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Sample records for affect fetal development

  1. Maternal Stress and Affect Influence Fetal Neurobehavioral Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DiPietro, Janet A.; Hilton, Sterling C.; Hawkins, Melissa; Costigan, Kathleen A.; Pressman, Eva K.

    2002-01-01

    Investigated associations between maternal psychological and fetal neurobehavioral functioning with data provided at 24, 30, and 36 weeks gestation. Found that fetuses of women who were more affectively intense, appraised their lives as more stressful, and reported more pregnancy-specific hassles were more active across gestation. Fetuses of women…

  2. Prenatal sodium arsenite affects early development of serotonergic neurons in the fetal rat brain.

    PubMed

    Senuma, Mika; Mori, Chisato; Ogawa, Tetsuo; Kuwagata, Makiko

    2014-11-01

    Prenatal arsenite exposure has been associated with developmental disorders in children, including reduced IQ and language abnormalities. Animal experiments have also shown that exposure to arsenite during development induced developmental neurotoxicity after birth. However, the evidence is not enough, and the mechanism is poorly understood, especially on the exposure during early brain development. This study assessed effects of sodium (meta) arsenite shortly after exposure on early developing fetal rat brains. Pregnant rats were administered 50 mg/L arsenite in their drinking water or 20 mg/kg arsenite orally using a gastric tube, on gestational days (GD) 9-15. Fetal brains were examined on GD16. Pregnant rats administered 20 mg/kg arsenite showed reductions in maternal body weight gain and food consumption during treatment, but not with 50 mg/L arsenite. Arsenite did not affect fetal development, as determined by body weight, mortality and brain size. Arsenite also did not induce excessive cell death or affect neural cell division in any region of the fetal neuroepithelium. Thyrosine hydroxylase immunohistochemistry revealed no difference in the distribution of catecholaminergic neurons between fetuses of arsenite treated and control rats. However, reductions in the number of serotonin positive cells in the fetal median and dorsal raphe nuclei were observed following maternal treatment with 20mg/kg arsenite. Image analysis showed that the serotonin positive areas decreased in all fetal mid- and hind-brain areas without altering distribution patterns. Maternal stress induced by arsenite toxicity did not alter fetal development. These results suggest that arsenite-induced neurodevelopmental toxicity involves defects in the early development of the serotonin nervous system.

  3. Altered cytokine network in gestational diabetes mellitus affects maternal insulin and placental-fetal development.

    PubMed

    Wedekind, Lauren; Belkacemi, Louiza

    2016-01-01

    Pregnancy is characterized by an altered inflammatory profile, compared to the non-pregnant state with an adequate balance between pro-and anti-inflammatory cytokines needed for normal development. Cytokines are small secreted proteins expressed mainly in immunocompetent cells in the reproductive system. From early developmental stages onward, the secretory activity of placenta cells clearly contributes to increase local as well as systemic levels of cytokines. The placental production of cytokines may affect mother and fetus independently. In turn because of this unique position at the maternal fetal interface, the placenta is also exposed to the regulatory influence of cytokines from maternal and fetal circulations, and hence, may be affected by changes in any of these. Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is associated with an overall alteration of the cytokine network. This review discusses the changes that occur in cytokines post GDM and their negative effects on maternal insulin and placental-fetal development. PMID:27230834

  4. Analgesic exposure in pregnant rats affects fetal germ cell development with inter-generational reproductive consequences

    PubMed Central

    Dean, Afshan; van den Driesche, Sander; Wang, Yili; McKinnell, Chris; Macpherson, Sheila; Eddie, Sharon L.; Kinnell, Hazel; Hurtado-Gonzalez, Pablo; Chambers, Tom J.; Stevenson, Kerrie; Wolfinger, Elke; Hrabalkova, Lenka; Calarrao, Ana; Bayne, Rosey AL; Hagen, Casper P.; Mitchell, Rod T.; Anderson, Richard A.; Sharpe, Richard M.

    2016-01-01

    Analgesics which affect prostaglandin (PG) pathways are used by most pregnant women. As germ cells (GC) undergo developmental and epigenetic changes in fetal life and are PG targets, we investigated if exposure of pregnant rats to analgesics (indomethacin or acetaminophen) affected GC development and reproductive function in resulting offspring (F1) or in the F2 generation. Exposure to either analgesic reduced F1 fetal GC number in both sexes and altered the tempo of fetal GC development sex-dependently, with delayed meiotic entry in oogonia but accelerated GC differentiation in males. These effects persisted in adult F1 females as reduced ovarian and litter size, whereas F1 males recovered normal GC numbers and fertility by adulthood. F2 offspring deriving from an analgesic-exposed F1 parent also exhibited sex-specific changes. F2 males exhibited normal reproductive development whereas F2 females had smaller ovaries and reduced follicle numbers during puberty/adulthood; as similar changes were found for F2 offspring of analgesic-exposed F1 fathers or mothers, we interpret this as potentially indicating an analgesic-induced change to GC in F1. Assuming our results are translatable to humans, they raise concerns that analgesic use in pregnancy could potentially affect fertility of resulting daughters and grand-daughters. PMID:26813099

  5. Prenatal caffeine intake differently affects synaptic proteins during fetal brain development.

    PubMed

    Mioranzza, Sabrina; Nunes, Fernanda; Marques, Daniela M; Fioreze, Gabriela T; Rocha, Andréia S; Botton, Paulo Henrique S; Costa, Marcelo S; Porciúncula, Lisiane O

