR, an effect which in humans, but not mice, was also mimicked by fetal hypercalcemic conditions, demonstrating that the physiological relevance of such a mechanism appears to be species-specific. Calcimimetics promote CFTR opening by activating adenylate cyclase and we show that Ca2+-stimulated type I adenylate cyclase is expressed in the developing human lung. Together, these observations suggest that physiological fetal hypercalcemia, acting on the CaSR, promotes human fetal lung development via cAMP-dependent opening of CFTR. Disturbances in this process would be expected to permanently impact lung structure and might predispose to certain postnatal respiratory diseases. PMID:26911344

  11. Sampling frequency of fetal heart rate impacts the ability to predict pH and BE at birth: a retrospective multi-cohort study.

    PubMed

    Li, Xuan; Xu, Yawen; Herry, Christophe; Durosier, L Daniel; Casati, Daniela; Stampalija, Tamara; Maisonneuve, Emeline; Seely, Andrew J E; Audibert, Francois; Alfirevic, Zarko; Ferrazzi, Enrico; Wang, Xiaogang; Frasch, Martin G

    2015-05-01

    Fetal heart rate (FHR) sampling rate used on the bedside is equal or less than 4 Hz. Current FHR analysis methods fail to detect incipient fetal acidemia. In a fetal sheep model of human labour we showed that FHR sampling rates near 1000 Hz are needed to detect fetal acidemia. Trans-abdominal fetal ECG (t-a fECG) sampling FHR at 900 Hz combined with a complex signals bioinformatics approach showed promise in a human cohort. Here we validate this finding in a retrospective human cohort study by comparing the performance of the same bioinformatics approach to predict pH and BE at birth in the cohorts with FHR sampled either at 4 Hz or at 900 Hz.The 4 Hz FHR recording data sets consisted of the open access intrapartum CTG data base with n = 552 subjects used to develop the predictive model and another cohort of prospectively recruited n = 11 labouring women to then validate it. 900 Hz FHR data set comprised two prospectively recruited t-a fECG cohorts of n = 60 and n = 23 subjects. Recruitment criteria were similar across the cohorts. We have determined the goodness of fit (R(2)) and root mean square error (RMSE) as the performance indicators of the model on each cohort.The clinical characteristics of all cohorts were similar (gestational age 280   ±   8 d; gender 50% male; birth body weight 3.5   ±   0.5 kg; pH and BE at birth 7.25   ±   0.1 and  -5.7   ±   3.4 mmol L(  -  1), respectively; 1' and 5' Apgar scores at birth 8.5   ±   1.4 and 9.4   ±   0.6, respectively). The 4 Hz FHR cohort rendered-for pH and BE-R(2) = 0.26 and 0.2 and RMSE = 0.087 and 3.44, respectively. This could not be confirmed in the validation cohort for neither pH nor BE prediction. The 900 Hz FHR cohort rendered-for pH and BE-R(2) = 0.9 and 0.77 and RMSE = 0.03 and 1.70, respectively, and the pH prediction was validated.In our model, lower FHR sampling rate increased the

  12. Distinct composition of human fetal HDL attenuates its anti-oxidative capacity.

    PubMed

    Sreckovic, Ivana; Birner-Gruenberger, Ruth; Obrist, Britta; Stojakovic, Tatjana; Scharnagl, Hubert; Holzer, Michael; Scholler, Monika; Philipose, Sonia; Marsche, Gunther; Lang, Uwe; Desoye, Gernot; Wadsack, Christian

    2013-04-01

    In human high-density lipoprotein (HDL) represents the major cholesterol carrying lipoprotein class in cord blood, while cholesterol is mainly carried by low-density lipoprotein in maternal serum. Additionally, to carrying cholesterol, HDL also associates with a range of proteins as cargo. We tested the hypothesis that fetal HDL carries proteins qualitatively and quantitatively different from maternal HDL. These differences then contribute to distinct HDL functionality in both circulations. Shotgun proteomics and biochemical analyses were used to assess composition/function of fetal and maternal HDL isolated from uncomplicated human pregnancies at term of gestation. The pattern of analyzed proteins that were statistically elevated in fetal HDL (apoE, proteins involved in coagulation, transport processes) suggests a particle characteristic for the light HDL2 sub-fraction. In contrast, proteins that were enriched in maternal HDL (apoL, apoF, PON1, apoD, apoCs) have been described almost exclusively in the dense HDL3 fraction and relevant to its anti-oxidative function and role in innate immunity. Strikingly, PON1 mass and activity were 5-fold lower (p<0.01) in the fetus, which was accompanied by attenuation of anti-oxidant capacity of fetal HDL. Despite almost equal quantity of CETP in maternal and fetal HDL, its enzymatic activity was 55% lower (p<0.001) in the fetal circulation, whereas LCAT activity was not altered. These findings indicate that maternally derived HDL differs from fetal HDL with respect to its proteome, size and function. Absence of apoA-1, apoL and PON1 on fetal HDL is associated with decreased anti-oxidative properties together with deficiency in innate immunity collectively indicating distinct HDLs in fetuses. PMID:23321267

  13. DNA repair and induction of plasminogen activator in human fetal cells treated with ultraviolet light

    SciTech Connect

    Ben-Ishai, R.; Sharon, R.; Rothman, M.; Miskin, R.

    1984-03-01

    We have tested human fetal fibroblasts for development associated changes in DNA repair by utilizing nucleoid sedimentation as an assay for excision repair. Among skin fibroblasts the rate of excision repair was significantly higher in non-fetal cells than in fibroblasts derived from an 8 week fetus; this was evident by a delay in both the relaxation and the restoration of DNA supercoiling in nucleoids after irradiation. Skin fibroblasts derived at 12 week gestation were more repair proficient than those derived at 8 week gestation. However, they exhibited a somewhat lower rate of repair than non-fetal cells. The same fetal and non-fetal cells were also tested for induction of the protease plasminogen activator (PA) after u.v. irradiation. Enhancement of PA was higher in skin fibroblasts derived at 8 week than in those derived at 12 week gestation and was absent in non-fetal skin fibroblasts. These results are consistent with our previous findings that in human cells u.v. light-induced PA synthesis is correlated with reduced DNA repair capacity. Excision repair and PA inducibility were found to depend on tissue of origin in addition to gestational stage, as shown for skin and lung fibroblasts from the same 12 week fetus. Lung compared to skin fibroblasts exhibited lower repair rates and produced higher levels of PA after irradiation. The sedimentation velocity of nucleoids, prepared from unirradiated fibroblasts, in neutral sucrose gradients with or without ethidium bromide, indicated the presence of DNA strand breaks in fetal cells. It is proposed that reduced DNA repair in fetal cells may result from alterations in DNA supercoiling, and that persistent DNA strand breaks enhance transcription of PA gene(s).

  14. Scaling approach to study the changes through the gestation of human fetal cardiac and circulatory behaviors.

    PubMed

    Pennati, G; Fumero, R

    2000-04-01

    During human gestation, fetal body size increases considerably and important transformations occur to hemodynamics of the cardiovascular system of the fetus. Vascular compliances and resistances as well as the cardiac function show important changes. In order to investigate these modifications, a mathematical approach based on scaling techniques was developed. Vascular and cardiac parameters of the human fetus were related by allometric equations to the anatomical dimensions of vessels that, in turn, depend on the fetal body weight and the gestational age. A scaling factor (b) was identified for each parameter under study: vascular resistances and flow inertances decrease with gestational age (b= -0.33 for flow inertances) whereas vascular compliances remarkably increase (b= 1.33). Scaling factors were also adopted for the fetal cardiac parameters, according to experimental data on the development of fetal myocardium. Parameter values calculated for each week of the last trimester of the fetal gestation, were tested using a mathematical lumped parameter model, previously developed for a human fetus near the term of the gestation. The validation of the scaling method adopted for the parameters was performed by comparing the results of the simulations with a group of data obtained by Doppler velocimetry at different stages of fetal normal gestation. The adopted allometric equations were appropriate in describing the development of the human fetal circulatory system. The ductus venosus, the ductus arteriosus, and the foramen ovale, that conclude their function at the birth moment, as well as the lungs and the brain, do not follow the general growth rate and require different scaling factors. PMID:10870901

  15. Expression of natural antimicrobials by human placenta and fetal membranes.

    PubMed

    King, A E; Paltoo, A; Kelly, R W; Sallenave, J-M; Bocking, A D; Challis, J R G

    2007-01-01

    Preterm birth associated with infection is a major clinical problem. We hypothesized that this condition is associated with altered expression of natural antimicrobial molecules (beta-defensins (HBD), elafin). Therefore, we examined expression of these molecules and their regulation by proinflammatory cytokines in placentae and fetal membranes from term pregnancy. HBD1-3 and elafin were localized by immunohistochemistry in fetal membranes and placenta. Real-time quantitative PCR was used to examine mRNA expression in primary trophoblast cells treated with inflammatory molecules. HBD1-3 and elafin were immunolocalized to placental and chorion trophoblast layers of fetal membranes and placenta. Immunoreactivity was also observed in amnion epithelium and decidua. No differences were noted between samples from women who were not in labour compared to those in active labour. In in vitro cultures of primary trophoblast cells, HBD2 and elafin mRNA expression was upregulated by the proinflammatory cytokine, IL-1beta. These results suggest that the chorion and placental trophoblast layers may be key barriers to the progression of infection in the pregnant uterus. Natural antimicrobial expression may be altered in response to inflammatory mediator expression associated with the onset of labour and/or uterine infection, providing increased protection when the uterus may be particularly susceptible to infection. PMID:16513165

  16. SIRT1 Disruption in Human Fetal Hepatocytes Leads to Increased Accumulation of Glucose and Lipids

    PubMed Central

    Tobita, Takamasa; Guzman-Lepe, Jorge; Takeishi, Kazuki; Nakao, Toshimasa; Wang, Yang; Meng, Fanying; Deng, Chu-Xia; Collin de l’Hortet, Alexandra; Soto-Gutierrez, Alejandro

    2016-01-01

    There are unprecedented epidemics of obesity, such as type II diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases (NAFLD) in developed countries. A concerning percentage of American children are being affected by obesity and NAFLD. Studies have suggested that the maternal environment in utero might play a role in the development of these diseases later in life. In this study, we documented that inhibiting SIRT1 signaling in human fetal hepatocytes rapidly led to an increase in intracellular glucose and lipids levels. More importantly, both de novo lipogenesis and gluconeogenesis related genes were upregulated upon SIRT1 inhibition. The AKT/FOXO1 pathway, a major negative regulator of gluconeogenesis, was decreased in the human fetal hepatocytes inhibited for SIRT1, consistent with the higher level of gluconeogenesis. These results indicate that SIRT1 is an important regulator of lipid and carbohydrate metabolisms within human fetal hepatocytes, acting as an adaptive transcriptional response to environmental changes. PMID:26890260

  17. SIRT1 Disruption in Human Fetal Hepatocytes Leads to Increased Accumulation of Glucose and Lipids.

    PubMed

    Tobita, Takamasa; Guzman-Lepe, Jorge; Takeishi, Kazuki; Nakao, Toshimasa; Wang, Yang; Meng, Fanying; Deng, Chu-Xia; Collin de l'Hortet, Alexandra; Soto-Gutierrez, Alejandro

    2016-01-01

    There are unprecedented epidemics of obesity, such as type II diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases (NAFLD) in developed countries. A concerning percentage of American children are being affected by obesity and NAFLD. Studies have suggested that the maternal environment in utero might play a role in the development of these diseases later in life. In this study, we documented that inhibiting SIRT1 signaling in human fetal hepatocytes rapidly led to an increase in intracellular glucose and lipids levels. More importantly, both de novo lipogenesis and gluconeogenesis related genes were upregulated upon SIRT1 inhibition. The AKT/FOXO1 pathway, a major negative regulator of gluconeogenesis, was decreased in the human fetal hepatocytes inhibited for SIRT1, consistent with the higher level of gluconeogenesis. These results indicate that SIRT1 is an important regulator of lipid and carbohydrate metabolisms within human fetal hepatocytes, acting as an adaptive transcriptional response to environmental changes. PMID:26890260

  18. Increased reprogramming of human fetal hepatocytes compared with adult hepatocytes in feeder-free conditions.

    PubMed

    Hansel, Marc C; Gramignoli, Roberto; Blake, William; Davila, Julio; Skvorak, Kristen; Dorko, Kenneth; Tahan, Veysel; Lee, Brian R; Tafaleng, Edgar; Guzman-Lepe, Jorge; Soto-Gutierrez, Alejandro; Fox, Ira J; Strom, Stephen C

    2014-01-01

    Hepatocyte transplantation has been used to treat liver disease. The availability of cells for these procedures is quite limited. Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) may be a useful source of hepatocytes for basic research and transplantation if efficient and effective differentiation protocols were developed and problems with tumorigenicity could be overcome. Recent evidence suggests that the cell of origin may affect hiPSC differentiation. Thus, hiPSCs generated from hepatocytes may differentiate back to hepatocytes more efficiently than hiPSCs from other cell types. We examined the efficiency of reprogramming adult and fetal human hepatocytes. The present studies report the generation of 40 hiPSC lines from primary human hepatocytes under feeder-free conditions. Of these, 37 hiPSC lines were generated from fetal hepatocytes, 2 hiPSC lines from normal hepatocytes, and 1 hiPSC line from hepatocytes of a patient with Crigler-Najjar syndrome, type 1. All lines were confirmed reprogrammed and expressed markers of pluripotency by gene expression, flow cytometry, immunocytochemistry, and teratoma formation. Fetal hepatocytes were reprogrammed at a frequency over 50-fold higher than adult hepatocytes. Adult hepatocytes were only reprogrammed with six factors, while fetal hepatocytes could be reprogrammed with three (OCT4, SOX2, NANOG) or four factors (OCT4, SOX2, NANOG, LIN28 or OCT4, SOX2, KLF4, C-MYC). The increased reprogramming efficiency of fetal cells was not due to increased transduction efficiency or vector toxicity. These studies confirm that hiPSCs can be generated from adult and fetal hepatocytes including those with genetic diseases. Fetal hepatocytes reprogram much more efficiently than adult hepatocytes, although both could serve as useful sources of hiPSC-derived hepatocytes for basic research or transplantation. PMID:23394081

  19. Echocardiographic image of an active human heart

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    Echocardiographic images provide quick, safe images of the heart as it beats. While a state-of-the art echocardiograph unit is part of the Human Research Facility on International Space Station, quick transmission of images and data to Earth is a challenge. NASA is developing techniques to improve the echocardiography available to diagnose sick astronauts as well as study the long-term effects of space travel on their health. Echocardiography uses ultrasound, generated in a sensor head placed against the patient's chest, to produce images of the structure of the heart walls and valves. However, ultrasonic imaging creates an enormous volume of data, up to 220 million bits per second. This can challenge ISS communications as well as Earth-based providers. Compressing data for rapid transmission back to Earth can degrade the quality of the images. Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation are working with NASA to develop compression techniques that meet imaging standards now used on the Internet and by the medical community, and that ensure that physicians receive quality diagnostic images.

  20. Effect of nitrate and L-arginine therapy on nitric oxide levels in serum, heart, and aorta of fetal hypothyroid rats.

    PubMed

    Ghasemi, Asghar; Mehrazin, Fatemeh; Zahediasl, Saleh

    2013-12-01

    Reduced nitric oxide availability and a heterogeneous pattern of nitric oxide synthase activity in some tissues have been reported in hypothyroidism. This study aimed at determining the effects of oral nitrate and L-arginine administration on serum, heart, and aorta nitric oxide metabolite concentrations in fetal hypothyroid rats. In an experimental study, pregnant Wistar rats were administrated tap water or 0.02 % of 6-propyl-2-thiouracil in drinking water during pregnancy and their male pups were followed (n = 8/group). In adult progeny, serum, heart, and aorta nitric oxide metabolite concentrations were measured by the Griess method after 1-week administration of sodium nitrate (500 mg/L) or L-arginine (2 %) in drinking water. Serum thyroid hormone and thyroid-stimulating hormone levels were also measured. Compared to controls, fetal hypothyroid progeny had significantly lower nitric oxide metabolite concentrations in heart (0.32 ± 0.07 vs. 0.90 ± 0.14 nmol/mg protein, p = 0.004) and aorta (2.98±0.56 vs. 6.15±0.74 nmol/mg protein, p = 0.011) tissues. Nitrate therapy restored heart nitric oxide metabolite levels decreased by fetal hypothyroidism, while L-arginine administration further decreased aorta nitric oxide metabolite levels. Sodium nitrate increased and L-arginine decreased serum nitric oxide metabolite levels in both control and fetal hypothyroid animals. In conclusion, nitrate therapy restores decreased heart nitric oxide metabolite levels, whereas L-arginine decreases aorta nitric oxide metabolite levels even further in fetal hypothyroid rats, findings relevant to the cardiovascular consequences of congenital hypothyroidism in adulthood. PMID:23568620

  1. Wireless Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring in Inpatient Full-Term Pregnant Women: Testing Functionality and Acceptability

    PubMed Central

    Boatin, Adeline A.; Wylie, Blair; Goldfarb, Ilona; Azevedo, Robin; Pittel, Elena; Ng, Courtney; Haberer, Jessica

    2015-01-01

    We tested functionality and acceptability of a wireless fetal monitoring prototype technology in pregnant women in an inpatient labor unit in the United States. Women with full-term singleton pregnancies and no evidence of active labor were asked to wear the prototype technology for 30 minutes. We assessed functionality by evaluating the ability to successfully monitor the fetal heartbeat for 30 minutes, transmit this data to Cloud storage and view the data on a web portal. Three obstetricians also rated fetal cardiotocographs on ease of readability. We assessed acceptability by administering closed and open-ended questions on perceived utility and likeability to pregnant women and clinicians interacting with the prototype technology. Thirty-two women were enrolled, 28 of whom (87.5%) successfully completed 30 minutes of fetal monitoring including transmission of cardiotocographs to the web portal. Four sessions though completed, were not successfully uploaded to the Cloud storage. Six non-study clinicians interacted with the prototype technology. The primary technical problem observed was a delay in data transmission between the prototype and the web portal, which ranged from 2 to 209 minutes. Delays were ascribed to Wi-Fi connectivity problems. Recorded cardiotocographs received a mean score of 4.2/5 (± 1.0) on ease of readability with an interclass correlation of 0.81(95%CI 0.45, 0.96). Both pregnant women and clinicians found the prototype technology likable (81.3% and 66.7% respectively), useful (96.9% and 66.7% respectively), and would either use it again or recommend its use to another pregnant woman (77.4% and 66.7% respectively). In this pilot study we found that this wireless fetal monitoring prototype technology has potential for use in a United States inpatient setting but would benefit from some technology changes. We found it to be acceptable to both pregnant women and clinicians. Further research is needed to assess feasibility of using this

  2. Wireless fetal heart rate monitoring in inpatient full-term pregnant women: testing functionality and acceptability.

    PubMed

    Boatin, Adeline A; Wylie, Blair; Goldfarb, Ilona; Azevedo, Robin; Pittel, Elena; Ng, Courtney; Haberer, Jessica

    2015-01-01

    We tested functionality and acceptability of a wireless fetal monitoring prototype technology in pregnant women in an inpatient labor unit in the United States. Women with full-term singleton pregnancies and no evidence of active labor were asked to wear the prototype technology for 30 minutes. We assessed functionality by evaluating the ability to successfully monitor the fetal heartbeat for 30 minutes, transmit this data to Cloud storage and view the data on a web portal. Three obstetricians also rated fetal cardiotocographs on ease of readability. We assessed acceptability by administering closed and open-ended questions on perceived utility and likeability to pregnant women and clinicians interacting with the prototype technology. Thirty-two women were enrolled, 28 of whom (87.5%) successfully completed 30 minutes of fetal monitoring including transmission of cardiotocographs to the web portal. Four sessions though completed, were not successfully uploaded to the Cloud storage. Six non-study clinicians interacted with the prototype technology. The primary technical problem observed was a delay in data transmission between the prototype and the web portal, which ranged from 2 to 209 minutes. Delays were ascribed to Wi-Fi connectivity problems. Recorded cardiotocographs received a mean score of 4.2/5 (± 1.0) on ease of readability with an interclass correlation of 0.81(95%CI 0.45, 0.96). Both pregnant women and clinicians found the prototype technology likable (81.3% and 66.7% respectively), useful (96.9% and 66.7% respectively), and would either use it again or recommend its use to another pregnant woman (77.4% and 66.7% respectively). In this pilot study we found that this wireless fetal monitoring prototype technology has potential for use in a United States inpatient setting but would benefit from some technology changes. We found it to be acceptable to both pregnant women and clinicians. Further research is needed to assess feasibility of using this

  3. Human platelet lysate: Replacing fetal bovine serum as a gold standard for human cell propagation?

    PubMed

    Burnouf, Thierry; Strunk, Dirk; Koh, Mickey B C; Schallmoser, Katharina

    2016-01-01

    The essential physiological role of platelets in wound healing and tissue repair builds the rationale for the use of human platelet derivatives in regenerative medicine. Abundant growth factors and cytokines stored in platelet granules can be naturally released by thrombin activation and clotting or artificially by freeze/thaw-mediated platelet lysis, sonication or chemical treatment. Human platelet lysate prepared by the various release strategies has been established as a suitable alternative to fetal bovine serum as culture medium supplement, enabling efficient propagation of human cells under animal serum-free conditions for a multiplicity of applications in advanced somatic cell therapy and tissue engineering. The rapidly increasing number of studies using platelet derived products for inducing human cell proliferation and differentiation has also uncovered a considerable variability of human platelet lysate preparations which limits comparability of results. The main variations discussed herein encompass aspects of donor selection, preparation of the starting material, the possibility for pooling in plasma or additive solution, the implementation of pathogen inactivation and consideration of ABO blood groups, all of which can influence applicability. This review outlines the current knowledge about human platelet lysate as a powerful additive for human cell propagation and highlights its role as a prevailing supplement for human cell culture capable to replace animal serum in a growing spectrum of applications. PMID:26561934

  4. Characterization of Liver-Specific Functions of Human Fetal Hepatocytes in Culture.

    PubMed

    Chinnici, Cinzia Maria; Timoneri, Francesca; Amico, Giandomenico; Pietrosi, Giada; Vizzini, Giovanni; Spada, Marco; Pagano, Duilio; Gridelli, Bruno; Conaldi, Pier Giulio

    2015-01-01

    This study was designed to assess liver-specific functions of human fetal liver cells proposed as a potential source for hepatocyte transplantation. Fetal liver cells were isolated from livers of different gestational ages (16-22 weeks), and the functions of cell preparations were evaluated by establishing primary cultures. We observed that 20- to 22-week-gestation fetal liver cell cultures contained a predominance of cells with hepatocytic traits that did not divide in vitro but were functionally competent. Fetal hepatocytes performed liver-specific functions at levels comparable to those of their adult counterpart. Moreover, exposure to dexamethasone in combination with oncostatin M promptly induced further maturation of the cells through the acquisition of additional functions (i.e., ability to store glycogen and uptake of indocyanine green). In some cases, particularly in cultures obtained from fetuses of earlier gestational ages (16-18 weeks gestation), cells with mature hepatocytic traits proved to be sporadic, and the primary cultures were mainly populated by clusters of proliferating cells. Consequently, the values of liver-specific functions detected in these cultures were low. We observed that a low cell density culture system rapidly prompted loss of the mature hepatocytic phenotype with downregulations of all the liver-specific functions. We found that human fetal liver cells can be cryopreserved without significant loss of viability and function and evaluated up to 1 year in storage in liquid nitrogen. They might, therefore, be suitable for cell banking and allow for the transplantation of large numbers of cells, thus improving clinical outcomes. Overall, our results indicate that fetal hepatocytes could be used as a cell source for hepatocyte transplantation. Fetal liver cells have been used so far to treat end-stage liver disease. Additional studies are needed to include these cells in cell-based therapies aimed to treat liver failure and inborn

  5. Categorization of Fetal Heart Rate Decelerations in American and European Practice: Importance and Imperative of Avoiding Framing and Confirmation Biases.

    PubMed

    Sholapurkar, Shashikant L

    2015-09-01

    Interpretation of electronic fetal monitoring (EFM) remains controversial and unsatisfactory. Fetal heart rate (FHR) decelerations are the commonest aberrant feature on cardiotocographs and considered "center-stage" in the interpretation of EFM. A recent American study suggested that the lack of correlation of American three-tier system to neonatal acidemia may be due to the current peculiar nomenclature of FHR decelerations leading to loss of meaning. The pioneers like Hon and Caldeyro-Barcia classified decelerations based primarily on time relationship to contractions and not on etiology per se. This critical analysis debates pros and cons of significant anchoring/framing and confirmation biases in defining different types of decelerations based primarily on the shape (slope) or time of descent. It would be important to identify benign early decelerations correctly to avoid unnecessary intervention as well as to improve the positive predictive value of the other types of decelerations. Currently the vast majority of decelerations are classed as "variable". This review shows that the most common rapid decelerations during contractions with trough corresponding to peak of contraction cannot be explained by "cord-compression" hypothesis but by direct/pure (defined here as not mediated through baro-/chemoreceptors) or non-hypoxic vagal reflex. These decelerations are benign, most likely and mainly a result of head-compression and hence should be called "early" rather than "variable". Standardization is important but should be appropriate and withstand scientific scrutiny. Significant framing and confirmation biases are necessarily unscientific and the succeeding three-tier interpretation systems and structures embodying these biases would be dysfunctional and clinically unhelpful. Clinical/pathophysiological analysis and avoidance of flaws/biases suggest that a more physiological and scientific categorization of decelerations should be based on time relationship to

  6. Categorization of Fetal Heart Rate Decelerations in American and European Practice: Importance and Imperative of Avoiding Framing and Confirmation Biases

    PubMed Central

    Sholapurkar, Shashikant L.

    2015-01-01

    Interpretation of electronic fetal monitoring (EFM) remains controversial and unsatisfactory. Fetal heart rate (FHR) decelerations are the commonest aberrant feature on cardiotocographs and considered “center-stage” in the interpretation of EFM. A recent American study suggested that the lack of correlation of American three-tier system to neonatal acidemia may be due to the current peculiar nomenclature of FHR decelerations leading to loss of meaning. The pioneers like Hon and Caldeyro-Barcia classified decelerations based primarily on time relationship to contractions and not on etiology per se. This critical analysis debates pros and cons of significant anchoring/framing and confirmation biases in defining different types of decelerations based primarily on the shape (slope) or time of descent. It would be important to identify benign early decelerations correctly to avoid unnecessary intervention as well as to improve the positive predictive value of the other types of decelerations. Currently the vast majority of decelerations are classed as “variable”. This review shows that the most common rapid decelerations during contractions with trough corresponding to peak of contraction cannot be explained by “cord-compression” hypothesis but by direct/pure (defined here as not mediated through baro-/chemoreceptors) or non-hypoxic vagal reflex. These decelerations are benign, most likely and mainly a result of head-compression and hence should be called “early” rather than “variable”. Standardization is important but should be appropriate and withstand scientific scrutiny. Significant framing and confirmation biases are necessarily unscientific and the succeeding three-tier interpretation systems and structures embodying these biases would be dysfunctional and clinically unhelpful. Clinical/pathophysiological analysis and avoidance of flaws/biases suggest that a more physiological and scientific categorization of decelerations should be based on

  7. Use of wind-up fetal Doppler versus Pinard for fetal heart rate intermittent monitoring in labour: a randomised clinical trial

    PubMed Central

    Byaruhanga, R; Bassani, D G; Jagau, A; Muwanguzi, P; Montgomery, A L; Lawn, J E

    2015-01-01

    Objectives In resource-poor settings, the standard of care to inform labour management is the partograph plus Pinard stethoscope for intermittent fetal heart rate (FHR) monitoring. We compared FHR monitoring in labour using a novel, robust wind-up handheld Doppler with the Pinard as a primary screening tool for abnormal FHR on perinatal outcomes. Design Prospective equally randomised clinical trial. Setting The labour and delivery unit of a teaching hospital in Kampala, Uganda. Participants Of the 2042 eligible antenatal women, 1971 women in active term labour, following uncomplicated pregnancies, were randomised to either the standard of care or not. Intervention Intermittent FHR monitoring using Doppler. Primary outcome measures Incidence of FHR abnormality detection, intrapartum stillbirth and neonatal mortality prior to discharge. Results Age, parity, gestational age, mode of delivery and newborn weight were similar between study groups. In the Doppler group, there was a significantly higher rate of FHR abnormalities detected (incidence rate ratio (IRR)=1.61, 95% CI 1.13 to 2.30). However, in this group, there were also higher though not statistically significant rates of intrapartum stillbirths (IRR=3.94, 0.44 to 35.24) and neonatal deaths (IRR=1.38, 0.44 to 4.34). Conclusions Routine monitoring with a handheld Doppler increased the identification of FHR abnormalities in labour; however, our trial did not find evidence that this leads to a decrease in the incidence of intrapartum stillbirth or neonatal death. Trial registration number Clinical Trails.gov (1000031587). PMID:25636792

  8. Studies in Fetal Behavior: Revisited, Renewed, and Reimagined

    PubMed Central

    DiPietro, Janet A.; Costigan, Kathleen A.; Voegtline, Kristin M.

    2016-01-01

    Among the earliest volumes of this Monograph series was a report by Lester Sontag and colleagues, of the esteemed Fels Institute, on the heart rate of the human fetus as an expression of the developing nervous system. Here, some 75 years later, we commemorate this work and provide historical and contemporary context on knowledge regarding fetal development, as well as results from our own research. These are based on synchronized monitoring of maternal and fetal parameters assessed between 24 and 36 weeks gestation on 740 maternal-fetal pairs compiled from eight separate longitudinal studies, which commenced in the early 1990s. Data include maternal heart rate, respiratory sinus arrhythmia, and electrodermal activity and fetal heart rate, motor activity, and their integration. Hierarchical linear modeling of developmental trajectories reveals that the fetus develops in predictable ways consistent with advancing parasympathetic regulation. Findings also include: within-fetus stability (i.e., preservation of rank ordering over time) for heart rate, motor, and coupling measures; a transitional period of decelerating development near 30 weeks gestation; sex differences in fetal heart rate measures but not in most fetal motor activity measures; modest correspondence in fetal neurodevelopment among siblings as compared to unrelated fetuses; and deviations from normative fetal development in fetuses affected by intrauterine growth restriction and other conditions. Maternal parameters also change during this period of gestation and there is evidence that fetal sex and individual variation in fetal neurobehavior influence maternal physiological processes and the local intrauterine context. Results are discussed within the framework of neuromaturation, the emergence of individual differences, and the bidirectional nature of the maternal-fetal relationship. We pose a number of open questions for future research. Although the human fetus remains just out of reach, new

  9. A comparative biomechanical analysis of term fetal membranes in human and domestic species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The purpose of this study was to biomechanically characterize and compare human, porcine, equine, and ovine fetal membranes. Noncontact metrology was used for topographic analyses. Uniaxial tensile testing was performed to resolve specific biomechanical values. Puncture force and radial stresses we...

  10. Towards a New Study on Associative Learning in Human Fetuses: Fetal Associative Learning in Primates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kawai, Nobuyuki

    2010-01-01

    Research has revealed that fetuses can learn from events in their environment. The most convincing evidence for fetal learning is habituation to vibroacoustic stimulation (VAS) in human fetuses and classical conditioning in rat fetuses. However, these two research areas have been independent of each other. There have been few attempts at classical…

  11. Xenotransplantation of human fetal adipose tissue: a model of in vivo adipose tissue expansion and adipogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Garcia, Briana; Francois-Vaughan, Heather; Onikoyi, Omobola; Kostadinov, Stefan; De Paepe, Monique E.; Gruppuso, Philip A.; Sanders, Jennifer A.

    2014-01-01

    Obesity during childhood and beyond may have its origins during fetal or early postnatal life. At present, there are no suitable in vivo experimental models to study factors that modulate or perturb human fetal white adipose tissue (WAT) expansion, remodeling, development, adipogenesis, angiogenesis, or epigenetics. We have developed such a model. It involves the xenotransplantation of midgestation human WAT into the renal subcapsular space of immunocompromised SCID-beige mice. After an initial latency period of approximately 2 weeks, the tissue begins expanding. The xenografts are healthy and show robust expansion and angiogenesis for at least 2 months following transplantation. Data and cell size and gene expression are consistent with active angiogenesis. The xenografts maintain the expression of genes associated with differentiated adipocyte function. In contrast to the fetal tissue, adult human WAT does not engraft. The long-term viability and phenotypic maintenance of fetal adipose tissue following xenotransplantation may be a function of its autonomous high rates of adipogenesis and angiogenesis. Through the manipulation of the host mice, this model system offers the opportunity to study the mechanisms by which nutrients and other environmental factors affect human adipose tissue development and biology. PMID:25193996

  12. Xenotransplantation of human fetal adipose tissue: a model of in vivo adipose tissue expansion and adipogenesis.

    PubMed

    Garcia, Briana; Francois-Vaughan, Heather; Onikoyi, Omobola; Kostadinov, Stefan; De Paepe, Monique E; Gruppuso, Philip A; Sanders, Jennifer A

    2014-12-01

    Obesity during childhood and beyond may have its origins during fetal or early postnatal life. At present, there are no suitable in vivo experimental models to study factors that modulate or perturb human fetal white adipose tissue (WAT) expansion, remodeling, development, adipogenesis, angiogenesis, or epigenetics. We have developed such a model. It involves the xenotransplantation of midgestation human WAT into the renal subcapsular space of immunocompromised SCID-beige mice. After an initial latency period of approximately 2 weeks, the tissue begins expanding. The xenografts are healthy and show robust expansion and angiogenesis for at least 2 months following transplantation. Data and cell size and gene expression are consistent with active angiogenesis. The xenografts maintain the expression of genes associated with differentiated adipocyte function. In contrast to the fetal tissue, adult human WAT does not engraft. The long-term viability and phenotypic maintenance of fetal adipose tissue following xenotransplantation may be a function of its autonomous high rates of adipogenesis and angiogenesis. Through the manipulation of the host mice, this model system offers the opportunity to study the mechanisms by which nutrients and other environmental factors affect human adipose tissue development and biology. PMID:25193996

  13. Dissecting human cerebral organoids and fetal neocortex using single-cell RNAseq

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Treutlein, Barbara

    Cerebral organoids - three-dimensional cultures of human cerebral tissue derived from pluripotent stem cells - have emerged as models of human cortical development. However, the extent to which in vitro organoid systems recapitulate neural progenitor cell proliferation and neuronal differentiation programs observed in vivo remains unclear. Here we use single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) to dissect and compare cell composition and progenitor-to-neuron lineage relationships in human cerebral organoids and fetal neocortex. Covariation network analysis using the fetal neocortex data reveals known and novel interactions among genes central to neural progenitor proliferation and neuronal differentiation. In the organoid, we detect diverse progenitors and differentiated cell types of neuronal and mesenchymal lineages, and identify cells that derived from regions resembling the fetal neocortex. We find that these organoid cortical cells use gene expression programs remarkably similar to those of the fetal tissue in order to organize into cerebral cortex-like regions. Our comparison of in vivo and in vitro cortical single cell transcriptomes illuminates the genetic features underlying human cortical development that can be studied in organoid cultures.