    2014-08-01

    Caffeine is the psychostimulant most consumed worldwide. However, little is known about its effects during fetal brain development. In this study, adult female Wistar rats received caffeine in drinking water (0.1, 0.3 and 1.0 g/L) during the active cycle in weekdays, two weeks before mating and throughout pregnancy. Cerebral cortex and hippocampus from embryonic stages 18 or 20 (E18 or E20, respectively) were collected for immunodetection of the following synaptic proteins: brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), TrkB receptor, Sonic Hedgehog (Shh), Growth Associated Protein 43 (GAP-43) and Synaptosomal-associated Protein 25 (SNAP-25). Besides, the estimation of NeuN-stained nuclei (mature neurons) and non-neuronal nuclei was verified in both brain regions and embryonic periods. Caffeine (1.0 g/L) decreased the body weight of embryos at E20. Cortical BDNF at E18 was decreased by caffeine (1.0 g/L), while it increased at E20, with no major effects on TrkB receptors. In the hippocampus, caffeine decreased TrkB receptor only at E18, with no effects on BDNF. Moderate and high doses of caffeine promoted an increase in Shh in both brain regions at E18, and in the hippocampus at E20. Caffeine (0.3g/L) decreased GAP-43 only in the hippocampus at E18. The NeuN-stained nuclei increased in the cortex at E20 by lower dose and in the hippocampus at E18 by moderate dose. Our data revealed that caffeine transitorily affect synaptic proteins during fetal brain development. The increased number of NeuN-stained nuclei by prenatal caffeine suggests a possible acceleration of the telencephalon maturation. Although some modifications in the synaptic proteins were transient, our data suggest that caffeine even in lower doses may alter the fetal brain development. PMID:24862851

  6. Fetal development

    MedlinePlus

    WEEK BY WEEK CHANGES Gestation is the period of time between conception and birth when a baby grows and develops inside ... to the current date. It is measured in weeks. This means that during weeks 1 and 2 ...

  7. Prenatal acetaminophen affects maternal immune and endocrine adaptation to pregnancy, induces placental damage, and impairs fetal development in mice.

    PubMed

    Thiele, Kristin; Solano, M Emilia; Huber, Samuel; Flavell, Richard A; Kessler, Timo; Barikbin, Roja; Jung, Roman; Karimi, Khalil; Tiegs, Gisa; Arck, Petra C

    2015-10-01

    Acetaminophen (APAP; ie, Paracetamol or Tylenol) is generally self-medicated to treat fever or pain and recommended to pregnant women by their physicians. Recent epidemiological studies reveal an association between prenatal APAP use and an increased risk for asthma. Our aim was to identify the effects of APAP in pregnancy using a mouse model. Allogeneically mated C57Bl/6J females were injected i.p. with 50 or 250 mg/kg APAP or phosphate-buffered saline on gestation day 12.5; nonpregnant females served as controls. Tissue samples were obtained 1 or 4 days after injection. APAP-induced liver toxicity was mirrored by significantly increased plasma alanine aminotransferase levels. In uterus-draining lymph nodes of pregnant dams, the frequencies of mature dendritic cells and regulatory T cells significantly increased on 250 mg/kg APAP. Plasma progesterone levels significantly decreased in dams injected with APAP, accompanied by a morphologically altered placenta. Although overall litter sizes and number of fetal loss remained unaltered, a reduced fetal weight and a lower frequency of hematopoietic stem cells in the fetal liver were observed on APAP treatment. Our data provide strong evidence that prenatal APAP interferes with maternal immune and endocrine adaptation to pregnancy, affects placental function, and impairs fetal maturation and immune development. The latter may have long-lasting consequences on children's immunity and account for the increased risk for asthma observed in humans. PMID:26254283

  8. Prenatal acetaminophen affects maternal immune and endocrine adaptation to pregnancy, induces placental damage, and impairs fetal development in mice.

    PubMed

    Thiele, Kristin; Solano, M Emilia; Huber, Samuel; Flavell, Richard A; Kessler, Timo; Barikbin, Roja; Jung, Roman; Karimi, Khalil; Tiegs, Gisa; Arck, Petra C

    2015-10-01

    Acetaminophen (APAP; ie, Paracetamol or Tylenol) is generally self-medicated to treat fever or pain and recommended to pregnant women by their physicians. Recent epidemiological studies reveal an association between prenatal APAP use and an increased risk for asthma. Our aim was to identify the effects of APAP in pregnancy using a mouse model. Allogeneically mated C57Bl/6J females were injected i.p. with 50 or 250 mg/kg APAP or phosphate-buffered saline on gestation day 12.5; nonpregnant females served as controls. Tissue samples were obtained 1 or 4 days after injection. APAP-induced liver toxicity was mirrored by significantly increased plasma alanine aminotransferase levels. In uterus-draining lymph nodes of pregnant dams, the frequencies of mature dendritic cells and regulatory T cells significantly increased on 250 mg/kg APAP. Plasma progesterone levels significantly decreased in dams injected with APAP, accompanied by a morphologically altered placenta. Although overall litter sizes and number of fetal loss remained unaltered, a reduced fetal weight and a lower frequency of hematopoietic stem cells in the fetal liver were observed on APAP treatment. Our data provide strong evidence that prenatal APAP interferes with maternal immune and endocrine adaptation to pregnancy, affects placental function, and impairs fetal maturation and immune development. The latter may have long-lasting consequences on children's immunity and account for the increased risk for asthma observed in humans.