  14. Human cerebral organoids recapitulate gene expression programs of fetal neocortex development

    PubMed Central

    Camp, J. Gray; Badsha, Farhath; Florio, Marta; Kanton, Sabina; Gerber, Tobias; Wilsch-Bräuninger, Michaela; Lewitus, Eric; Sykes, Alex; Hevers, Wulf; Lancaster, Madeline; Knoblich, Juergen A.; Lachmann, Robert; Pääbo, Svante; Huttner, Wieland B.; Treutlein, Barbara

    2015-01-01

    Cerebral organoids—3D cultures of human cerebral tissue derived from pluripotent stem cells—have emerged as models of human cortical development. However, the extent to which in vitro organoid systems recapitulate neural progenitor cell proliferation and neuronal differentiation programs observed in vivo remains unclear. Here we use single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) to dissect and compare cell composition and progenitor-to-neuron lineage relationships in human cerebral organoids and fetal neocortex. Covariation network analysis using the fetal neocortex data reveals known and previously unidentified interactions among genes central to neural progenitor proliferation and neuronal differentiation. In the organoid, we detect diverse progenitors and differentiated cell types of neuronal and mesenchymal lineages and identify cells that derived from regions resembling the fetal neocortex. We find that these organoid cortical cells use gene expression programs remarkably similar to those of the fetal tissue to organize into cerebral cortex-like regions. Our comparison of in vivo and in vitro cortical single-cell transcriptomes illuminates the genetic features underlying human cortical development that can be studied in organoid cultures. PMID:26644564

  15. 21 CFR 884.2600 - Fetal cardiac monitor.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... ascertain fetal heart activity during pregnancy and labor. The device is designed to separate fetal heart signals from maternal heart signals by analyzing electrocardiographic signals (electrical potentials generated during contraction and relaxation of heart muscle) obtained from the maternal abdomen...

  16. 21 CFR 884.2600 - Fetal cardiac monitor.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... ascertain fetal heart activity during pregnancy and labor. The device is designed to separate fetal heart signals from maternal heart signals by analyzing electrocardiographic signals (electrical potentials generated during contraction and relaxation of heart muscle) obtained from the maternal abdomen...

  17. 21 CFR 884.2600 - Fetal cardiac monitor.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... ascertain fetal heart activity during pregnancy and labor. The device is designed to separate fetal heart signals from maternal heart signals by analyzing electrocardiographic signals (electrical potentials generated during contraction and relaxation of heart muscle) obtained from the maternal abdomen...

  18. 21 CFR 884.2600 - Fetal cardiac monitor.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... ascertain fetal heart activity during pregnancy and labor. The device is designed to separate fetal heart signals from maternal heart signals by analyzing electrocardiographic signals (electrical potentials generated during contraction and relaxation of heart muscle) obtained from the maternal abdomen...

  19. 21 CFR 884.2600 - Fetal cardiac monitor.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... ascertain fetal heart activity during pregnancy and labor. The device is designed to separate fetal heart signals from maternal heart signals by analyzing electrocardiographic signals (electrical potentials generated during contraction and relaxation of heart muscle) obtained from the maternal abdomen...

  20. Characterization of a primary brown adipocyte culture system derived from human fetal interscapular fat

    PubMed Central

    Seiler, Sarah E; Xu, Dan; Ho, Jia-Pei; Lo, Kinyui Alice; Buehrer, Benjamin M; Ludlow, Y John W; Kovalik, Jean-Paul; Sun, Lei

    2015-01-01

    Brown fat has gained widespread attention as a potential therapeutic target to treat obesity and associated metabolic disorders. Indeed, the anti-obesity potential of multiple targets to stimulate both brown adipocyte differentiation and recruitment have been verified in rodent models. However, their therapeutic potential in humans is unknown due to the lack of a human primary brown adipocyte cell culture system. Likewise, the lack of a well-characterized human model has limited the discovery of novel targets for the activation of human brown fat. To address this current need, we aimed to identify and describe the first primary brown adipocyte cell culture system from human fetal interscapular brown adipose tissue. Pre-adipocytes isolated from non-viable human fetal interscapular tissue were expanded and cryopreserved. Cells were then thawed and plated alongside adult human subcutaneous and omental pre-adipocytes for subsequent differentiation and phenotypic characterization. Interscapular pre-adipocytes in cell culture differentiated into mature adipocytes that were morphologically indistinguishable from the adult white depots. Throughout differentiation, cultured human fetal interscapular adipocytes demonstrated increased expression of classical brown fat markers compared to subcutaneous and omental cells. Further, functional analysis revealed an elevation in fatty acid oxidation as well as maximal and uncoupled oxygen consumption in interscapular brown adipocytes compared to white control cells. These data collectively identify the brown phenotype of these cells. Thus, our primary cell culture system derived from non-viable human fetal interscapular brown adipose tissue provides a valuable tool for the study of human brown adipocyte biology and for the development of anti-obesity therapeutics. PMID:26451287

  1. Critical Scale Invariance in a Healthy Human Heart Rate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiyono, Ken; Struzik, Zbigniew R.; Aoyagi, Naoko; Sakata, Seiichiro; Hayano, Junichiro; Yamamoto, Yoshiharu

    2004-10-01

    We demonstrate the robust scale-invariance in the probability density function (PDF) of detrended healthy human heart rate increments, which is preserved not only in a quiescent condition, but also in a dynamic state where the mean level of the heart rate is dramatically changing. This scale-independent and fractal structure is markedly different from the scale-dependent PDF evolution observed in a turbulentlike, cascade heart rate model. These results strongly support the view that a healthy human heart rate is controlled to converge continually to a critical state.

  2. Transient structures of the human fetal brain: subplate, thalamic reticular complex, ganglionic eminence.

    PubMed

    Ulfig, N; Neudörfer, F; Bohl, J

    2000-07-01

    Morphological features of the subplate, the thalamic reticular complex and the ganglionic eminence, which represent three major transient structures of the human fetal forebrain, are summarized with special reference to their functional roles. The subplate harboring various neuronal types is an outstandingly wide zone subjacent to the cortical plate in the human fetal brain. Within the subplate various cortical afferents establish synaptic contacts for a prolonged period before entering the cortical plate. Therefore, the subplate is regarded as a "waiting compartment" which is required for the formation of mature cortical connections. Next to the thalamic reticular nucleus, within the fibers of internal capsule, the perireticular nucleus is located which has been established as a distinct entity during development. Its various neuronal types express a number of different neuroactive substances. Perinatally, the perireticular nucleus is drastically reduced in size. It is involved in the guidance of corticofugal and thalamocortical fibers. The ganglionic eminence is a conspicuous proliferative area that persists throughout nearly the entire fetal period. In the human fetal brain it extends medially upon the dorsal thalamic nuclei which receive precursor cells from the ganglionic eminence. Postmitotic cells in the marginal zone of the ganglionic eminence serve as an intermediate target for growing axons. On the whole, all three structures establish transient neural circuitries that may be essential for the formation of adult projections. The characteristics of the three transient structures are particularly relevant for developmental neuropathology as these structures may be damaged in disorders that preferentially occur in preterm infants. PMID:10963122

  3. Propofol Pharmacokinetics and Estimation of Fetal Propofol Exposure during Mid-Gestational Fetal Surgery: A Maternal-Fetal Sheep Model

    PubMed Central

    Niu, Jing; Venkatasubramanian, Raja; Vinks, Alexander A.; Sadhasivam, Senthilkumar

    2016-01-01

    Background Measuring fetal drug concentrations is extremely difficult in humans. We conducted a study in pregnant sheep to simultaneously describe maternal and fetal concentrations of propofol, a common intravenous anesthetic agent used in humans. Compared to inhalational anesthesia, propofol supplemented anesthesia lowered the dose of desflurane required to provide adequate uterine relaxation during open fetal surgery. This resulted in better intraoperative fetal cardiac outcome. This study describes maternal and fetal propofol pharmacokinetics (PK) using a chronically instrumented maternal-fetal sheep model. Methods Fetal and maternal blood samples were simultaneously collected from eight mid-gestational pregnant ewes during general anesthesia with propofol, remifentanil and desflurane. Nonlinear mixed-effects modeling was performed by using NONMEM software. Total body weight, gestational age and hemodynamic parameters were tested in the covariate analysis. The final model was validated by bootstrapping and visual predictive check. Results A total of 160 propofol samples were collected. A 2-compartment maternal PK model with a third fetal compartment appropriately described the data. Mean population parameter estimates for maternal propofol clearance and central volume of distribution were 4.17 L/min and 37.7 L, respectively, in a typical ewe with a median heart rate of 135 beats/min. Increase in maternal heart rate significantly correlated with increase in propofol clearance. The estimated population maternal-fetal inter-compartment clearance was 0.0138 L/min and the volume of distribution of propofol in the fetus was 0.144 L. Fetal propofol clearance was found to be almost negligible compared to maternal clearance and could not be robustly estimated. Conclusions For the first time, a maternal-fetal PK model of propofol in pregnant ewes was successfully developed. This study narrows the gap in our knowledge in maternal-fetal PK model in human. Our study confirms

  4. An application of reconfigurable technologies for non-invasive fetal heart rate extraction.

    PubMed

    Morales, D P; García, A; Castillo, E; Carvajal, M A; Parrilla, L; Palma, A J

    2013-07-01

    This paper illustrates the use of a reconfigurable system for fetal electrocardiogram (FECG) estimation from mother's abdomen ECG measurements. The system is based on two different reconfigurable devices. Initially, a field-programmable analog array (FPAA) device implements the analog reconfigurable preprocessing for ECG signal acquisition. The signal processing chain continues onto a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) device, which contains all the communication and interfacing protocols along with specific digital signal processing blocks required for fundamental period extraction from FECG waveforms. The synergy between these devices provides the system the ability to change any necessary parameter during the acquisition process for enhancing the result. The use of a FPGA allows implementing different algorithms for FECG signal extraction, such as adaptive signal filtering. Preliminary works employ commercially available development platforms for test experiments, which suffice for the processing of real FECG signals from biomedical databases, as the presented results illustrate. PMID:23089209

  5. Evolutionary anticipation of the human heart.

    PubMed Central

    Victor, S.; Nayak, V. M.

    2000-01-01

    We have studied the comparative anatomy of hearts from fish, frog, turtle, snake, crocodile, birds (duck, chicken, quail), mammals (elephant, dolphin, sheep, goat, ox, baboon, wallaby, mouse, rabbit, possum, echidna) and man. The findings were analysed with respect to the mechanism of evolution of the heart. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 PMID:11041025

  6. Comparative Effects of Di(n-Butyl) Phthalate Exposure on Fetal Germ Cell Development in the Rat and in Human Fetal Testis Xenografts

    PubMed Central

    McKinnell, Chris; Calarrão, Ana; Kennedy, Laura; Hutchison, Gary R.; Hrabalkova, Lenka; Jobling, Matthew S.; Macpherson, Sheila; Anderson, Richard A.; Sharpe, Richard M.; Mitchell, Rod T.

    2014-01-01

    Background Phthalate exposure induces germ cell effects in the fetal rat testis. Although experimental models have shown that the human fetal testis is insensitive to the steroidogenic effects of phthalates, the effects on germ cells have been less explored. Objectives We sought to identify the effects of phthalate exposure on human fetal germ cells in a dynamic model and to establish whether the rat is an appropriate model for investigating such effects. Methods We used immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction to examine Sertoli and germ cell markers on rat testes and human fetal testis xenografts after exposure to vehicle or di(n-butyl) phthalate (DBP). Our study included analysis of germ cell differentiation markers, proliferation markers, and cell adhesion proteins. Results In both rat and human fetal testes, DBP exposure induced similar germ cell effects, namely, germ cell loss (predominantly undifferentiated), induction of multinucleated gonocytes (MNGs), and aggregation of differentiated germ cells, although the latter occurred rarely in the human testes. The mechanism for germ cell aggregation and MNG induction appears to be loss of Sertoli cell–germ cell membrane adhesion, probably due to Sertoli cell microfilament redistribution. Conclusions Our findings provide the first comparison of DBP effects on germ cell number, differentiation, and aggregation in human testis xenografts and in vivo in rats. We observed comparable effects on germ cells in both species, but the effects in the human were muted compared with those in the rat. Nevertheless, phthalate effects on germ cells have potential implications for the next generation, which merits further study. Our results indicate that the rat is a human-relevant model in which to explore the mechanisms for germ cell effects. Citation van den Driesche S, McKinnell C, Calarrão A, Kennedy L, Hutchison GR, Hrabalkova L, Jobling MS, Macpherson S, Anderson RA

  7. Change of Spectral Analysis of Fetal Heart Rate During Clinical Hypnosis: a Prospective Randomised Trial from the 20th Week of Gestation Till Term

    PubMed Central

    Reinhard, J.; Hayes-Gill, B. R.; Schiermeier, S.; Hatzmann, W.; Heinrich, T. M.; Hüsken-Janßen, H.; Herrmann, E.; Louwen, F.

    2012-01-01

    Objective: To investigate the functional adaptive process of the fetal autonomic nervous system during hypnosis from the 20th week of gestation till term. Are there changes in the power spectrum analysis of fetal heart rate when the mother is having a clinical hypnosis or control period? Study Design: Fourty-nine FHR recordings were analysed. Included recordings were from singletons and abdominal fetal ECG-monitored pregnancies. All women were randomised to receive clinical hypnosis followed by a period with no intervention or vice versa. Statistical analyses were performed with the Wilcoxon signed ranks and Spearman rho correlation tests. Results: There was a significant difference found between fetal heart rate at baseline (144.3 ± 6.0) and hypnosis (142.1 ± 6.4). A difference was also detected between the standard deviation of the heart rate between baseline (6.7 ± 1.9) and hypnosis (6.8 ± 3.5). LFnu was smaller during baseline (80.2 ± 5.3) than during hypnosis (82.1 ± 5.7), whereas HFnu was significantly larger (19.8 ± 5.3 vs. 17.9 ± 5.7). There was no correlation between the gestation age and the change in LFnu, HFnu or ratio LF/HF due to the hypnosis intervention. Conclusion: The functional adaptive process of the fetal autonomic system during hypnosis is reflected by a sympathovagal shift towards increased sympathetic modulation. PMID:25284838

  8. Effect of mono-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate on human and mouse fetal testis: In vitro and in vivo approaches

    SciTech Connect

    Muczynski, V.; Cravedi, J.P.; Lehraiki, A.; Levacher, C.; Moison, D.; Lecureuil, C.; Messiaen, S.; Perdu, E.; Frydman, R.; Habert, R.; and others

    2012-05-15

    The present study was conducted to determine whether exposure to the mono-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (MEHP) represents a genuine threat to male human reproductive function. To this aim, we investigated the effects on human male fetal germ cells of a 10{sup −5} M exposure. This dose is slightly above the mean concentrations found in human fetal cord blood samples by biomonitoring studies. The in vitro experimental approach was further validated for phthalate toxicity assessment by comparing the effects of in vitro and in vivo exposure in mouse testes. Human fetal testes were recovered during the first trimester (7–12 weeks) of gestation and cultured in the presence or not of 10{sup −5} M MEHP for three days. Apoptosis was quantified by measuring the percentage of Caspase-3 positive germ cells. The concentration of phthalate reaching the fetal gonads was determined by radioactivity measurements, after incubations with {sup 14}C-MEHP. A 10{sup −5} M exposure significantly increased the rate of apoptosis in human male fetal germ cells. The intratesticular MEHP concentration measured corresponded to the concentration added in vitro to the culture medium. Furthermore, a comparable effect on germ cell apoptosis in mouse fetal testes was induced both in vitro and in vivo. This study suggests that this 10{sup −5} M exposure is sufficient to induce changes to the in vivo development of the human fetal male germ cells. -- Highlights: ► 10{sup −5} M of MEHP impairs germ cell development in the human fetal testis. ► Organotypic culture is a suitable approach to investigate phthalate effects in human. ► MEHP is not metabolized in the human fetal testis. ► In mice, MEHP triggers similar effects both in vivo and in vitro.

  9. Fetal human keratinocytes produce large amounts of antimicrobial peptides: Involvement of histone-methylation processes

    PubMed Central

    Tschachler, Antonia; Mlitz, Veronika; Karner, Susanne; Elbe-Bürger, Adelheid; Mildner, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Antimicrobial peptides (AMP), an important part of the innate immune system, are crucial for defense against invading micro-organisms. Whereas AMP have been extensively studied in adult skin little is known about the impact of AMP in the developing human skin. We therefore compared the expression and regulation of AMP in fetal, neonatal and adult keratinocytes (KC) in vitro. The constitutive expression of human beta defensin-2 (HBD-2), HBD-3, S100 protein family members and cathelicidin was significantly higher in KC from fetal skin than in KC from postnatal skin. The capacity to further increase AMP-production was comparable between pre- and postnatal KC. Analysis of skin equivalents (SE) revealed a strong constitutive expression of S100 proteins in fetal but not in neonatal and adult SE. The elevated AMP-levels correlated with reduced H3K27me3 (tri-methyl-lysine 27 on histone H3) levels and increased expression of the histone demethylase JMJD3. Knock-down of JMJD3 in fetal KC significantly down-regulated the expression of HBD-3, S100A7, S100A8, S100A9 and cathelicidin. Our data indicate an important contribution of histone-modifications in the regulation of AMP-expression in the skin during ontogeny. The elevated AMP expression in prenatal skin might represent an important defense strategy of the unborn. PMID:24694903

  10. The impact of a human IGF-II analog ([Leu27]IGF-II) on fetal growth in a mouse model of fetal growth restriction.

    PubMed

    Charnock, Jayne C; Dilworth, Mark R; Aplin, John D; Sibley, Colin P; Westwood, Melissa; Crocker, Ian P

    2016-01-01

    Enhancing placental insulin-like growth factor (IGF) availability appears to be an attractive strategy for improving outcomes in fetal growth restriction (FGR). Our approach was the novel use of [Leu(27)]IGF-II, a human IGF-II analog that binds the IGF-II clearance receptor IGF-IIR in fetal growth-restricted (FGR) mice. We hypothesized that the impact of [Leu(27)]IGF-II infusion in C57BL/6J (wild-type) and endothelial nitric oxide synthase knockout (eNOS(-/-); FGR) mice would be to enhance fetal growth and investigated this from mid- to late gestation; 1 mg·kg(-1)·day(-1) [Leu(27)]IGF-II was delivered via a subcutaneous miniosmotic pump from E12.5 to E18.5. Fetal and placental weights recorded at E18.5 were used to generate frequency distribution curves; fetuses <5th centile were deemed growth restricted. Placentas were harvested for immunohistochemical analysis of the IGF system, and maternal serum was collected for measurement of exogenously administered IGF-II. In WT pregnancies, [Leu(27)]IGF-II treatment halved the number of FGR fetuses, reduced fetal(P = 0.028) and placental weight variations (P = 0.0032), and increased the numbers of pups close to the mean fetal weight (131 vs. 112 pups within 1 SD). Mixed-model analysis confirmed litter size to be negatively correlated with fetal and placental weight and showed that [Leu(27)]IGF-II preferentially improved fetal weight in the largest litters, as defined by number. Unidirectional (14C)MeAIB transfer per gram placenta (System A amino acid transporter activity) was inversely correlated with fetal weight in [Leu(27)]IGF-II-treated WT animals (P < 0.01). In eNOS(-/-) mice, [Leu(27)]IGF-II reduced the number of FGR fetuses(1 vs. 5 in the untreated group). The observed reduction in FGR pup numbers in both C57 and eNOS(-/-) litters suggests the use of this analog as a means of standardizing and rescuing fetal growth, preferentially in the smallest offspring. PMID:26530156

  11. The impact of a human IGF-II analog ([Leu27]IGF-II) on fetal growth in a mouse model of fetal growth restriction

    PubMed Central

    Charnock, Jayne C.; Dilworth, Mark R.; Aplin, John D.; Sibley, Colin P.; Westwood, Melissa

    2015-01-01

    Enhancing placental insulin-like growth factor (IGF) availability appears to be an attractive strategy for improving outcomes in fetal growth restriction (FGR). Our approach was the novel use of [Leu27]IGF-II, a human IGF-II analog that binds the IGF-II clearance receptor IGF-IIR in fetal growth-restricted (FGR) mice. We hypothesized that the impact of [Leu27]IGF-II infusion in C57BL/6J (wild-type) and endothelial nitric oxide synthase knockout (eNOS−/−; FGR) mice would be to enhance fetal growth and investigated this from mid- to late gestation; 1 mg·kg−1·day−1 [Leu27]IGF-II was delivered via a subcutaneous miniosmotic pump from E12.5 to E18.5. Fetal and placental weights recorded at E18.5 were used to generate frequency distribution curves; fetuses <5th centile were deemed growth restricted. Placentas were harvested for immunohistochemical analysis of the IGF system, and maternal serum was collected for measurement of exogenously administered IGF-II. In WT pregnancies, [Leu27]IGF-II treatment halved the number of FGR fetuses, reduced fetal(P = 0.028) and placental weight variations (P = 0.0032), and increased the numbers of pups close to the mean fetal weight (131 vs. 112 pups within 1 SD). Mixed-model analysis confirmed litter size to be negatively correlated with fetal and placental weight and showed that [Leu27]IGF-II preferentially improved fetal weight in the largest litters, as defined by number. Unidirectional 14CMeAIB transfer per gram placenta (System A amino acid transporter activity) was inversely correlated with fetal weight in [Leu27]IGF-II-treated WT animals (P < 0.01). In eNOS−/− mice, [Leu27]IGF-II reduced the number of FGR fetuses(1 vs. 5 in the untreated group). The observed reduction in FGR pup numbers in both C57 and eNOS−/− litters suggests the use of this analog as a means of standardizing and rescuing fetal growth, preferentially in the smallest offspring. PMID:26530156

  12. Regulation of fibrillins and modulators of TGFβ in fetal bovine and human ovaries.

    PubMed

    Bastian, Nicole A; Bayne, Rosemary A; Hummitzsch, Katja; Hatzirodos, Nicholas; Bonner, Wendy M; Hartanti, Monica D; Irving-Rodgers, Helen F; Anderson, Richard A; Rodgers, Raymond J

    2016-08-01

    Fibrillins 1-3 are stromal extracellular matrix proteins that play important roles in regulating TGFβ activity, which stimulates fibroblasts to proliferate and synthesize collagen. In the developing ovary, the action of stroma is initially necessary for the formation of ovigerous cords and subsequently for the formation of follicles and the surface epithelium of the ovary. FBN3 is highly expressed only in early ovarian development and then it declines. In contrast, FBN1 and 2 are upregulated in later ovarian development. We examined the expression of FBN1-3 in bovine and human fetal ovaries. We used cell dispersion and monolayer culture, cell passaging and tissue culture. Cells were treated with growth factors, hormones or inhibitors to assess the regulation of expression of FBN1-3 When bovine fetal ovarian tissue was cultured, FBN3 expression declined significantly. Treatment with TGFβ-1 increased FBN1 and FBN2 expression in bovine fibroblasts, but did not affect FBN3 expression. Additionally, in cultures of human fetal ovarian fibroblasts (9-17weeks gestational age), the expression of FBN1 and FBN2 increased with passage, whereas FBN3 dramatically decreased. Treatment with activin A and a TGFβ family signaling inhibitor, SB431542, differentially regulated the expression of a range of modulators of TGFβ signaling and of other growth factors in cultured human fetal ovarian fibroblasts suggesting that TGFβ signaling is differentially involved in the regulation of ovarian fibroblasts. Additionally, since the changes in FBN1-3 expression that occur in vitro are those that occur with increasing gestational age in vivo, we suggest that the fetal ovarian fibroblasts mature in vitro. PMID:27222596

  13. Fetal echocardiographic evaluation of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Sklansky, Mark; Renner, Michael; Clough, Patricia; Levine, Gregg; Campbell, Michelle; Stone, Rae; Schmitt, Todd; Chang, Ruey-Kang; Shannon-Rodriguez, Jayne

    2010-03-01

    In humans, fetal echocardiography represents the most important tool for the assessment of the cardiovascular well-being of the fetus. However, because of logistic, anatomic, and behavioral challenges, detailed fetal echocardiographic evaluation of marine mammals has not been previously described. Because the application of fetal echocardiography to cetaceans could have both clinical and academic importance, an approach to evaluating the fetal dolphin's cardiovascular status was developed with conventional, fetal echocardiographic techniques developed in humans. Eight singleton fetal bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) were evaluated, each between 6 and 11 mo gestation; six fetuses underwent two fetal echocardiographic evaluations each, four at 3-mo intervals, and two at 0.5-mo intervals. Evaluations were performed without sedation, using conventional, portable ultrasound systems. Multiple transducers, probes, and maternal dolphin positions were used to optimize image quality. Fetal echocardiography included two-dimensional imaging and color flow mapping of the heart and great arteries, as well as pulsed Doppler evaluation of the umbilical artery and vein. Thorough evaluations of the fetal dolphins' cardiovascular status were performed, with the greatest resolution between 8 and 9 mo gestation. With the use of published human fetal echocardiographic findings for comparison, fetal echocardiography demonstrated normal structure and function of the heart and great arteries, including the pulmonary veins, inferior vena cava, right and left atria, foramen ovale, tricuspid and mitral valves, right and left ventricles, ventricular septum, pulmonary and aortic valves, main pulmonary artery and ascending aorta, and ductus arteriosus. Pulsed Doppler techniques demonstrated normal umbilical arterial and venous waveforms, and color flow mapping demonstrated absence of significant valvar regurgitation. Fetal echocardiography, particularly between 8 and 9 mo gestation, can

  14. Easy as ABC: A System to Stratify Category II Fetal Heart Rate Tracings.

    PubMed

    Penfield, Christina A; Hong, Connie; Ibrahim, Samia El Haj; Kilpatrick, Sarah J; Gregory, Kimberly D

    2016-06-01

    Objective To evaluate whether a subcategory system for category II tracings can improve team communication and perinatal outcomes. Study Design We collected data prospectively for 15 months, first using the NICHD system, followed by the ABC system, which divides category II tracings into subcategories A, B, and C, each representing increased risk for metabolic acidemia. We surveyed providers about communication effectiveness and agreement on tracing interpretation for each system. In cases where the communication system was used to alert an off-site physician about a category II tracing, we compared arrival to L&D and NICU admissions. Results The ABC system was preferred (69%, n = 152) and considered a more effective tool for communicating concerning fetal status (80% vs. 43%, p < 0.01). Participants also reported greater agreement on tracing interpretation (79% for ABC vs. 64% for NICHD, p = 0.046). When an off-site physician was contacted about a category II tracing (n = 95), they were more likely to arrive to L&D (44% vs. 20%, p < 0.01) and have fewer NICU admissions (0% vs. 6%, p < 0.01) with the ABC system. Conclusion The ABC system resulted in improved team communication, increased physician response, and decreased NICU admissions. Using standardized communication may offer a useful strategy for identifying and expediting care. PMID:26871906

  15. Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis of Transient Fetal Compartments during Prenatal Human Brain Development.

    PubMed

    Vasung, Lana; Lepage, Claude; Radoš, Milan; Pletikos, Mihovil; Goldman, Jennifer S; Richiardi, Jonas; Raguž, Marina; Fischi-Gómez, Elda; Karama, Sherif; Huppi, Petra S; Evans, Alan C; Kostovic, Ivica

    2016-01-01

    The cerebral wall of the human fetal brain is composed of transient cellular compartments, which show characteristic spatiotemporal relationships with intensity of major neurogenic events (cell proliferation, migration, axonal growth, dendritic differentiation, synaptogenesis, cell death, and myelination). The aim of the present study was to obtain new quantitative data describing volume, surface area, and thickness of transient compartments in the human fetal cerebrum. Forty-four postmortem fetal brains aged 13-40 postconceptional weeks (PCW) were included in this study. High-resolution T1 weighted MR images were acquired on 19 fetal brain hemispheres. MR images were processed using in-house software (MNI-ACE toolbox). Delineation of fetal compartments was performed semi-automatically by co-registration of MRI with histological sections of the same brains, or with the age-matched brains from Zagreb Neuroembryological Collection. Growth trajectories of transient fetal compartments were reconstructed. The composition of telencephalic wall was quantitatively assessed. Between 13 and 25 PCW, when the intensity of neuronal proliferation decreases drastically, the relative volume of proliferative (ventricular and subventricular) compartments showed pronounced decline. In contrast, synapse- and extracellular matrix-rich subplate compartment continued to grow during the first two trimesters, occupying up to 45% of telencephalon and reaching its maximum volume and thickness around 30 PCW. This developmental maximum coincides with a period of intensive growth of long cortico-cortical fibers, which enter and wait in subplate before approaching the cortical plate. Although we did not find significant age related changes in mean thickness of the cortical plate, the volume, gyrification index, and surface area of the cortical plate continued to exponentially grow during the last phases of prenatal development. This cortical expansion coincides developmentally with the

  16. Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis of Transient Fetal Compartments during Prenatal Human Brain Development

    PubMed Central

    Vasung, Lana; Lepage, Claude; Radoš, Milan; Pletikos, Mihovil; Goldman, Jennifer S.; Richiardi, Jonas; Raguž, Marina; Fischi-Gómez, Elda; Karama, Sherif; Huppi, Petra S.; Evans, Alan C.; Kostovic, Ivica

    2016-01-01

    The cerebral wall of the human fetal brain is composed of transient cellular compartments, which show characteristic spatiotemporal relationships with intensity of major neurogenic events (cell proliferation, migration, axonal growth, dendritic differentiation, synaptogenesis, cell death, and myelination). The aim of the present study was to obtain new quantitative data describing volume, surface area, and thickness of transient compartments in the human fetal cerebrum. Forty-four postmortem fetal brains aged 13–40 postconceptional weeks (PCW) were included in this study. High-resolution T1 weighted MR images were acquired on 19 fetal brain hemispheres. MR images were processed using in-house software (MNI-ACE toolbox). Delineation of fetal compartments was performed semi-automatically by co-registration of MRI with histological sections of the same brains, or with the age-matched brains from Zagreb Neuroembryological Collection. Growth trajectories of transient fetal compartments were reconstructed. The composition of telencephalic wall was quantitatively assessed. Between 13 and 25 PCW, when the intensity of neuronal proliferation decreases drastically, the relative volume of proliferative (ventricular and subventricular) compartments showed pronounced decline. In contrast, synapse- and extracellular matrix-rich subplate compartment continued to grow during the first two trimesters, occupying up to 45% of telencephalon and reaching its maximum volume and thickness around 30 PCW. This developmental maximum coincides with a period of intensive growth of long cortico-cortical fibers, which enter and wait in subplate before approaching the cortical plate. Although we did not find significant age related changes in mean thickness of the cortical plate, the volume, gyrification index, and surface area of the cortical plate continued to exponentially grow during the last phases of prenatal development. This cortical expansion coincides developmentally with the

  17. The Regional Centralization of Electronic Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring and Its Impact on Neonatal Acidemia and the Cesarean Birth Rate

    PubMed Central

    Urabe, Hirotoshi; Tokunaga, Syuichi; Kodama, Yuki; Ikenoue, Tsuyomu

    2016-01-01

    Objective. The improvement of the accuracy of fetal heart rate (FHR) pattern interpretation to improve perinatal outcomes remains an elusive challenge. We examined the impact of an FHR centralization system on the incidence of neonatal acidemia and cesarean births. Methods. We performed a regional, population-based, before-and-after study of 9,139 deliveries over a 3-year period. The chi-squared test was used for the statistical analysis. Results. The before-and-after study showed no difference in the rates of acidemia, cesarean births, or perinatal death in the whole population. A subgroup analysis using the 4 hospitals in which an FHR centralization system was continuously connected (compliant group) and 3 hospitals in which the FHR centralization system was connected on demand (noncompliant group) showed that the incidence acidemia was significantly decreased (from 0.47% to 0.11%) without a corresponding increase in the cesarean birth rate due to nonreassuring FHR patterns in the compliant group. Although there was no difference in the incidence of nonreassuring FHR patterns in the noncompliant group, the total cesarean birth rate was significantly higher than that in the compliant group. Conclusion. The continuous FHR centralization system, in which specialists help to interpret results and decide clinical actions, was beneficial in reducing the incidence of neonatal acidemia (pH < 7.1) without increasing the cesarean birth rate due to nonreassuring FHR patterns. PMID:27379185

  18. Mechanical stretch increases brain natriuretic peptide production and secretion in the human fetal membranes.

    PubMed

    Carvajal, Jorge A; Delpiano, Ana M; Cuello, Mauricio A; Poblete, José A

    2013-05-01

    Brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) is synthesized by human fetal membranes, both the amnion and chorion. This locally produced BNP inhibits the contraction of the human myometrium, contributing to the maintenance of myometrial quiescence during pregnancy. We tested the hypothesis that BNP production is increased by fetal membrane stretching, which is predicted to occur in the expanding uterus, and inhibited by epidermal growth factor (EGF), whose production in the fetal membranes increases in late pregnancy. Term fetal membranes were obtained during elective cesarean delivery before labor. Sections of membranes were placed in an isolated chamber containing DMEM: F12 medium (37°C) and stretched with a 35 g weight. Medium and tissue samples were collected at 0, 3, 6, 18, and 24 hours for measurement of messenger RNA (mRNA) and BNP levels in the presence/absence of EGF (2 × 10(-9 )mol/L). Inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and β-actin were also evaluated to discard a nonspecific effect of mechanical stretch on protein expression. We found that amnion and chorion stretching increased the BNP mRNA (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction [RT-PCR]) and protein (radioimmunosorbent assay [RIA]) levels from 18 hours onward. The effect of stretching was inhibited by EGF (2 × 10(-9) mol/L). Stretch did not increase iNOS or β-actin protein levels. We concluded that chorion and amnion stretching may increase BNP expression in the fetal membranes during pregnancy, while increasing biological activity of EGF may decrease BNP production in the chorion and amnion late in pregnancy. We postulate BNP is an important regulator of myometrial contractility during pregnancy, and its production is modulated by both stretch and progressive increase in EGF levels during pregnancy. PMID:23012317

  19. Timely and spatially regulated maturation of B and T cell repertoire during human fetal development.

    PubMed

    Rechavi, Erez; Lev, Atar; Lee, Yu Nee; Simon, Amos J; Yinon, Yoav; Lipitz, Schlomo; Amariglio, Ninette; Weisz, Boaz; Notarangelo, Luigi D; Somech, Raz

    2015-02-25

    Insights into the ontogeny of the human fetal adaptive immune system are of great value for understanding immunocompetence of the developing fetus. However, to date, this has remained largely uncharted territory, in large part because blood samples from healthy, early gestation fetuses have been hard to come by. In a comprehensive study, we analyzed levels of T cell receptor excision circles (TRECs), signal-joint κ receptor excision circles (sjKRECs), and intron recombination signal sequence-K-deleting element (iRSS-Kde) rearrangement, and T and B lymphocyte repertoire clonality in human fetuses from 12 to 26 weeks of gestational age. Using next-generation sequencing, we analyzed the diversity and complexity of T cell receptor β (TRB) and immunoglobulin heavy chain (IGH) repertoires in four fetuses at 12, 13, 22, and 26 weeks of gestation and in healthy full-term infants. We report the progressive increase of TREC, sjKREC, and iRSS-Kde levels over time and confirm that B cell development precedes T cell development in the human fetus. Temporally and spatially regulated maturation of B and T cell repertoire diversity and complexity during human fetal development was observed, including evidence that immunoglobulin somatic hypermutation and class switch recombination occur already during intrauterine life. Our results help define physiological levels of immunodeficiency in premature infants and may serve as a reference for future studies aimed at investigating the impact of intrauterine pathologies on fetal immune development and function. PMID:25717098