  9. Decreased maternal and fetal cholesterol following maternal bococizumab (anti-PCSK9 monoclonal antibody) administration does not affect rat embryo-fetal development.

    PubMed

    Campion, Sarah N; Han, Bora; Cappon, Gregg D; Lewis, Elise M; Kraynov, Eugenia; Liang, Hong; Bowman, Christopher J

    2015-11-01

    Bococizumab is a humanized monoclonal IgG2Δa antibody against proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) for the treatment of hyperlipidemia. The evaluation of potential effects on embryo-fetal development was conducted in the rat. In a pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic study bococizumab was administered intravenously to pregnant Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats (n = 8/group) at 0, 10, 30, and 100 mg/kg during organogenesis. Maternal and fetal bococizumab, total cholesterol and HDL concentrations were determined. Bococizumab was well tolerated and there were no effects on ovarian or uterine parameters. Maternal and fetal bococizumab exposure increased with increasing dose, with a corresponding dose-dependent decrease in fetal cholesterol levels. Maternal cholesterol levels were decreased significantly, with reductions that were of a similar magnitude regardless of dose. In the definitive embryo-fetal development study bococizumab was administered to pregnant SD rats (n = 20/group) at 0, 10, 30, and 100 mg/kg and no adverse maternal or developmental effects were observed up to 100 mg/kg. These studies have provided an appropriate and relevant safety assessment of bococizumab in pregnant rats to inform human risk assessment, demonstrating no adverse effects on embryo-fetal development at magnitudes greater than anticipated clinical exposure and in the presence of maximal reductions in maternal cholesterol and dose-dependent reductions in fetal cholesterol.

  10. Dietary protein during gestation affects circulating indicators of placental function and fetal development in heifers.

    PubMed

    Sullivan, T M; Micke, G C; Magalhaes, R S; Martin, G B; Wallace, C R; Green, J A; Perry, V E A

    2009-04-01

    The influences of nutritional protein during the first and second trimesters of pregnancy on placental hormones and fetal growth were determined in composite beef heifers. At artificial insemination, heifers were stratified by weight within each composite genotype into 4 treatment groups: High High (HH=1.4kg crude protein (CP)/day for first and second trimesters of gestation; n=16), High Low (HL=1.4kg CP/day for first trimester and 0.4kg CP/day for second trimester; n=19), Low High (LH=0.4kg CP/day for first trimester and 1.4kg CP/day for second trimester; n=17) or Low Low (LL=0.4kg CP/day for first and second trimesters; n=19). Maternal plasma bovine pregnancy associated glycoprotein (bPAG) and progesterone (P4) were determined at gestation day (gd) 28, 82, 179 and 271 (mean gestation length 286 days) in addition to P4 at term. Estrone sulphate (ES) and bovine placental lactogen (bPL) concentrations were measured at gd 124, 179, 236 and 271 and at term in addition to ES at gd 82. Low dietary protein increased placental function as indicated by increased bPAG (P<0.001) and ES (P=0.02) concentrations in first trimester and increased bPL concentrations (P=0.01) in the second trimester of gestation. In the third trimester, when dietary treatment had ceased, placental function was no longer associated with previous dietary treatments. Dam genotype affected placental function as measured by bPL (P<0.001) and ES concentrations (P=0.02). Calf gender, heifer age and maternal insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I, -II and leptin did not affect hormonal indicators or circulating markers of placental function. Enhanced placental function during the third trimester, as measured by ES, was associated with increased calf birth weight (P=0.003).

  11. Fetal, but not postnatal, deletion of semaphorin-neuropilin-1 signaling affects murine alveolar development.

    PubMed

    Joza, Stephen; Wang, Jinxia; Tseu, Irene; Ackerley, Cameron; Post, Martin

    2013-10-01

    The disruption of angiogenic pathways, whether through genetic predisposition or as a consequence of life-saving interventions, may underlie many pulmonary diseases of infancy, including bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Neuropilin-1 (Nrp1) is a transmembrane receptor that plays essential roles in normal and pathological vascular development and binds two distinct ligand families: vascular endothelial growth factor (Vegf) and class 3 semaphorins (Sema3). Although Nrp1 is critical for systemic vascular development, the importance of Nrp1 in pulmonary vascular morphogenesis is uncertain. We hypothesized that Sema3-Nrp1 and Vegf-Nrp1 interactions are important pathways in the orchestration of pulmonary vascular development during alveolarization. Complete ablation of Nrp1 signaling would therefore lead to interruption of normal angiogenic and vascular maturation processes that are relevant to the pathogenesis of bronchopulmonary dysplasia. We have previously shown that congenital loss of Sema3-Nrp1 signaling in transgenic Nrp1(Sema-) mice resulted in disrupted alveolar-capillary interface formation and high neonatal mortality. Here, pathohistological examination of Nrp1(Sema-) survivors in the alveolar period revealed moderate to severe respiratory distress, alveolar hemorrhaging, abnormally dilated capillaries, and disintegrating alveolar septa, demonstrating continued instability of the alveolar-capillary interface. Moreover, consistent with a reduced capillary density and consequent increases in vascular resistance, hypertensive remodeling was observed. In contrast, conditional Nrp1 deletion beginning at postnatal day 5 had only a transient effect upon alveolar and vascular development or pneumocyte differentiation despite an increase in mortality. Our results demonstrate that although Sema3-Nrp1 signaling is critical during fetal pulmonary development, Nrp1 signaling does not appear to be essential for alveolar development or vascular function in the postnatal period.

  12. Sulfate in fetal development.

    PubMed

    Dawson, Paul A

    2011-08-01

    Sulfate (SO(4)(2-)) is an important nutrient for human growth and development, and is obtained from the diet and the intra-cellular metabolism of sulfur-containing amino acids, including methionine and cysteine. During pregnancy, fetal tissues have a limited capacity to produce sulfate, and rely on sulfate obtained from the maternal circulation. Sulfate enters and exits placental and fetal cells via transporters on the plasma membrane, which maintain a sufficient intracellular supply of sulfate and its universal sulfonate donor 3'-phosphoadenosine 5'-phosphosulfate (PAPS) for sulfate conjugation (sulfonation) reactions to function effectively. Sulfotransferases mediate sulfonation of numerous endogenous compounds, including proteins and steroids, which biotransforms their biological activities. In addition, sulfonation of proteoglycans is important for maintaining normal structure and development of tissues, as shown for reduced sulfonation of cartilage proteoglycans that leads to developmental dwarfism disorders and four different osteochondrodysplasias (diastrophic dysplasia, atelosteogenesis type II, achondrogenesis type IB and multiple epiphyseal dysplasia). The removal of sulfate via sulfatases is an important step in proteoglycan degradation, and defects in several sulfatases are linked to perturbed fetal bone development, including mesomelia-synostoses syndrome and chondrodysplasia punctata 1. In recent years, interest in sulfate and its role in developmental biology has expanded following the characterisation of sulfate transporters, sulfotransferases and sulfatases and their involvement in fetal growth. This review will focus on the physiological roles of sulfate in fetal development, with links to human and animal pathophysiologies.

  13. Sulfate in fetal development.

    PubMed

    Dawson, Paul A

    2011-08-01

    Sulfate (SO(4)(2-)) is an important nutrient for human growth and development, and is obtained from the diet and the intra-cellular metabolism of sulfur-containing amino acids, including methionine and cysteine. During pregnancy, fetal tissues have a limited capacity to produce sulfate, and rely on sulfate obtained from the maternal circulation. Sulfate enters and exits placental and fetal cells via transporters on the plasma membrane, which maintain a sufficient intracellular supply of sulfate and its universal sulfonate donor 3'-phosphoadenosine 5'-phosphosulfate (PAPS) for sulfate conjugation (sulfonation) reactions to function effectively. Sulfotransferases mediate sulfonation of numerous endogenous compounds, including proteins and steroids, which biotransforms their biological activities. In addition, sulfonation of proteoglycans is important for maintaining normal structure and development of tissues, as shown for reduced sulfonation of cartilage proteoglycans that leads to developmental dwarfism disorders and four different osteochondrodysplasias (diastrophic dysplasia, atelosteogenesis type II, achondrogenesis type IB and multiple epiphyseal dysplasia). The removal of sulfate via sulfatases is an important step in proteoglycan degradation, and defects in several sulfatases are linked to perturbed fetal bone development, including mesomelia-synostoses syndrome and chondrodysplasia punctata 1. In recent years, interest in sulfate and its role in developmental biology has expanded following the characterisation of sulfate transporters, sulfotransferases and sulfatases and their involvement in fetal growth. This review will focus on the physiological roles of sulfate in fetal development, with links to human and animal pathophysiologies. PMID:21419855

  14. Peri-implantation and late gestation maternal undernutrition differentially affect fetal sheep skeletal muscle development

    PubMed Central

    Costello, Paula M; Rowlerson, Anthea; Astaman, Nur Aida; Anthony, Fred Erick W; Sayer, Avan Aihie; Cooper, Cyrus; Hanson, Mark A; Green, Lucy R

    2008-01-01

    Poor prenatal nutrition is associated with a greater risk of adult glucose intolerance and insulin insensitivity in the offspring. Skeletal muscle is the primary tissue for glucose utilization, and insulin resistance in muscle is the earliest identifiable abnormality in the pre-diabetic patient. We investigated the effect of early and late gestation undernutrition on structure and markers of growth and glucose metabolism regulation in the fetal triceps brachii (TB, slow- and fast-twitch myofibres) and soleus (slow-twitch myofibres) muscles. Pregnant sheep were fed 100% nutrient requirements (C, n = 8) or a restricted diet peri-implantation (PI, n = 9; 40%, 1–31 days gestation (dGA) (term ∼147)) or in late gestation (L, n = 6; 50%, 104–127 dGA). At 127 ± 1 dGA we measured myofibre and capillary density in the fetal TB and soleus muscles, and mRNA levels in the TB of insulin receptor (InsR), glucose transporter-4 (GLUT-4) and type 1 insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF-1R). Total myofibre and capillary densities were lower in the TB, but not the soleus, of PI and L fetuses. The predominant effect in the L group was on slow-twitch myofibres. In TB, InsR, GLUT-4 and IGF-1R mRNA levels were greater in L group fetuses. Our finding of reduced myofibre density is consistent with a redistribution of resources at the expense of specific peripheral tissues by early and late gestation undernutrition which may be mediated by a decrease in capillary density. The increase in key regulatory components of glucose uptake following late gestation undernutrition may constitute a short-term compensation to maintain glucose homeostasis in the face of fewer type I (insulin-sensitive) myofibres. However, together these adaptations may influence the risk of later metabolic disease and thus our findings have implications for future strategies aimed at improving maternal diet. PMID:18339691

  15. 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.