  20. Identification of novel molecular markers through transcriptomic analysis in human fetal and adult corneal endothelial cells.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yinyin; Huang, Kevin; Nakatsu, Martin N; Xue, Zhigang; Deng, Sophie X; Fan, Guoping

    2013-04-01

    The corneal endothelium is composed of a monolayer of corneal endothelial cells (CECs), which is essential for maintaining corneal transparency. To better characterize CECs in different developmental stages, we profiled mRNA transcriptomes in human fetal and adult corneal endothelium with the goal to identify novel molecular markers in these cells. By comparing CECs with 12 other tissue types, we identified 245 and 284 signature genes that are highly expressed in fetal and adult CECs, respectively. Functionally, these genes are enriched in pathways characteristic of CECs, including inorganic anion transmembrane transporter, extracellular matrix structural constituent and cyclin-dependent protein kinase inhibitor activity. Importantly, several of these genes are disease target genes in hereditary corneal dystrophies, consistent with their functional significance in CEC physiology. We also identified stage-specific markers associated with CEC development, such as specific members in the transforming growth factor beta and Wnt signaling pathways only expressed in fetal, but not in adult CECs. Lastly, by the immunohistochemistry of ocular tissues, we demonstrated the unique protein localization for Wnt5a, S100A4, S100A6 and IER3, the four novel markers for fetal and adult CECs. The identification of a new panel of stage-specific markers for CECs would be very useful for characterizing CECs derived from stem cells or ex vivo expansion for cell replacement therapy. PMID:23257286

  1. Phase Transition in a Healthy Human Heart Rate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiyono, Ken; Struzik, Zbigniew R.; Aoyagi, Naoko; Togo, Fumiharu; Yamamoto, Yoshiharu

    2005-07-01

    A healthy human heart rate displays complex fluctuations which share characteristics of physical systems in a critical state. We demonstrate that the human heart rate in healthy individuals undergoes a dramatic breakdown of criticality characteristics, reminiscent of continuous second order phase transitions. By studying the germane determinants, we show that the hallmark of criticality—highly correlated fluctuations—is observed only during usual daily activity, and a breakdown of these characteristics occurs in prolonged, strenuous exercise and sleep. This finding is the first reported discovery of the dynamical phase transition phenomenon in a biological control system and will be a key to understanding the heart rate control system in health and disease.

  2. Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptors Alpha, Beta, and Gamma mRNA and protein expression in human fetal tissues

    EPA Science Inventory

    Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) regulate lipid and glucose homeostasis, are targets of pharmaceuticals, and are also activated by environmental contaminants. Almost nothing is known about expression of PPARs during human fetal development. This study examine...

  3. Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Alpha (PPARa), Beta (PPARI3), and Gamma (PPARy) Expression in Human Fetal Tissues.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) regulate lipid and glucose homeostasis, are targets of pharmaceuticals, and are also activated by environmental contaminants. Almost nothing is known about expression of PPARs during human fetal development. This study uses qPCR...

  4. Correlation between Conjugated Bisphenol A Concentrations and Efflux Transporter Expression in Human Fetal Livers.

    PubMed

    Moscovitz, Jamie E; Nahar, Muna S; Shalat, Stuart L; Slitt, Angela L; Dolinoy, Dana C; Aleksunes, Lauren M

    2016-07-01

    Because of its widespread use in the manufacturing of consumer products over several decades, human exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) has been pervasive. Fetuses are particularly sensitive to BPA exposure, with a number of negative developmental and reproductive outcomes observed in rodent perinatal models. Xenobiotic transporters are one mechanism to extrude conjugated and unconjugated BPA from the liver. In this study, the mRNA expression of xenobiotic transporters and relationships with total, conjugated, and free BPA levels were explored utilizing human fetal liver samples. The mRNA expression of breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP) and multidrug resistance-associated transporter (MRP)4, as well as BCRP and multidrug resistance transporter 1 exhibited the highest degree of correlation, with r(2) values of 0.941 and 0.816 (P < 0.001 for both), respectively. Increasing concentrations of conjugated BPA significantly correlated with high expression of MRP1 (P < 0.001), MRP2 (P < 0.05), and MRP3 (P < 0.05) transporters, in addition to the NF-E2-related factor 2 transcription factor (P < 0.001) and its prototypical target gene, NAD(P)H quinone oxidoreductase 1 (P < 0.001). These data demonstrate that xenobiotic transporters may be coordinately expressed in the human fetal liver. This is also the first report of a relationship between environmentally relevant fetal BPA levels and differences in the expression of transporters that can excrete the parent compound and its metabolites. PMID:26851240

  5. Adrenomedullin deficiency potentiates hyperoxic injury in fetal human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shaojie; Patel, Ananddeep; Moorthy, Bhagavatula; Shivanna, Binoy

    2015-09-01

    Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a chronic lung disease of premature infants that is characterized by alveolar simplification and decreased lung angiogenesis. Hyperoxia-induced oxidative stress and inflammation contributes to the development of BPD in premature infants. Adrenomedullin (AM) is an endogenous peptide with potent angiogenic, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. Whether AM regulates hyperoxic injury in fetal primary human lung cells is unknown. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that AM-deficient fetal primary human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells (HPMEC) will have increased oxidative stress, inflammation, and cytotoxicity compared to AM-sufficient HPMEC upon exposure to hyperoxia. Adrenomedullin gene (Adm) was knocked down in HPMEC by siRNA-mediated transfection and the resultant AM-sufficient and -deficient cells were evaluated for hyperoxia-induced oxidative stress, inflammation, cytotoxicity, and Akt activation. AM-deficient HPMEC had significantly increased hyperoxia-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and cytotoxicity compared to AM-sufficient HPMEC. Additionally, AM-deficient cell culture supernatants had increased macrophage inflammatory protein 1α and 1β, indicating a heightened inflammatory state. Interestingly, AM deficiency was associated with an abrogated Akt activation upon exposure to hyperoxia. These findings support the hypothesis that AM deficiency potentiates hyperoxic injury in primary human fetal HPMEC via mechanisms entailing Akt activation. PMID:26196743

  6. Effect of placental factors on growth and function of the human fetal adrenal in vitro

    SciTech Connect

    Riopel, L.; Branchaud, C.L.; Goodyer, C.G.; Zweig, M.; Lipowski, L.; Adkar, V.; Lefebvre, Y. )

    1989-11-01

    Conditioned medium from human placental monolayer cultures (PM) had a marked stimulatory effect on proliferation (3H-thymidine uptake) of human fetal zone adrenal cells in primary monolayer culture, even in the absence of serum. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) and fibroblast growth factor (FGF) also significantly stimulated fetal adrenal cell growth. However, the effects of PM differed from those of EGF and FGF in several respects: (1) maximal response to PM was 2-5 times greater; (2) mitogenic effects of EGF and FGF were suppressed by adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), whereas that of 50% PM was not; (3) PM inhibited ACTH-stimulated steroidogenesis (dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate and cortisol), but EGF and FGF did not. Preliminary characterization studies have indicated that approximately half of the placental growth-promoting activity is heat resistant and sensitive to bacterial proteases, and that 50-60% of the activity is lost after dialysis with membranes having a molecular weight cutoff of 3500. These findings suggest a role for the placenta in the growth and differentiated function of the human fetal adrenal gland.

  7. Effect of 3'-azido-3'-deoxythymidine on human immunodeficiency virus type 1 replication in human fetal brain macrophages.

    PubMed Central

    Geleziunas, R; Arts, E J; Boulerice, F; Goldman, H; Wainberg, M A

    1993-01-01

    We investigated whether cells derived from the fetal central nervous system can support productive infection by a human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) isolate termed UHC-1, produced by a cellular clone derived from HIV-1 strain HIV-IIIB chronically infected U-937 promonocytic cells, and what the effect of nucleoside analogs might be on viral replication in this system. Fractionation of human fetal brain tissue into two different populations, enriched for either astrocytes or macrophages, showed that only the latter were able to support productive UHC-1 replication and generation of detectable progeny virus. Pretreatment of fetal brain macrophages with either of two nucleoside analogs, 3'-azido-3'-deoxythymidine (AZT) or the (-) enantiomer of 2'-deoxy-3'-thiacytidine, efficiently blocked production of progeny virus. Generation of unintegrated proviral DNA and HIV-1 transcripts were inhibited by pretreatment of fetal brain macrophages with 1 microM AZT. Administration of AZT at 24 h postinfection led to a slight reduction in viral transcript levels and viral progeny production by day 15 postinfection; however, brain macrophages under these conditions did not contain detectable amounts of unintegrated viral DNA. These results suggest that AZT may interfere with the accumulation of unintegrated HIV-1 DNA in brain macrophages. This is the first demonstration that nucleoside analogs are able to block HIV-1 replication in primary cultures of brain cells. Images PMID:8392310

  8. The winding road to regenerating the human heart

    PubMed Central

    Gerbin, Kaytlyn A.; Murry, Charles E.

    2015-01-01

    Regenerating the human heart is a challenge that has engaged researchers and clinicians around the globe for nearly a century. From the repair of the first septal defect in 1953, followed by the first successful heart transplant in 1967, and later to the first infusion of bone-marrow derived cells to the human myocardium in 2002, significant progress has been made in heart repair. Yet, chronic heart failure remains a leading pathological burden worldwide. Why has regenerating the human heart been such a challenge, and how close are we to achieving clinically relevant regeneration? Exciting progress has been made to establish cell transplantation techniques in recent years, and new pre-clinical studies in large animal models have shed light on the promises and challenges that lie ahead. In this review, we will discuss the history of cell therapy approaches and provide an overview of clinical trials using cell transplantation for heart regeneration. Focusing on the delivery of human stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes, current experimental strategies in the field will be discussed as well as their clinical translation potential. Although the human heart has not been regenerated yet, decades of experimental progress have guided us onto a promising pathway. Summary Exciting progress has been made in recent years to establish clinical cell transplantation techniques, and new pre-clinical studies in large animal models have shed light on the promises and challenges that lie ahead. Although the human heart has not been regenerated yet, decades of experimental progress in pre-clinical and clinical trials have guided us onto a promising pathway. PMID:25795463

  9. Intracellular Immunization of Human Fetal Cord Blood Stem/Progenitor Cells with a Ribozyme Against Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Mang; Leavitt, Mark C.; Maruyama, Midori; Yamada, Osamu; Young, Dennis; Ho, Anthony D.; Wong-Staal, Flossie

    1995-01-01

    Successful treatment of human immunodeficiency virus infection may ultimately require targeting of hematopoietic stem cells. Here we used retroviral vectors carrying the ribozyme gene to transduce CD34^+ cells from human fetal cord blood. Transduction and ribozyme expression had no apparent adverse effect on cell differentiation and/or proliferation. The macrophage-like cells, differentiated from the stem/progenitor cells in vitro, expressed the ribozyme gene and resisted infection by a macrophage tropic human immunodeficiency virus type 1. These results suggest the feasibility of stem cell gene therapy for human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients.

  10. Oligodendrocyte development and the onset of myelination in the human fetal brain.

    PubMed

    Jakovcevski, Igor; Filipovic, Radmila; Mo, Zhicheng; Rakic, Sonja; Zecevic, Nada

    2009-01-01

    Oligodendrocytes are cells that myelinate axons, providing saltatory conduction of action potentials and proper function of the central nervous system. Myelination begins prenatally in the human, and the sequence of oligodendrocyte development and the onset of myelination are not thoroughly investigated. This knowledge is important to better understand human diseases, such as periventricular leukomalacia, one of the leading causes of motor deficit in premature babies, and demyelinating disorders such as multiple sclerosis (MS). In this review we discuss the spatial and temporal progression of oligodendrocyte lineage characterized by the expression of specific markers and transcription factors in the human fetal brain from the early embryonic period (5 gestational weeks, gw) until midgestation (24 gw). Our in vitro evidence indicated that a subpopulation of human oligodendrocytes may have dorsal origin, from cortical radial glia cells, in addition to their ventral telencephalic origin. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the regulation of myelination in the human fetal brain includes positive and negative regulators. Chemokines, such as CXCL1, abundant in proliferative zones during brain development and in regions of remyelination in adult, are discussed in the view of their potential roles in stimulating oligodendrocyte development. Other signals are inhibitory and may include, but are not limited to, polysialic acid modification of the neural cell adhesion molecule on axons. Overall, important differences in temporal and spatial distribution and regulatory signals for oligodendrocyte differentiation exist between human and rodent brains. Those differences may underlie the unique susceptibility of humans to demyelinating diseases, such as MS. PMID:19521542

  11. Generation of Neural Stem Cells from Discarded Human Fetal Cortical Tissue

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Jie; Delli-Bovi, Laurent C.; Hecht, Jonathan; Folkerth, Rebecca; Sheen, Volney L.

    2011-01-01

    Neural stem cells (NSCs) reside along the ventricular zone neuroepithelium during the development of the cortical plate. These early progenitors ultimately give rise to intermediate progenitors and later, the various neuronal and glial cell subtypes that form the cerebral cortex. The capacity to generate and expand human NSCs (so called neurospheres) from discarded normal fetal tissue provides a means with which to directly study the functional aspects of normal human NSC development 1-5. This approach can also be directed toward the generation of NSCs from known neurological disorders, thereby affording the opportunity to identify disease processes that alter progenitor proliferation, migration and differentiation 6-9. We have focused on identifying pathological mechanisms in human Down syndrome NSCs that might contribute to the accelerated Alzheimer's disease phenotype 10,11. Neither in vivo nor in vitro mouse models can replicate the identical repertoire of genes located on human chromosome 21. Here we use a simple and reliable method to isolate Down syndrome NSCs from aborted human fetal cortices and grow them in culture. The methodology provides specific aspects of harvesting the tissue, dissection with limited anatomical landmarks, cell sorting, plating and passaging of human NSCs. We also provide some basic protocols for inducing differentiation of human NSCs into more selective cell subtypes. PMID:21654623

  12. Alloproliferation of purified CD4+ T cells to adult human heart endothelial cells, and study of second-signal requirements.

    PubMed Central

    McDouall, R M; Page, C S; Hafizi, S; Yacoub, M H; Rose, M L

    1996-01-01

    Human endothelial cells have been shown to be capable of causing direct allostimulation of T cells. However, the majority of immunological studies of human endothelial cells have been performed on cells of fetal origin. Here we use endothelial cells isolated from the adult human heart, both large vessel (coronary artery, pulmonary artery and aorta) and also microvascular. We have examined the ability of all these endothelial cells to cause direct allostimulation of T cells, and show that purified CD4+ T cells can proliferate in response to adult human heart endothelial cells, the response being dependent on pretreatment of the endothelial cells with interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) and inhibited by anti-HLA-DR monoclonal antibody. The proliferative responses of CD8+ T cells to adult but not fetal endothelial cells was inconsistent and weak. Proliferative responses were not blocked by CTLA4-Ig, which inhibits T-cell responses to "classical' antigen-presenting cells (APC), but > 50% inhibition was achieved with monoclonal antibody to lymphocyte function-associated antigen-3 (LFA-3). These results show that adult human cardiovascular endothelial cells are capable of causing allostimulation of resting CD4+ T cells, using a different second signal to classical APC. In view of these findings endothelial cells should be considered as APC following solid organ transplantation. PMID:8943718

  13. Fetal human airway smooth muscle cell production of leukocyte chemoattractants is differentially regulated by fluticasone

    PubMed Central

    Pearson, Helen; Britt, Rodney D.; Pabelick, Christine M.; Prakash, Y.S.; Amrani, Yassine; Pandya, Hitesh C.