  16. Fetal Health and Development

    MedlinePlus

    ... specific prenatal tests to monitor both the mother's health and fetal health during each trimester. With modern technology, health professionals can Detect birth defects Identify problems that ...

  17. 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…

  18. Exposure to an environmentally relevant mixture of brominated flame retardants affects fetal development in Sprague-Dawley rats.

    PubMed

    Berger, Robert G; Lefèvre, Pavine L C; Ernest, Sheila R; Wade, Michael G; Ma, Yi-Qian; Rawn, Dorothea F K; Gaertner, Dean W; Robaire, Bernard; Hales, Barbara F

    2014-06-01

    Brominated flame retardants are incorporated into a wide variety of consumer products and are known to enter into the surrounding environment, leading to human exposure. There is accumulating evidence that these compounds have adverse effects on reproduction and development in humans and animal models. Animal studies have generally characterized the outcome of exposure to a single technical mixture or congener. Here, we determined the impact of exposure of rats prior to mating and during gestation to a mixture representative of congener levels found in North American household dust. Adult female Sprague-Dawley rats were fed a diet containing 0, 0.75, 250 or 750mg/kg of a mixture of flame retardants (polybrominated diphenyl ethers, hexabromocyclododecane) from two weeks prior to mating to gestation day 20. This formulation delivered nominal doses of 0, 0.06, 20 and 60mg/kg body weight/day. The lowest dose approximates high human exposures based on house dust levels and the dust ingestion rates of toddlers. Litter size and resorption sites were counted and fetal development evaluated. No effects on maternal health, litter size, fetal viability, weights, crown rump lengths or sex ratios were detected. The proportion of litters with fetuses with anomalies of the digits (soft tissue syndactyly or malposition of the distal phalanges) was increased significantly in the low (0.06mg/kg/day) dose group. Skeletal analysis revealed a decreased ossification of the sixth sternebra at all exposure levels. Thus, exposure to an environmentally relevant mixture of brominated flame retardants results in developmental abnormalities in the absence of apparent maternal toxicity. The relevance of these findings for predicting human risk is yet to be determined.

  19. The effects of alcohol on fetal development.

    PubMed

    Jones, Kenneth Lyons

    2011-03-01

    Prenatal exposure to alcohol has profound effects on many aspects of fetal development. Although alterations of somatic growth and specific minor malformations of facial structure are most characteristic, the effects of alcohol on brain development are most significant in that they lead to substantial problems with neurobehavioral development. Since the initial recognition of the fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), a number of important observations have been made from studies involving both humans and animals. Of particular importance, a number of maternal risk factors have been identified, which may well be of relevance relative to the development of strategies for prevention of the FAS as well as intervention for those who have been affected. These include maternal age >30 years, ethnic group, lower socioeconomic status, having had a previously affected child, maternal under-nutrition, and genetic background. The purpose of this review is to discuss these issues as well as to set forth a number of questions that have not adequately been addressed relative to alcohol's effect on fetal development. Of particular importance is the critical need to identify the full spectrum of structural defects associated with the prenatal effects of alcohol as well as to establish a neurobehavioral phenotype. Appreciation of both of these issues is necessary to understand the full impact of alcohol on fetal development.

  20. Placental hormones, nutrition, and fetal development.

    PubMed

    Mulay, S; Browne, C A; Varma, D R; Solomon, S

    1980-02-01

    Fetal growth retardation due to maternal malnutrition is widespread especially in the Third World. Little is known about the mechanisms that regulate the growth of the fetus and placenta during protein malnutrition. It is known that the placental size and levels of circulating placental hormones such as human chorionic gonadotrophins (hCG), human placental lactogen (hPL), and estrogens are affected by the nutritional status of the mother. There is suggestive evidence that during malnutrition, hPL may increase lipolysis and exert a glucose sparing effect in the mother, thereby promoting glucose availability to the fetus. We have studied the influence of dietary protein deficiency on the binding of dexamethasone to the specific cytosol receptors in adult and fetal tissues. A low protein diet in adult male rats is associated with a decrease in dexamethasone binding to liver cytosol receptors. On the other hand, protein deprivation in pregnant female rats leads to an increase in dexamethasone binding to liver cytosol receptors of both the mother and fetus. However, the influences of maternal protein deprivation on dexamethasone receptors in the fetal liver and lungs are not similar. At 21 days gestation the binding of dexamethasone to fetal lung receptors of protein-deficient mothers is lower than that in the controls. These differences at a critical time in the fetal lung development indicate that a fall in receptors for dexamethasone may lead to impaired phospholipid synthesis in fetuses of protein-deficient mothers and point to the importance of nutritional factors in the biochemistry of fetal development. PMID:7353684

  1. Developmental Programming of Fetal Skeletal Muscle and Adipose Tissue Development

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Xu; Zhu, Mei-Jun; Dodson, Michael V.; Du, Min