    2016-01-01

    Background Adult human airway smooth muscle (ASM) produce cytokines involved in recruitment and survival of leukocytes within airway walls. Cytokine generation by adult ASM is glucocorticoid-sensitive. Whether developing lung ASM produces cytokines in a glucocorticoid-sensitive fashion is unknown. Methods Cultured fetal human ASM cells stimulated with TNF-α (0–20 ng/ml) were incubated with TNF-α receptor-blocking antibodies, fluticasone (1 and 100 nm), or vehicle. Supernatants and cells were assayed for the production of CCL5, CXCL10, and CXCL8 mRNA and protein and glucocorticoid receptor phosphorylation. Results CCL5, CXCL10, and CXCL8 mRNA and protein production by fetal ASM cell was significantly and dose-dependently following TNF-α treatment. Cytokine mRNA and protein production were effectively blocked by TNF-α R1 and R2 receptor neutralizing antibodies but variably inhibited by fluticasone. TNF-α-induced TNF-R1 and R2 receptor mRNA expression was only partially attenuated by fluticasone. Glucocorticoid receptor phosphorylation at serine (Ser) 211 but not at Ser 226 was enhanced by fluticasone. Conclusion Production of CCL5, CXCL10, and CXCL8 by fetal ASM appears to involve pathways that are both qualitatively and mechanistically distinct to those described for adult ASM. The findings imply developing ASM has potential to recruit leukocyte into airways and, therefore, of relevance to childhood airway diseases. PMID:26331770

  14. Intelligent Structured Intermittent Auscultation (ISIA): evaluation of a decision-making framework for fetal heart monitoring of low-risk women

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Research-informed fetal monitoring guidelines recommend intermittent auscultation (IA) for fetal heart monitoring for low-risk women. However, the use of cardiotocography (CTG) continues to dominate many institutional maternity settings. Methods A mixed methods intervention study with before and after measurement was undertaken in one secondary level health service to facilitate the implementation of an initiative to encourage the use of IA. The intervention initiative was a decision-making framework called Intelligent Structured Intermittent Auscultation (ISIA) introduced through an education session. Results Following the intervention, medical records review revealed an increase in the use of IA during labour represented by a relative change of 12%, with improved documentation of clinical findings from assessments, and a significant reduction in the risk of receiving an admission CTG (RR 0.75, 95% CI, 0.60 – 0.95, p = 0.016). Conclusion The ISIA informed decision-making framework transformed the practice of IA and provided a mechanism for knowledge translation that enabled midwives to implement evidence-based fetal heart monitoring for low risk women. PMID:24884597

  15. The early fetal development of human neocortical GABAergic interneurons.

    PubMed

    Al-Jaberi, Nahidh; Lindsay, Susan; Sarma, Subrot; Bayatti, Nadhim; Clowry, Gavin J

    2015-03-01

    GABAergic interneurons are crucial to controlling the excitability and responsiveness of cortical circuitry. Their developmental origin may differ between rodents and human. We have demonstrated the expression of 12 GABAergic interneuron-associated genes in samples from human neocortex by quantitative rtPCR from 8 to 12 postconceptional weeks (PCW) and shown a significant anterior to posterior expression gradient, confirmed by in situ hybridization or immunohistochemistry for GAD1 and 2, DLX1, 2, and 5, ASCL1, OLIG2, and CALB2. Following cortical plate (CP) formation from 8 to 9 PCW, a proportion of cells were strongly stained for all these markers in the CP and presubplate. ASCL1 and DLX2 maintained high expression in the proliferative zones and showed extensive immunofluorescent double-labeling with the cell division marker Ki-67. CALB2-positive cells increased steadily in the SVZ/VZ from 10 PCW but were not double-labeled with Ki-67. Expression of GABAergic genes was generally higher in the dorsal pallium than in the ganglionic eminences, with lower expression in the intervening ventral pallium. It is widely accepted that the cortical proliferative zones may generate CALB2-positive interneurons from mid-gestation; we now show that the anterior neocortical proliferative layers especially may be a rich source of interneurons in the early neocortex. PMID:24047602

  16. TLR3 activation increases chemokine expression in human fetal airway smooth muscle cells.

    PubMed

    Faksh, Arij; Britt, Rodney D; Vogel, Elizabeth R; Thompson, Michael A; Pandya, Hitesh C; Martin, Richard J; Pabelick, Christina M; Prakash, Y S

    2016-01-15

    Viral infections, such as respiratory syncytial virus and rhinovirus, adversely affect neonatal and pediatric populations, resulting in significant lung morbidity, including acute asthma exacerbation. Studies in adults have demonstrated that human airway smooth muscle (ASM) cells modulate inflammation through their ability to secrete inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. The role of ASM in the developing airway during infection remains undefined. In our study, we used human fetal ASM cells as an in vitro model to examine the effect of Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists on chemokine secretion. We found that fetal ASM express multiple TLRs, including TLR3 and TLR4, which are implicated in the pathogenesis of respiratory syncytial virus and rhinovirus infection. Cells were treated with TLR agonists, polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid [poly(I:C)] (TLR3 agonist), lipopolysaccharide (TLR4 agonist), or R848 (TLR7/8 agonist), and IL-8 and chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 5 (CCL5) secretion were evaluated. Interestingly, poly(I:C), but neither lipopolysaccharide nor R848, increased IL-8 and chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 5 secretion. Examination of signaling pathways suggested that the poly(I:C) effects in fetal ASM involve TLR and ERK signaling, in addition to another major inflammatory pathway, NF-κB. Moreover, there are variations between fetal and adult ASM with respect to poly(I:C) effects on signaling pathways. Pharmacological inhibition suggested that ERK pathways mediate poly(I:C) effects. Overall, our data show that poly(I:C) initiates activation of proinflammatory pathways in developing ASM, which may contribute to immune responses to infection and exacerbation of asthma. PMID:26589477

  17. Human fetal pancreatic islet-like structures as source material to treat type 1 diabetes.

    PubMed

    Ikeda, Yasuhiro; Kudva, Yogish C

    2013-01-01

    The incidence of type 1 diabetes is increasing worldwide. Current therapy continues to be suboptimal. An exciting therapeutic advance in the short term is closed loop technology development and application. However, cell and tissue therapy continues to be an unmet need for the disorder. Human islets isolated from deceased donors will be clinically available to treat type 1 diabetes within the next 1 to 2 years. Other approaches such as xenotransplantation and islet products derived from human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells are currently being pursued. The current commentary provides context and discusses future endeavors for transplantation of islet-like structures derived from fetal pancreas. PMID:24377429

  18. How Live Performance Moves the Human Heart.

    PubMed

    Shoda, Haruka; Adachi, Mayumi; Umeda, Tomohiro

    2016-01-01

    We investigated how the audience member's physiological reactions differ as a function of listening context (i.e., live versus recorded music contexts). Thirty-seven audience members were assigned to one of seven pianists' performances and listened to his/her live performances of six pieces (fast and slow pieces by Bach, Schumann, and Debussy). Approximately 10 weeks after the live performance, each of the audience members returned to the same room and listened to the recorded performances of the same pianists' via speakers. We recorded the audience members' electrocardiograms in listening to the performances in both conditions, and analyzed their heart rates and the spectral features of the heart-rate variability (i.e., HF/TF, LF/HF). Results showed that the audience's heart rate was higher for the faster than the slower piece only in the live condition. As compared with the recorded condition, the audience's sympathovagal balance (LF/HF) was less while their vagal nervous system (HF/TF) was activated more in the live condition, which appears to suggest that sharing the ongoing musical moments with the pianist reduces the audience's physiological stress. The results are discussed in terms of the audience's superior attention and temporal entrainment to live performance. PMID:27104377

  19. How Live Performance Moves the Human Heart

    PubMed Central

    Shoda, Haruka; Adachi, Mayumi; Umeda, Tomohiro

    2016-01-01

    We investigated how the audience member’s physiological reactions differ as a function of listening context (i.e., live versus recorded music contexts). Thirty-seven audience members were assigned to one of seven pianists’ performances and listened to his/her live performances of six pieces (fast and slow pieces by Bach, Schumann, and Debussy). Approximately 10 weeks after the live performance, each of the audience members returned to the same room and listened to the recorded performances of the same pianists’ via speakers. We recorded the audience members’ electrocardiograms in listening to the performances in both conditions, and analyzed their heart rates and the spectral features of the heart-rate variability (i.e., HF/TF, LF/HF). Results showed that the audience’s heart rate was higher for the faster than the slower piece only in the live condition. As compared with the recorded condition, the audience’s sympathovagal balance (LF/HF) was less while their vagal nervous system (HF/TF) was activated more in the live condition, which appears to suggest that sharing the ongoing musical moments with the pianist reduces the audience’s physiological stress. The results are discussed in terms of the audience’s superior attention and temporal entrainment to live performance. PMID:27104377

  20. Cytokeratin (CK5, CK8, CK14) expression and presence of progenitor stem cells in human fetal thymuses.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Richa; Gupta, Tulika; Kaur, Harjeet; Sehgal, Shobha; Aggarwal, Anjali; Kapoor, Kanchan; Sharma, Anshu; Sahni, Daisy; Singla, Suhalika

    2016-09-01

    The aim of the current study was to observe the expression of cytokeratins in human fetal thymuses. Specific cytokeratin markers in adult humans and mice have been well described but there has been little similar work on human fetuses. We also aimed to see whether progenitor stem cells that could be harvested to treat various immunodeficiency disorders are present in fetal thymic tissue. Thymuses obtained from 30 aborted human fetuses (12 to 31 weeks) were examined immunohistochemically to investigate changes in cytokeratin expression in the epithelial cells (TEC) at various gestational ages. Before 16 weeks of gestation, cortical (cTEC) and medullary (mTEC) TEC exhibited homogenous staining for cytokeratins CK8 and CK5. After 16 weeks there was differential staining, with cTEC positive for CK8 and mTEC for CK5 and CK14. Interestingly, both CK5 + CK8+ progenitor stem cells were present in the fetal thymic cortex at all gestational ages, with a relatively high number from 12 to 16 weeks. Cytokeratin expression in fetal thymuses was quite different from that in the adult thymus owing to the presence of undifferentiated progenitor stem cells in fetal thymic stroma along with differentiated TEC. The best time to harvest these progenitor stem cells from fetal thymic stroma in order to treat various immune deficiency disorders appears to be 12-16 weeks. Clin. Anat. 29:711-717, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27213760

  1. Development and Function of the Human Fetal Adrenal Cortex: A Key Component in the Feto-Placental Unit

    PubMed Central

    Ishimoto, Hitoshi

    2011-01-01

    Continuous efforts have been devoted to unraveling the biophysiology and development of the human fetal adrenal cortex, which is structurally and functionally unique from other species. It plays a pivotal role, mainly through steroidogenesis, in the regulation of intrauterine homeostasis and in fetal development and maturation. The steroidogenic activity is characterized by early transient cortisol biosynthesis, followed by its suppressed synthesis until late gestation, and extensive production of dehydroepiandrosterone and its sulfate, precursors of placental estrogen, during most of gestation. The gland rapidly grows through processes including cell proliferation and angiogenesis at the gland periphery, cellular migration, hypertrophy, and apoptosis. Recent studies employing modern technologies such as gene expression profiling and laser capture microdissection have revealed that development and/or function of the fetal adrenal cortex may be regulated by a panoply of molecules, including transcription factors, extracellular matrix components, locally produced growth factors, and placenta-derived CRH, in addition to the primary regulator, fetal pituitary ACTH. The role of the fetal adrenal cortex in human pregnancy and parturition appears highly complex, probably due to redundant and compensatory mechanisms regulating these events. Mounting evidence indicates that actions of hormones operating in the human feto-placental unit are likely mediated by mechanisms including target tissue responsiveness, local metabolism, and bioavailability, rather than changes only in circulating levels. Comprehensive study of such molecular mechanisms and the newly identified factors implicated in adrenal development should help crystallize our understanding of the development and physiology of the human fetal adrenal cortex. PMID:21051591

  2. LIN28B-mediated expression of fetal hemoglobin and production of fetal-like erythrocytes from adult human erythroblasts ex vivo

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Y. Terry; de Vasconcellos, Jaira F.; Yuan, Joan; Byrnes, Colleen; Noh, Seung-Jae; Meier, Emily R.; Kim, Ki Soon; Rabel, Antoinette; Kaushal, Megha; Muljo, Stefan A.

    2013-01-01

    Reactivation of fetal hemoglobin (HbF) holds therapeutic potential for sickle cell disease and β-thalassemias. In human erythroid cells and hematopoietic organs, LIN28B and its targeted let-7 microRNA family, demonstrate regulated expression during the fetal-to-adult developmental transition. To explore the effects of LIN28B in human erythroid cell development, lentiviral transduction was used to knockdown LIN28B expression in erythroblasts cultured from human umbilical cord CD34+ cells. The subsequent reduction in LIN28B expression caused increased expression of let-7 and significantly reduced HbF expression. Conversely, LIN28B overexpression in cultured adult erythroblasts reduced the expression of let-7 and significantly increased HbF expression. Cellular maturation was maintained including enucleation. LIN28B expression in adult erythroblasts increased the expression of γ-globin, and the HbF content of the cells rose to levels >30% of their hemoglobin. Expression of carbonic anhydrase I, glucosaminyl (N-acetyl) transferase 2, and miR-96 (three additional genes marking the transition from fetal-to-adult erythropoiesis) were reduced by LIN28B expression. The transcription factor BCL11A, a well-characterized repressor of γ-globin expression, was significantly down-regulated. Independent of LIN28B, experimental suppression of let-7 also reduced BCL11A expression and significantly increased HbF expression. LIN28B expression regulates HbF levels and causes adult human erythroblasts to differentiate with a more fetal-like phenotype. PMID:23798711

  3. The expression of c-kit protein in human adult and fetal tissues.

    PubMed

    Horie, K; Fujita, J; Takakura, K; Kanzaki, H; Suginami, H; Iwai, M; Nakayama, H; Mori, T

    1993-11-01

    The c-kit proto-oncogene encodes a tyrosine kinase receptor and is allelic with the dominant white-spotting (W) locus of the mouse. In this study we investigated the expression of human c-kit protein in various adult and fetal human tissues immunohistochemically using anti-human c-kit monoclonal antibody. To discriminate c-kit+ cells from mast cells expressing c-kit, mast cells were identified by staining with Toluidine blue. In oogonia, spermatogonia and skin melanocytes of the fetus and in oocytes of adult ovary, c-kit expression was detected. In adult uterus, c-kit+ cells were widely distributed in the basal layer of the endometrium, myometrium and cervix, the number and distribution being almost identical to those of mast cells. In fetal uterus, c-kit+ non-mast cells clustered beneath the epithelium and a few mast cells were observed in the myometrium and subserosal layer. In both adult and fetus, c-kit+ non-mast cells were detected within smooth muscle layers of the intestine, colon and oesophagus, while mast cells were observed in the mucosal and submucosal layers of these organs. In contrast to mice, no expression of c-kit protein was detected in the human placenta and decidua. Thus, the distribution of c-kit+ cells in various tissues is similar but not identical between adult and fetus and between human and mouse. PMID:7507133

  4. The Living Heart Project: A robust and integrative simulator for human heart function.

    PubMed

    Baillargeon, Brian; Rebelo, Nuno; Fox, David D; Taylor, Robert L; Kuhl, Ellen

    2014-11-01

    The heart is not only our most vital, but also our most complex organ: Precisely controlled by the interplay of electrical and mechanical fields, it consists of four chambers and four valves, which act in concert to regulate its filling, ejection, and overall pump function. While numerous computational models exist to study either the electrical or the mechanical response of its individual chambers, the integrative electro-mechanical response of the whole heart remains poorly understood. Here we present a proof-of-concept simulator for a four-chamber human heart model created from computer topography and magnetic resonance images. We illustrate the governing equations of excitation-contraction coupling and discretize them using a single, unified finite element environment. To illustrate the basic features of our model, we visualize the electrical potential and the mechanical deformation across the human heart throughout its cardiac cycle. To compare our simulation against common metrics of cardiac function, we extract the pressure-volume relationship and show that it agrees well with clinical observations. Our prototype model allows us to explore and understand the key features, physics, and technologies to create an integrative, predictive model of the living human heart. Ultimately, our simulator will open opportunities to probe landscapes of clinical parameters, and guide device design and treatment planning in cardiac diseases such as stenosis, regurgitation, or prolapse of the aortic, pulmonary, tricuspid, or mitral valve. PMID:25267880

  5. Localization of cyclooxygenase-1 and -2 in adult and fetal human kidney: implication for renal function.

    PubMed

    Kömhoff, M; Grone, H J; Klein, T; Seyberth, H W; Nüsing, R M

    1997-04-01

    To gain insight into the roles of cyclooxygenase (COX)-1 and -2 in human kidney, we analyzed their expressions and localization in adult and fetal normal kidney. Immunohistology showed expression of COX-1 in collecting duct cells, interstitial cells, endothelial cells, and smooth muscle cells of pre- and postglomerular vessels. Expression of COX-2 immunoreactive protein could be localized to endothelial and smooth muscle cells of arteries and veins and intraglomerularly in podocytes. In contrast to the rat, COX isoforms were not detected in the macula densa. These data were confirmed by in situ mRNA analysis using digoxigenin-labeled riboprobes. In fetal kidney, COX-1 was primarily expressed in podocytes and collecting duct cells. Expression levels of COX-1 in both cell types increased markedly from subcapsular to juxtamedullary cortex. Glomerular staining of COX-2 was detectable in podocytes only at the endstage of renal development. In summary, the localization of COX-2 suggests that this enzyme may be primarily involved in the regulation of renal perfusion and glomerular hemodynamics. The expression of COX-1 in podocytes of the fetal kidney and its absence in adult glomeruli suggests that this isoform might be involved in glomerulogenesis. PMID:9140046

  6. Temporal Patterns in Sheep Fetal Heart Rate Variability Correlate to Systemic Cytokine Inflammatory Response: A Methodological Exploration of Monitoring Potential Using Complex Signals Bioinformatics.

    PubMed

    Herry, Christophe L; Cortes, Marina; Wu, Hau-Tieng; Durosier, Lucien D; Cao, Mingju; Burns, Patrick; Desrochers, André; Fecteau, Gilles; Seely, Andrew J E; Frasch, Martin G

    2016-01-01

    Fetal inflammation is associated with increased risk for postnatal organ injuries. No means of early detection exist. We hypothesized that systemic fetal inflammation leads to distinct alterations of fetal heart rate variability (fHRV). We tested this hypothesis deploying a novel series of approaches from complex signals bioinformatics. In chronically instrumented near-term fetal sheep, we induced an inflammatory response with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) injected intravenously (n = 10) observing it over 54 hours; seven additional fetuses served as controls. Fifty-one fHRV measures were determined continuously every 5 minutes using Continuous Individualized Multi-organ Variability Analysis (CIMVA). CIMVA creates an fHRV measures matrix across five signal-analytical domains, thus describing complementary properties of fHRV. We implemented, validated and tested methodology to obtain a subset of CIMVA fHRV measures that matched best the temporal profile of the inflammatory cytokine IL-6. In the LPS group, IL-6 peaked at 3 hours. For the LPS, but not control group, a sharp increase in standardized difference in variability with respect to baseline levels was observed between 3 h and 6 h abating to baseline levels, thus tracking closely the IL-6 inflammatory profile. We derived fHRV inflammatory index (FII) consisting of 15 fHRV measures reflecting the fetal inflammatory response with prediction accuracy of 90%. Hierarchical clustering validated the selection of 14 out of 15 fHRV measures comprising FII. We developed methodology to identify a distinctive subset of fHRV measures that tracks inflammation over time. The broader potential of this bioinformatics approach is discussed to detect physiological responses encoded in HRV measures. PMID:27100089

  7. Fractal Analysis and Hurst Parameter for Intrapartum Fetal Heart Rate Variability Analysis: A Versatile Alternative to Frequency Bands and LF/HF Ratio

    PubMed Central

    Doret, Muriel; Spilka, Jiří; Chudáček, Václav; Gonçalves, Paulo; Abry, Patrice

    2015-01-01

    Background The fetal heart rate (FHR) is commonly monitored during labor to detect early fetal acidosis. FHR variability is traditionally investigated using Fourier transform, often with adult predefined frequency band powers and the corresponding LF/HF ratio. However, fetal conditions differ from adults and modify spectrum repartition along frequencies. Aims This study questions the arbitrariness definition and relevance of the frequency band splitting procedure, and thus of the calculation of the underlying LF/HF ratio, as efficient tools for characterizing intrapartum FHR variability. Study Design The last 30 minutes before delivery of the intrapartum FHR were analyzed. Subjects Case-control study. A total of 45 singletons divided into two groups based on umbilical cord arterial pH: the Index group with pH ≤ 7.05 (n = 15) and Control group with pH > 7.05 (n = 30). Outcome Measures Frequency band-based LF/HF ratio and Hurst parameter. Results This study shows that the intrapartum FHR is characterized by fractal temporal dynamics and promotes the Hurst parameter as a potential marker of fetal acidosis. This parameter preserves the intuition of a power frequency balance, while avoiding the frequency band splitting procedure and thus the arbitrary choice of a frequency separating bands. The study also shows that extending the frequency range covered by the adult-based bands to higher and lower frequencies permits the Hurst parameter to achieve better performance for identifying fetal acidosis. Conclusions The Hurst parameter provides a robust and versatile tool for quantifying FHR variability, yields better acidosis detection performance compared to the LF/HF ratio, and avoids arbitrariness in spectral band splitting and definitions. PMID:26322889

  8. Temporal Patterns in Sheep Fetal Heart Rate Variability Correlate to Systemic Cytokine Inflammatory Response: A Methodological Exploration of Monitoring Potential Using Complex Signals Bioinformatics

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Hau-Tieng; Durosier, Lucien D.; Desrochers, André; Fecteau, Gilles; Seely, Andrew J. E.; Frasch, Martin G.

    2016-01-01

    Fetal inflammation is associated with increased risk for postnatal organ injuries. No means of early detection exist. We hypothesized that systemic fetal inflammation leads to distinct alterations of fetal heart rate variability (fHRV). We tested this hypothesis deploying a novel series of approaches from complex signals bioinformatics. In chronically instrumented near-term fetal sheep, we induced an inflammatory response with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) injected intravenously (n = 10) observing it over 54 hours; seven additional fetuses served as controls. Fifty-one fHRV measures were determined continuously every 5 minutes using Continuous Individualized Multi-organ Variability Analysis (CIMVA). CIMVA creates an fHRV measures matrix across five signal-analytical domains, thus describing complementary properties of fHRV. We implemented, validated and tested methodology to obtain a subset of CIMVA fHRV measures that matched best the temporal profile of the inflammatory cytokine IL-6. In the LPS group, IL-6 peaked at 3 hours. For the LPS, but not control group, a sharp increase in standardized difference in variability with respect to baseline levels was observed between 3 h and 6 h abating to baseline levels, thus tracking closely the IL-6 inflammatory profile. We derived fHRV inflammatory index (FII) consisting of 15 fHRV measures reflecting the fetal inflammatory response with prediction accuracy of 90%. Hierarchical clustering validated the selection of 14 out of 15 fHRV measures comprising FII. We developed methodology to identify a distinctive subset of fHRV measures that tracks inflammation over time. The broader potential of this bioinformatics approach is discussed to detect physiological responses encoded in HRV measures. PMID:27100089

  9. Structural development of human brain white matter from mid-fetal to perinatal stage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ouyang, Austin; Yu, Qiaowen; Mishra, Virendra; Chalak, Lina; Jeon, Tina; Sivarajan, Muraleedharan; Jackson, Greg; Rollins, Nancy; Liu, Shuwei; Huang, Hao

    2015-03-01

    The structures of developing human brain white matter (WM) tracts can be effectively quantified by DTI-derived metrics, including fractional anisotropy (FA), mean, axial and radial diffusivity (MD, AD and RD). However, dynamics of WM microstructure during very early developmental period from mid-fetal to perinatal stage is unknown. It is difficult to accurately measure microstructural properties of these WM tracts due to severe contamination from cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). In this study, high resolution DTI of fetal brains at mid-fetal stage (20 weeks of gestation or 20wg), 19 brains in the middle of 3rd trimester (35wg) and 17 brains around term (40wg) were acquired. We established first population-averaged DTI templates at these three time points and extracted WM skeleton. 16 major WM tracts in limbic, projection, commissural and association tract groups were traced with DTI tractography in native space. The WM skeleton in the template space was inversely transformed back to the native space for measuring core WM microstructures of each individual tract. Continuous microstructural enhancement and volumetric increase of WM tracts were found from 20wg to 40wg. The microstructural enhancement from FA measurement is decelerated in late 3rd trimester compared to mid-fetal to middle 3rd trimester, while volumetric increase of prefrontal WM tracts is accelerated. The microstructural enhancement from 35wg to 40wg is heterogeneous among different tract groups with microstructures of association tracts undergoing most dramatic change. Besides decreases of RD indicating active myelination, the decrease of AD for most WM tracts during late 3rd trimester suggests axonal packing process.

  10. Fetal Neurobehavioral Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DiPietro, Janet A.; And Others

    1996-01-01

    Investigated the ontogeny of fetal autonomic, motoric, state, and interactive functioning in 31 healthy fetuses from 20 weeks through term. Found that male fetuses were more active than female fetuses, and that greater maternal stress appraisal was associated with reduced fetal heart rate variability. Found that an apparent period of…

  11. Reference gene alternatives to Gapdh in rodent and human heart failure gene expression studies

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Quantitative real-time RT-PCR (RT-qPCR) is a highly sensitive method for mRNA quantification, but requires invariant expression of the chosen reference gene(s). In pathological myocardium, there is limited information on suitable reference genes other than the commonly used Gapdh mRNA and 18S ribosomal RNA. Our aim was to evaluate and identify suitable reference genes in human failing myocardium, in rat and mouse post-myocardial infarction (post-MI) heart failure and across developmental stages in fetal and neonatal rat myocardium. Results The abundance of Arbp, Rpl32, Rpl4, Tbp, Polr2a, Hprt1, Pgk1, Ppia and Gapdh mRNA and 18S ribosomal RNA in myocardial samples was quantified by RT-qPCR. The expression variability of these transcripts was evaluated by the geNorm and Normfinder algorithms and by a variance component analysis method. Biological variability was a greater contributor to sample variability than either repeated reverse transcription or PCR reactions. Conclusions The most stable reference genes were Rpl32, Gapdh and Polr2a in mouse post-infarction heart failure, Polr2a, Rpl32 and Tbp in rat post-infarction heart failure and Rpl32 and Pgk1 in human heart failure (ischemic disease and cardiomyopathy). The overall most stable reference genes across all three species was Rpl32 and Polr2a. In rat myocardium, all reference genes tested showed substantial variation with developmental stage, with Rpl4 as was most stable among the tested genes. PMID:20331858

  12. Hemodynamics in fetal arrhythmia.

    PubMed

    Sonesson, Sven-Erik; Acharya, Ganesh

    2016-06-01

    Fetal arrhythmias are among the few conditions that can be managed in utero. However, accurate diagnosis is essential for appropriate management. Ultrasound-based imaging methods can be used to study fetal heart structure and function noninvasively and help to understand fetal cardiovascular pathophysiology, and they remain the mainstay of evaluating fetuses with arrhythmias in clinical settings. Hemodynamic evaluation using Doppler echocardiography allows the elucidation of the electrophysiological mechanism and helps to make an accurate diagnosis. It can also be used as a tool to understand fetal cardiac pathophysiology, for assessing fetal condition and monitoring the effect of antiarrhythmic treatment. This narrative review describes Doppler techniques that are useful for evaluating fetal cardiac rhythms to refine diagnosis and provides an overview of hemodynamic changes observed in different types of fetal arrhythmia. PMID:26660845

  13. Fetal alcohol syndrome

    MedlinePlus

    Alcohol in pregnancy; Alcohol-related birth defects; Fetal alcohol effects; FAS ... the baby is in the womb and after birth Decreased muscle tone and ... Heart defects such as ventricular septal defect (VSD) or atrial ...

  14. High-resolution imaging diagnosis of human fetal membrane by three-dimensional optical coherence tomography

    PubMed Central

    Ren, Hugang; Avila, Cecilia; Kaplan, Cynthia; Pan, Yingtian

    2011-01-01

    Microscopic chorionic pseudocyst (MCP) arising in the chorion leave of the human fetal membrane (FM) is a clinical precursor for preeclampsia which may progress to fatal medical conditions (e.g., abortion) if left untreated. To examine the utility of three-dimensional (3D) optical coherence tomography (OCT) for noninvasive delineation of the morphology of human fetal membranes and early clinical detection of MCP, 60 human FM specimens were acquired from 10 different subjects undergoing term cesarean delivery for an ex vivo feasibility study. Our results showed that OCT was able to identify the four-layer architectures of human FMs consisting of high-scattering decidua vera (DV, average thickness dDV ≈ 92±38 μm), low-scattering chorion and trophoblast (CT, dCT ≈ 150±67 μm), high-scattering subepithelial amnion (A, dA ≈ 95±36 μm), and low-scattering epithelium (E, dE ≈ 29±8 μm). Importantly, 3D OCT was able to instantaneously detect MCPs (low scattering due to edema, fluid buildup, vasodilatation) and track (staging) their thicknesses dMCP ranging from 24 to 615 μm. It was also shown that high-frequency ultrasound was able to compliment OCT for detecting more advanced thicker MCPs (e.g., dMCP>615 μm) because of its increased imaging depth. PMID:22112111

  15. High-resolution imaging diagnosis of human fetal membrane by three-dimensional optical coherence tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ren, Hugang; Avila, Cecilia; Kaplan, Cynthia; Pan, Yingtian

    2011-11-01

    Microscopic chorionic pseudocyst (MCP) arising in the chorion leave of the human fetal membrane (FM) is a clinical precursor for preeclampsia which may progress to fatal medical conditions (e.g., abortion) if left untreated. To examine the utility of three-dimensional (3D) optical coherence tomography (OCT) for noninvasive delineation of the morphology of human fetal membranes and early clinical detection of MCP, 60 human FM specimens were acquired from 10 different subjects undergoing term cesarean delivery for an ex vivo feasibility study. Our results showed that OCT was able to identify the four-layer architectures of human FMs consisting of high-scattering decidua vera (DV, average thickness dDV ~ 92+/-38 μm), low-scattering chorion and trophoblast (CT, dCT ~ 150+/-67 μm), high-scattering subepithelial amnion (A, dA ~ 95+/-36 μm), and low-scattering epithelium (E, dE ~ 29+/-8 μm). Importantly, 3D OCT was able to instantaneously detect MCPs (low scattering due to edema, fluid buildup, vasodilatation) and track (staging) their thicknesses dMCP ranging from 24 to 615 μm. It was also shown that high-frequency ultrasound was able to compliment OCT for detecting more advanced thicker MCPs (e.g., dMCP>615 μm) because of its increased imaging depth.

  16. Right ventricular long noncoding RNA expression in human heart failure

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Yan; Su, Yan Ru; Clark, Travis; Brittain, Evan; Absi, Tarek; Maltais, Simon; Hemnes, Anna

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The expression of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) in human heart failure (HF) has not been widely studied. Using RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq), we compared lncRNA expression in 22 explanted human HF hearts with lncRNA expression in 5 unused donor human hearts. We used Cufflinks to identify isoforms and DESeq to identify differentially expressed genes. We identified the noncoding RNAs by cross-reference to Ensembl release 73 (Genome Reference Consortium human genome build 37) and explored possible functional roles using a variety of online tools. In HF hearts, RNA-Seq identified 84,793 total messenger RNA coding and noncoding different transcripts, including 13,019 protein-coding genes, 2,085 total lncRNA genes, and 1,064 pseudogenes. By Ensembl noncoding RNA categories, there were 48 lncRNAs, 27 pseudogenes, and 30 antisense RNAs for a total of 105 differentially expressed lncRNAs in HF hearts. Compared with donor hearts, HF hearts exhibited differential expression of 7.7% of protein-coding genes, 3.7% of lncRNAs (including pseudogenes), and 2.5% of pseudogenes. There were not consistent correlations between antisense lncRNAs and parent genes and between pseudogenes and parent genes, implying differential regulation of expression. Exploratory in silico functional analyses using online tools suggested a variety of possible lncRNA regulatory roles. By providing a comprehensive profile of right ventricular polyadenylated messenger RNA transcriptome in HF, RNA-Seq provides an inventory of differentially expressed lncRNAs, including antisense transcripts and pseudogenes, for future mechanistic study. PMID:25992278

  17. Isoproterenol effects evaluated in heart slices of human and rat in comparison to rat heart in vivo

    SciTech Connect

    Herrmann, Julia E.; Heale, Jason; Bieraugel, Mike; Ramos, Meg; Fisher, Robyn L.; Vickers, Alison E.M.

    2014-01-15

    Human response to isoproterenol induced cardiac injury was evaluated by gene and protein pathway changes in human heart slices, and compared to rat heart slices and rat heart in vivo. Isoproterenol (10 and 100 μM) altered human and rat heart slice markers of oxidative stress (ATP and GSH) at 24 h. In this in vivo rat study (0.5 mg/kg), serum troponin concentrations increased with lesion severity, minimal to mild necrosis at 24 and 48 h. In the rat and the human heart, isoproterenol altered pathways for apoptosis/necrosis, stress/energy, inflammation, and remodeling/fibrosis. The rat and human heart slices were in an apoptotic phase, while the in vivo rat heart exhibited necrosis histologically and further progression of tissue remodeling. In human heart slices genes for several heat shock 70 kD members were altered, indicative of stress to mitigate apoptosis. The stress response included alterations in energy utilization, fatty acid processing, and the up-regulation of inducible nitric oxide synthase, a marker of increased oxidative stress in both species. Inflammation markers linked with remodeling included IL-1α, Il-1β, IL-6 and TNFα in both species. Tissue remodeling changes in both species included increases in the TIMP proteins, inhibitors of matrix degradation, the gene/protein of IL-4 linked with cardiac fibrosis, and the gene Ccl7 a chemokine that induces collagen synthesis, and Reg3b a growth factor for cardiac repair. This study demonstrates that the initial human heart slice response to isoproterenol cardiac injury results in apoptosis, stress/energy status, inflammation and tissue remodeling at concentrations similar to that in rat heart slices. - Highlights: • Human response to isoproterenol induced cardiac injury evaluated in heart slices. • Isoproterenol altered apoptosis, energy, inflammation and remodeling pathways. • Human model verified by comparison to rat heart slices and rat heart in vivo. • Human and rat respond to isoproterenol

  18. Developmental Exposure to Estrogen Alters Differentiation and Epigenetic Programming in a Human Fetal Prostate Xenograft Model

    PubMed Central

    Saffarini, Camelia M.; McDonnell-Clark, Elizabeth V.; Amin, Ali; Huse, Susan M.; Boekelheide, Kim

    2015-01-01

    Prostate cancer is the most frequent non-cutaneous malignancy in men. There is strong evidence in rodents that neonatal estrogen exposure plays a role in the development of this disease. However, there is little information regarding the effects of estrogen in human fetal prostate tissue. This study explored early life estrogen exposure, with and without a secondary estrogen and testosterone treatment in a human fetal prostate xenograft model. Histopathological lesions, proliferation, and serum hormone levels were evaluated at 7, 30, 90, and 200-day time-points after xenografting. The expression of 40 key genes involved in prostatic glandular and stromal growth, cell-cycle progression, apoptosis, hormone receptors and tumor suppressors was evaluated using a custom PCR array. Epigenome-wide analysis of DNA methylation was performed on whole tissue, and laser capture-microdissection (LCM) isolated epithelial and stromal compartments of 200-day prostate xenografts. Combined initial plus secondary estrogenic exposures had the most severe tissue changes as revealed by the presence of hyperplastic glands at day 200. Gene expression changes corresponded with the cellular events in the KEGG prostate cancer pathway, indicating that initial plus secondary exposure to estrogen altered the PI3K-Akt signaling pathway, ultimately resulting in apoptosis inhibition and an increase in cell cycle progression. DNA methylation revealed that differentially methylated CpG sites significantly predominate in the stromal compartment as a result of estrogen-treatment, thereby providing new targets for future investigation. By using human fetal prostate tissue and eliminating the need for species extrapolation, this study provides novel insights into the gene expression and epigenetic effects related to prostate carcinogenesis following early life estrogen exposure. PMID:25799167

  19. Human myocardial Na,K-ATPase concentration in heart failure.

    PubMed

    Bundgaard, H; Kjeldsen, K

    1996-01-01

    The Na,K-ATPase is of major importance for active ion transport across the sarcolemma and thus for electrical as well as contractile function of the myocardium. Furthermore, it is receptor for digitalis glycosides. In human studies of the regulatory aspects of myocardial Na,K-ATPase concentration a major problem has been to obtain tissue samples. Methodological accomplishments in quantification of myocardial Na,K-ATPase using vanadate facilitated 3H-ouabain binding to intact samples have, however, made it possible to obtain reliable measurements on human myocardial necropsies obtained at autopsy as well as on biopsies of a wet weight of only 1-2 mg obtained during heart catheterisation. However, access to the ultimately, normal, vital myocardial tissue has come from the heart transplantation programs, through which myocardial samples from cardiovascular healthy organ donors have become available. In the present paper we evaluate the various values reported for normal human myocardial Na,K-ATPase concentration, its regulation in heart disease and the association with digitalization. Normal myocardial Na,K-ATPase concentration level is found to be 700 pmol/g wet weight. No major variations were found between or within the walls of the heart ventricles. During the first few years of life a marked decrease in myocardial Na,K-ATPase concentration is followed by a stable level obtained in early adulthood and normally maintained throughout life. In patients with enlarged cardiac x-ray silhouette a significant positive, linear correlation between left ventricular ejection fraction (EF) and Na,K-ATPase concentration was established. A maximum reduction in Na,K-ATPase concentration of 89% was obtained when EF was reduced to 20%. Generally, heart failure associated with heart dilatation, myocardial hypertrophy as well as ischaemic heart disease is associated with reductions in myocardial Na,K-ATPase concentration of around 25%. During digoxin treatment of heart failure

  20. Uterine artery blood flow, fetal hypoxia and fetal growth

    PubMed Central

    Browne, Vaughn A.; Julian, Colleen G.; Toledo-Jaldin, Lillian; Cioffi-Ragan, Darleen; Vargas, Enrique; Moore, Lorna G.