    2013-01-01

    All important developmental milestones are accomplished during the fetal stage, and nutrient fluctuation during this stage produces lasting effects on offspring health, so called fetal programming or developmental programming. The fetal stage is critical for skeletal muscle development, as well as adipose and connective tissue development. Maternal under-nutrition at this stage affects the proliferation of myogenic precursor cells and reduces the number of muscle fibers formed. Maternal over-nutrition results in impaired myogenesis and elevated adipogenesis. Because myocytes, adipocytes and fibrocytes are all derived from mesenchymal stem cells, molecular events which regulate the commitment of stem cells to different lineages directly impact fetal muscle and adipose tissue development. Recent studies indicate that microRNA is intensively involved in myogenic and adipogenic differentiation from mesenchymal stem cells, and epigenetic changes such as DNA methylation are expected to alter cell lineage commitment during fetal muscle and adipose tissue development. PMID:25031653

  2. Fetal Brain Behavior and Cognitive Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Joseph, R.

    2000-01-01

    Presents information on prenatal brain development, detailing the functions controlled by the medulla, pons, and midbrain, and the implications for cognitive development. Concludes that fetal cognitive motor activity, including auditory discrimination, orienting, the wake-sleep cycle, fetal heart rate accelerations, and defensive reactions,…

  3. Neural Crest Development in Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Susan M.; Garic, Ana; Flentke, George R.; Berres, Mark E.

    2016-01-01

    Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is a leading cause of neurodevelopmental disability. Some affected individuals possess distinctive craniofacial deficits, but many more lack overt facial changes. An understanding of the mechanisms underlying these deficits would inform their diagnostic utility. Our understanding of these mechanisms is challenged because ethanol lacks a single receptor when redirecting cellular activity. This review summarizes our current understanding of how ethanol alters neural crest development. Ample evidence shows that ethanol causes the “classic” fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) face (short palpebral fissures, elongated upper lip, deficient philtrum) because it suppresses prechordal plate outgrowth, thereby reducing neuroectoderm and neural crest induction and causing holoprosencephaly. Prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) at premigratory stages elicits a different facial appearance, indicating FASD may represent a spectrum of facial outcomes. PAE at this premigratory period initiates a calcium transient that activates CaMKII and destabilizes transcriptionally active β-catenin, thereby initiating apoptosis within neural crest populations. Contributing to neural crest vulnerability are their low antioxidant responses. Ethanol-treated neural crest produce reactive oxygen species, and free radical scavengers attenuate their production and prevent apoptosis. Ethanol also significantly impairs neural crest migration, causing cytoskeletal rearrangements that destabilize focal adhesion formation; their directional migratory capacity is also lost. Genetic factors further modify vulnerability to ethanol-induced craniofacial dysmorphology, and include genes important for neural crest development including shh signaling, PDFGA, vangl2, and ribosomal biogenesis. Because facial and brain development are mechanistically and functionally linked, research into ethanol’s effects on neural crest also informs our understanding of ethanol’s CNS pathologies

  4. Neural crest development in fetal alcohol syndrome.

    PubMed

    Smith, Susan M; Garic, Ana; Flentke, George R; Berres, Mark E

    2014-09-01

    Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is a leading cause of neurodevelopmental disability. Some affected individuals possess distinctive craniofacial deficits, but many more lack overt facial changes. An understanding of the mechanisms underlying these deficits would inform their diagnostic utility. Our understanding of these mechanisms is challenged because ethanol lacks a single receptor when redirecting cellular activity. This review summarizes our current understanding of how ethanol alters neural crest development. Ample evidence shows that ethanol causes the "classic" fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) face (short palpebral fissures, elongated upper lip, deficient philtrum) because it suppresses prechordal plate outgrowth, thereby reducing neuroectoderm and neural crest induction and causing holoprosencephaly. Prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) at premigratory stages elicits a different facial appearance, indicating FASD may represent a spectrum of facial outcomes. PAE at this premigratory period initiates a calcium transient that activates CaMKII and destabilizes transcriptionally active β-catenin, thereby initiating apoptosis within neural crest populations. Contributing to neural crest vulnerability are their low antioxidant responses. Ethanol-treated neural crest produce reactive oxygen species and free radical scavengers attenuate their production and prevent apoptosis. Ethanol also significantly impairs neural crest migration, causing cytoskeletal rearrangements that destabilize focal adhesion formation; their directional migratory capacity is also lost. Genetic factors further modify vulnerability to ethanol-induced craniofacial dysmorphology and include genes important for neural crest development, including shh signaling, PDFGA, vangl2, and ribosomal biogenesis. Because facial and brain development are mechanistically and functionally linked, research into ethanol's effects on neural crest also informs our understanding of ethanol's CNS pathologies.