    2015-01-01

    Evolutionary trade-offs required for bipedalism and brain expansion influence the pregnancy rise in uterine artery (UtA) blood flow and, in turn, reproductive success. We consider the importance of UtA blood flow by reviewing its determinants and presenting data from 191 normotensive (normal, n = 125) or hypertensive (preeclampsia (PE) or gestational hypertension (GH), n = 29) Andean residents of very high (4100–4300 m) or low altitude (400 m, n = 37). Prior studies show that UtA blood flow is reduced in pregnancies with intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) but whether the IUGR is due to resultant fetal hypoxia is unclear. We found higher UtA blood flow and Doppler indices of fetal hypoxia in normotensive women at high versus low altitude but similar fetal growth. UtA blood flow was markedly lower in early-onset PE versus normal high-altitude women, and their fetuses more hypoxic as indicated by lower fetal heart rate, Doppler indices and greater IUGR. We concluded that, despite greater fetal hypoxia, fetal growth was well defended by higher UtA blood flows in normal Andeans at high altitude but when compounded by lower UtA blood flow in early-onset PE, exaggerated fetal hypoxia caused the fetus to respond by decreasing cardiac output and redistributing blood flow to help maintain brain development at the expense of growth elsewhere. We speculate that UtA blood flow is not only an important supply line but also a trigger for stimulating the metabolic and other processes regulating feto-placental metabolism and growth. Studies using the natural laboratory of high altitude are valuable for identifying the physiological and genetic mechanisms involved in human reproductive success. PMID:25602072

  1. Uterine artery blood flow, fetal hypoxia and fetal growth.

    PubMed

    Browne, Vaughn A; Julian, Colleen G; Toledo-Jaldin, Lillian; Cioffi-Ragan, Darleen; Vargas, Enrique; Moore, Lorna G

    2015-03-01

    Evolutionary trade-offs required for bipedalism and brain expansion influence the pregnancy rise in uterine artery (UtA) blood flow and, in turn, reproductive success. We consider the importance of UtA blood flow by reviewing its determinants and presenting data from 191 normotensive (normal, n = 125) or hypertensive (preeclampsia (PE) or gestational hypertension (GH), n = 29) Andean residents of very high (4100-4300 m) or low altitude (400 m, n = 37). Prior studies show that UtA blood flow is reduced in pregnancies with intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) but whether the IUGR is due to resultant fetal hypoxia is unclear. We found higher UtA blood flow and Doppler indices of fetal hypoxia in normotensive women at high versus low altitude but similar fetal growth. UtA blood flow was markedly lower in early-onset PE versus normal high-altitude women, and their fetuses more hypoxic as indicated by lower fetal heart rate, Doppler indices and greater IUGR. We concluded that, despite greater fetal hypoxia, fetal growth was well defended by higher UtA blood flows in normal Andeans at high altitude but when compounded by lower UtA blood flow in early-onset PE, exaggerated fetal hypoxia caused the fetus to respond by decreasing cardiac output and redistributing blood flow to help maintain brain development at the expense of growth elsewhere. We speculate that UtA blood flow is not only an important supply line but also a trigger for stimulating the metabolic and other processes regulating feto-placental metabolism and growth. Studies using the natural laboratory of high altitude are valuable for identifying the physiological and genetic mechanisms involved in human reproductive success. PMID:25602072

  2. FISH CONSUMPTION, METHYLMERCURY, AND HUMAN HEART DISEASE.

    SciTech Connect

    LIPFERT, F.W.; SULLIVAN, T.M.

    2005-09-21

    Environmental mercury continues to be of concern to public health advocates, both in the U.S. and abroad, and new research continues to be published. A recent analysis of potential health benefits of reduced mercury emissions has opened a new area of public health concern: adverse effects on the cardiovascular system, which could account for the bulk of the potential economic benefits. The authors were careful to include caveats about the uncertainties of such impacts, but they cited only a fraction of the applicable health effects literature. That literature includes studies of the potentially harmful ingredient (methylmercury, MeHg) in fish, as well as of a beneficial ingredient, omega-3 fatty acids or ''fish oils''. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently certified that some of these fat compounds that are primarily found in fish ''may be beneficial in reducing coronary heart disease''. This paper briefly summarizes and categorizes the extensive literature on both adverse and beneficial links between fish consumption and cardiovascular health, which are typically based on studies of selected groups of individuals (cohorts). Such studies tend to comprise the ''gold standard'' of epidemiology, but cohorts tend to exhibit a great deal of variability, in part because of the limited numbers of individuals involved and in part because of interactions with other dietary and lifestyle considerations. Note that eating fish will involve exposure to both the beneficial effects of fatty acids and the potentially harmful effects of contaminants like Hg or PCBs, all of which depend on the type of fish but tend to be correlated within a population. As a group, the cohort studies show that eating fish tends to reduce mortality, especially due to heart disease, for consumption rates up to about twice weekly, above which the benefits tend to level off. A Finnish cohort study showed increased mortality risks in the highest fish-consuming group ({approx}3 times

  3. Fetal Liver Bisphenol A Concentrations and Biotransformation Gene Expression Reveal Variable Exposure and Altered Capacity for Metabolism in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Nahar, Muna S.; Liao, Chunyang; Kannan, Kurunthachalam; Dolinoy, Dana C.

    2013-01-01

    Widespread exposure to the endocrine active compound, bisphenol A (BPA), is well documented in humans. A growing body of literature suggests adverse health outcomes associated with varying ranges of exposure to BPA. In the current study, we measured the internal dose of free BPA and conjugated BPA and evaluated gene expression of bio-transformation enzymes specific for BPA metabolism in 50 first- and second-trimester human fetal liver samples. Both free BPA and conjugated BPA concentrations varied widely, with free BPA exhibiting three times higher concentrations than conjugated BPA concentrations. As compared to gender-matched adult liver controls, UDP-glucuronyltransferase, sulfotransferase, and steroid sulfatase genes exhibited reduced expression whereas β-glucuronidase mRNA expression remained unchanged in the fetal tissues. This study provides evidence that there is considerable exposure to BPA during human pregnancy and that the capacity for BPA metabolism is altered in the human fetal liver. PMID:23208979

  4. Fas and Fas ligand expression in fetal and adult human testis with normal or deranged spermatogenesis.

    PubMed

    Francavilla, S; D'Abrizio, P; Rucci, N; Silvano, G; Properzi, G; Straface, E; Cordeschi, G; Necozione, S; Gnessi, L; Arizzi, M; Ulisse, S

    2000-08-01

    In mice, the Fas/Fas ligand (FasL) system has been shown to be involved in germ cell apoptosis. In the present study we evaluated the expression of Fas and Fas ligand (FasL) in fetal and adult human testis. Semiquantitative RT-PCR demonstrated the expression of Fas and FasL messenger ribonucleic acids in adult testis, but not in fetal testis (20-22 weeks gestation). In situ RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry experiments on adult human testis demonstrated the expression of FasL messenger ribonucleic acid and protein in Sertoli and Leydig cells, whereas the expression of Fas was confined to the Leydig cells and sporadic degenerating spermatocytes. The number of Fas-positive germ cells per 100 Sertoli cell nuclei was increased in 10 biopsies with postmeiotic germ cell arrest compared to 10 normal testis biopsies (mean, 3.82 +/- 0.45 vs. 2.02 +/- 0.29; P = 0.0001), but not in 10 biopsies with meiotic germ cell arrest (mean, 1.56 +/- 1.07). Fas and FasL proteins were not expressed in cases of idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. Together, these findings may suggest that Fas/FasL expression in the human testis is developmentally regulated and under gonadotropin control. The increased germ cell expression of Fas in patients with postmeiotic germ cell arrest suggests that the Fas/FasL system may be involved in the quality control mechanism of the produced gametes. PMID:10946867

  5. Hepatocytic Differentiation Potential of Human Fetal Liver Mesenchymal Stem Cells: In Vitro and In Vivo Evaluation

    PubMed Central

    Hamidouche, Zahia; Sokal, Etienne; Charbord, Pierre

    2016-01-01

    In line with the search of effective stem cell population that would progress liver cell therapy and because the rate and differentiation potential of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) decreases with age, the current study investigates the hepatogenic differentiation potential of human fetal liver MSCs (FL-MSCs). After isolation from 11-12 gestational weeks' human fetal livers, FL-MSCs were shown to express characteristic markers such as CD73, CD90, and CD146 and to display adipocytic and osteoblastic differentiation potential. Thereafter, we explored their hepatocytic differentiation potential using the hepatogenic protocol applied for adult human liver mesenchymal cells. FL-MSCs differentiated in this way displayed significant features of hepatocyte-like cells as demonstrated in vitro by the upregulated expression of specific hepatocytic markers and the induction of metabolic functions including CYP3A4 activity, indocyanine green uptake/release, and glucose 6-phosphatase activity. Following transplantation, naive and differentiated FL-MSC were engrafted into the hepatic parenchyma of newborn immunodeficient mice and differentiated in situ. Hence, FL-MSCs appeared to be interesting candidates to investigate the liver development at the mesenchymal compartment level. Standardization of their isolation, expansion, and differentiation may also support their use for liver cell-based therapy development. PMID:27057173

  6. Human fetal neuroblast and neuroblastoma transcriptome analysis confirms neuroblast origin and highlights neuroblastoma candidate genes

    PubMed Central

    De Preter, Katleen; Vandesompele, Jo; Heimann, Pierre; Yigit, Nurten; Beckman, Siv; Schramm, Alexander; Eggert, Angelika; Stallings, Raymond L; Benoit, Yves; Renard, Marleen; Paepe, Anne De; Laureys, Geneviève; Påhlman, Sven; Speleman, Frank

    2006-01-01

    Background Neuroblastoma tumor cells are assumed to originate from primitive neuroblasts giving rise to the sympathetic nervous system. Because these precursor cells are not detectable in postnatal life, their transcription profile has remained inaccessible for comparative data mining strategies in neuroblastoma. This study provides the first genome-wide mRNA expression profile of these human fetal sympathetic neuroblasts. To this purpose, small islets of normal neuroblasts were isolated by laser microdissection from human fetal adrenal glands. Results Expression of catecholamine metabolism genes, and neuronal and neuroendocrine markers in the neuroblasts indicated that the proper cells were microdissected. The similarities in expression profile between normal neuroblasts and malignant neuroblastomas provided strong evidence for the neuroblast origin hypothesis of neuroblastoma. Next, supervised feature selection was used to identify the genes that are differentially expressed in normal neuroblasts versus neuroblastoma tumors. This approach efficiently sifted out genes previously reported in neuroblastoma expression profiling studies; most importantly, it also highlighted a series of genes and pathways previously not mentioned in neuroblastoma biology but that were assumed to be involved in neuroblastoma pathogenesis. Conclusion This unique dataset adds power to ongoing and future gene expression studies in neuroblastoma and will facilitate the identification of molecular targets for novel therapies. In addition, this neuroblast transcriptome resource could prove useful for the further study of human sympathoadrenal biogenesis. PMID:16989664

  7. From zebrafish heart jogging genes to mouse and human orthologs: using Gene Ontology to investigate mammalian heart development.

    PubMed Central

    Lovering, Ruth C

    2014-01-01

    For the majority of organs in developing vertebrate embryos, left-right asymmetry is controlled by a ciliated region; the left-right organizer node in the mouse and human, and the Kuppfer’s vesicle in the zebrafish. In the zebrafish, laterality cues from the Kuppfer’s vesicle determine asymmetry in the developing heart, the direction of ‘heart jogging’ and the direction of ‘heart looping’.  ‘Heart jogging’ is the term given to the process by which the symmetrical zebrafish heart tube is displaced relative to the dorsal midline, with a leftward ‘jog’. Heart jogging is not considered to occur in mammals, although a leftward shift of the developing mouse caudal heart does occur prior to looping, which may be analogous to zebrafish heart jogging. Previous studies have characterized 30 genes involved in zebrafish heart jogging, the majority of which have well defined orthologs in mouse and human and many of these orthologs have been associated with early mammalian heart development.    We undertook manual curation of a specific set of genes associated with heart development and we describe the use of Gene Ontology term enrichment analyses to examine the cellular processes associated with heart jogging.  We found that the human, mouse and zebrafish ‘heart jogging orthologs’ are involved in similar organ developmental processes across the three species, such as heart, kidney and nervous system development, as well as more specific cellular processes such as cilium development and function. The results of these analyses are consistent with a role for cilia in the determination of left-right asymmetry of many internal organs, in addition to their known role in zebrafish heart jogging.    This study highlights the importance of model organisms in the study of human heart development, and emphasises both the conservation and divergence of developmental processes across vertebrates, as well as the limitations of this approach. PMID:24627794

  8. From zebrafish heart jogging genes to mouse and human orthologs: using Gene Ontology to investigate mammalian heart development.

    PubMed

    Khodiyar, Varsha K; Howe, Doug; Talmud, Philippa J; Breckenridge, Ross; Lovering, Ruth C

    2013-01-01

    For the majority of organs in developing vertebrate embryos, left-right asymmetry is controlled by a ciliated region; the left-right organizer node in the mouse and human, and the Kuppfer's vesicle in the zebrafish. In the zebrafish, laterality cues from the Kuppfer's vesicle determine asymmetry in the developing heart, the direction of 'heart jogging' and the direction of 'heart looping'.  'Heart jogging' is the term given to the process by which the symmetrical zebrafish heart tube is displaced relative to the dorsal midline, with a leftward 'jog'. Heart jogging is not considered to occur in mammals, although a leftward shift of the developing mouse caudal heart does occur prior to looping, which may be analogous to zebrafish heart jogging. Previous studies have characterized 30 genes involved in zebrafish heart jogging, the majority of which have well defined orthologs in mouse and human and many of these orthologs have been associated with early mammalian heart development.    We undertook manual curation of a specific set of genes associated with heart development and we describe the use of Gene Ontology term enrichment analyses to examine the cellular processes associated with heart jogging.  We found that the human, mouse and zebrafish 'heart jogging orthologs' are involved in similar organ developmental processes across the three species, such as heart, kidney and nervous system development, as well as more specific cellular processes such as cilium development and function. The results of these analyses are consistent with a role for cilia in the determination of left-right asymmetry of many internal organs, in addition to their known role in zebrafish heart jogging.    This study highlights the importance of model organisms in the study of human heart development, and emphasises both the conservation and divergence of developmental processes across vertebrates, as well as the limitations of this approach. PMID:24627794

  9. Direct observation of homoclinic orbits in human heart rate variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Żebrowski, J. J.; Baranowski, R.

    2003-05-01

    Homoclinic trajectories of the interbeat intervals between contractions of ventricles of the human heart are identified. The interbeat intervals are extracted from 24-h Holter ECG recordings. Three such recordings are discussed in detail. Mappings of the measured consecutive interbeat intervals are constructed. In the second and in some cases in the fourth iterate of the map of interbeat intervals homoclinic trajectories associated with a hyperbolic saddle are found. The homoclinic trajectories are often persistent for many interbeat intervals, sometimes spanning many thousands of heartbeats. Several features typical for homoclinic trajectories found in other systems were identified, including a signature of the gluing bifurcation. The homoclinic trajectories are present both in recordings of heart rate variability obtained from patients with an increased number of arrhythmias and in cases in which the sinus rhythm is dominant. The results presented are a strong indication of the importance of deterministic nonlinear instabilities in human heart rate variability.

  10. Programming and reprogramming a human heart cell

    PubMed Central

    Sahara, Makoto; Santoro, Federica; Chien, Kenneth R

    2015-01-01

    The latest discoveries and advanced knowledge in the fields of stem cell biology and developmental cardiology hold great promise for cardiac regenerative medicine, enabling researchers to design novel therapeutic tools and approaches to regenerate cardiac muscle for diseased hearts. However, progress in this arena has been hampered by a lack of reproducible and convincing evidence, which at best has yielded modest outcomes and is still far from clinical practice. To address current controversies and move cardiac regenerative therapeutics forward, it is crucial to gain a deeper understanding of the key cellular and molecular programs involved in human cardiogenesis and cardiac regeneration. In this review, we consider the fundamental principles that govern the “programming” and “reprogramming” of a human heart cell and discuss updated therapeutic strategies to regenerate a damaged heart. PMID:25712211