  5. Neural crest development in fetal alcohol syndrome.

    PubMed

    Smith, Susan M; Garic, Ana; Flentke, George R; Berres, Mark E

    2014-09-01

    Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is a leading cause of neurodevelopmental disability. Some affected individuals possess distinctive craniofacial deficits, but many more lack overt facial changes. An understanding of the mechanisms underlying these deficits would inform their diagnostic utility. Our understanding of these mechanisms is challenged because ethanol lacks a single receptor when redirecting cellular activity. This review summarizes our current understanding of how ethanol alters neural crest development. Ample evidence shows that ethanol causes the "classic" fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) face (short palpebral fissures, elongated upper lip, deficient philtrum) because it suppresses prechordal plate outgrowth, thereby reducing neuroectoderm and neural crest induction and causing holoprosencephaly. Prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) at premigratory stages elicits a different facial appearance, indicating FASD may represent a spectrum of facial outcomes. PAE at this premigratory period initiates a calcium transient that activates CaMKII and destabilizes transcriptionally active β-catenin, thereby initiating apoptosis within neural crest populations. Contributing to neural crest vulnerability are their low antioxidant responses. Ethanol-treated neural crest produce reactive oxygen species and free radical scavengers attenuate their production and prevent apoptosis. Ethanol also significantly impairs neural crest migration, causing cytoskeletal rearrangements that destabilize focal adhesion formation; their directional migratory capacity is also lost. Genetic factors further modify vulnerability to ethanol-induced craniofacial dysmorphology and include genes important for neural crest development, including shh signaling, PDFGA, vangl2, and ribosomal biogenesis. Because facial and brain development are mechanistically and functionally linked, research into ethanol's effects on neural crest also informs our understanding of ethanol's CNS pathologies. PMID

  6. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effects in Child Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pancratz, Diane R.

    This literature review defines Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) and considers their causes, diagnoses, prevalence, and educational ramifications. Effects of alcohol during each of the trimesters of pregnancy are summarized. Specific diagnostic characteristics of FAS are listed: (1) growth deficiency, (2) a…

  7. Stress and Androgen Activity During Fetal Development.

    PubMed

    Barrett, Emily S; Swan, Shanna H

    2015-10-01

    Prenatal stress is known to alter hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity, and more recent evidence suggests that it may also affect androgen activity. In animal models, prenatal stress disrupts the normal surge of testosterone in the developing male, whereas in females, associations differ by species. In humans, studies show that (1) associations between prenatal stress and child outcomes are often sex-dependent, (2) prenatal stress predicts several disorders with notable sex differences in prevalence, and (3) prenatal exposure to stressful life events may be associated with masculinized reproductive tract development and play behavior in girls. In this minireview, we examine the existing literature on prenatal stress and androgenic activity and present new, preliminary data indicating that prenatal stress may also modify associations between prenatal exposure to diethylhexyl phthalate, (a synthetic, antiandrogenic chemical) and reproductive development in infant boys. Taken together, these data support the hypothesis that prenatal exposure to both chemical and nonchemical stressors may alter sex steroid pathways in the maternal-placental-fetal unit and ultimately alter hormone-dependent developmental endpoints. PMID:26241065

  8. Stress and Androgen Activity During Fetal Development

    PubMed Central

    Swan, Shanna H.

    2015-01-01

    Prenatal stress is known to alter hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity, and more recent evidence suggests that it may also affect androgen activity. In animal models, prenatal stress disrupts the normal surge of testosterone in the developing male, whereas in females, associations differ by species. In humans, studies show that (1) associations between prenatal stress and child outcomes are often sex-dependent, (2) prenatal stress predicts several disorders with notable sex differences in prevalence, and (3) prenatal exposure to stressful life events may be associated with masculinized reproductive tract development and play behavior in girls. In this minireview, we examine the existing literature on prenatal stress and androgenic activity and present new, preliminary data indicating that prenatal stress may also modify associations between prenatal exposure to diethylhexyl phthalate, (a synthetic, antiandrogenic chemical) and reproductive development in infant boys. Taken together, these data support the hypothesis that prenatal exposure to both chemical and nonchemical stressors may alter sex steroid pathways in the maternal-placental-fetal unit and ultimately alter hormone-dependent developmental endpoints. PMID:26241065

  9. Development of fetal brain renin–angiotensin system and hypertension programmed in fetal origins

    PubMed Central

    Mao, Caiping; Shi, Lijun; Xu, Feichao; Zhang, Lubo; Xu, Zhice

    2010-01-01

    Since the concept of fetal origins of adult diseases was introduced in 1980s, the development of the renin–angiotensin system (RAS) in normal and abnormal patterns has attracted attention. Recent studies have shown the importance of the fetal RAS in both prenatal and postnatal development. This review focuses on the functional development of the fetal brain RAS, and ontogeny of local brain RAS components in utero. The central RAS plays an important role in the control of fetal cardiovascular responses, body fluid balance, and neuroendocrine regulation. Recent progress has been made in demonstrating that altered fetal RAS development as a consequence of environmental insults may impact on “programming” of hypertension later in life. Given that the central RAS is of equal importance to the peripheral RAS in cardiovascular regulation, studies on the fetal brain RAS development in normal and abnormal patterns could shed light on “programming” mechanisms of adult cardiovascular diseases in fetal origins. PMID:19428956

  10. DNA Methylation Landscapes of Human Fetal Development.

    PubMed

    Slieker, Roderick C; Roost, Matthias S; 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

    2015-10-01

    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.

  11. B12 in fetal development.

    PubMed

    Pepper, M Reese; Black, Maureen M

    2011-08-01

    Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is necessary for development of the fetus and child. Pregnant women who are vegetarian or vegan, have Crohn's or celiac disease, or have undergone gastric bypass surgery are at increased risk of B12 deficiency. Low serum levels of B12 have been linked to negative impacts in cognitive, motor, and growth outcomes. Low cobalamin levels also may be related to depression in adults. Some studies indicate that B12 supplementation may improve outcomes in children, although more research is needed in this area. Overall, the mechanisms of B12 action in development remain unclear. Further studies in this area to elucidate the pathways of cobalamin influence on development, as well as to prevent B12 deficiency in pregnant women and children are indicated.

  12. Uteroplacental circulation and fetal vascular function and development.

    PubMed

    Thornburg, Kent L; Louey, Samantha

    2013-09-01

    Although blood flow in the placental vasculature is governed by the same physiological forces of shear, pressure and resistance as in other organs, it is also uniquely specialized on the maternal and fetal sides. At the materno-fetal interface, the independent uteroplacental and umbilicoplacental circulations must coordinate sufficiently to supply the fetus with the nutrients and substrates it needs to grow and develop. Uterine arterial flow must increase dramatically to accommodate the growing fetus. Recent evidence delineates the hormonal and endothelial mechanisms by which maternal vessels dilate and remodel during pregnancy. The umbilical circulation is established de novo during embryonic development but blood does not flow through the placenta until late in the first trimester. The umbilical circulation operates in the interest of maintaining fetal oxygenation over the course of pregnancy, and is affected differently by mechanical and chemical regulators of vascular tone compared to other organs. The processes that match placental vascular growth and fetal tissue growth are not understood, but studies of compromised pregnancies provide clues. The subtle changes that cause the failure of the normally regulated vascular processes during pregnancy have not been thoroughly identified. Likewise, practical and effective therapeutic strategies to reverse detrimental placental perfusion patterns have yet to be investigated.

  13. Fetal cell-free DNA fraction in maternal plasma is affected by fetal trisomy.

    PubMed

    Suzumori, Nobuhiro; Ebara, Takeshi; Yamada, Takahiro; Samura, Osamu; Yotsumoto, Junko; Nishiyama, Miyuki; Miura, Kiyonori; Sawai, Hideaki; Murotsuki, Jun; Kitagawa, Michihiro; Kamei, Yoshimasa; Masuzaki, Hideaki; Hirahara, Fumiki; Saldivar, Juan-Sebastian; Dharajiya, Nilesh; Sago, Haruhiko; Sekizawa, Akihiko

    2016-07-01

    The purpose of this noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT) study was to compare the fetal fraction of singleton gestations by gestational age, maternal characteristics and chromosome-specific aneuploidies as indicated by z-scores. This study was a multicenter prospective cohort study. Test data were collected from women who underwent NIPT by the massively parallel sequencing method. We used sequencing-based fetal fraction calculations in which we estimated fetal DNA fraction by simply counting the number of reads aligned within specific autosomal regions and applying a weighting scheme derived from a multivariate model. Relationships between fetal fractions and gestational age, maternal weight and height, and z-scores for chromosomes 21, 18 and 13 were assessed. A total of 7740 pregnant women enrolled in the study, of which 6993 met the study criteria. As expected, fetal fraction was inversely correlated with maternal weight (P<0.001). The median fetal fraction of samples with euploid result (n=6850) and trisomy 21 (n=70) were 13.7% and 13.6%, respectively. In contrast, the median fetal fraction values for samples with trisomies 18 (n=35) and 13 (n=9) were 11.0% and 8.0%, respectively. The fetal fraction of samples with trisomy 21 NIPT result is comparable to that of samples with euploid result. However, the fetal fractions of samples with trisomies 13 and 18 are significantly lower compared with that of euploid result. We conclude that it may make detecting these two trisomies more challenging. PMID:26984559

  14. Maternal high-fat diet is associated with impaired fetal lung development.

    PubMed

    Mayor, Reina S; Finch, Katelyn E; Zehr, Jordan; Morselli, Eugenia; Neinast, Michael D; Frank, Aaron P; Hahner, Lisa D; Wang, Jason; Rakheja, Dinesh; Palmer, Biff F; Rosenfeld, Charles R; Savani, Rashmin C; Clegg, Deborah J

    2015-08-15

    Maternal nutrition has a profound long-term impact on infant health. Poor maternal nutrition influences placental development and fetal growth, resulting in low birth weight, which is strongly associated with the risk of developing chronic diseases, including heart disease, hypertension, asthma, and type 2 diabetes, later in life. Few studies have delineated the mechanisms by which maternal nutrition affects fetal lung development. Here, we report that maternal exposure to a diet high in fat (HFD) causes placental inflammation, resulting in placental insufficiency, fetal growth restriction (FGR), and inhibition of fetal lung development. Notably, pre- and postnatal exposure to maternal HFD also results in persistent alveolar simplification in the postnatal period. Our novel findings provide a strong association between maternal diet and fetal lung development.

  15. Human fetal growth and organ development: 50 years of discoveries.

    PubMed

    Pardi, Giorgio; Cetin, Irene

    2006-04-01

    Knowledge about human fetal growth and organ development has greatly developed in the last 50 years. Anatomists and physiologists had already described some crucial aspects, for example, the circulation of blood during intrauterine life through the fetal heart, the liver as well as the placenta. However, only in the last century physiologic studies were performed in animal models. In the human fetus, the introduction of ultrasound and Doppler velocimetry has provided data about the growth and development of the fetus and of the circulation through the different fetal districts. Moreover, in the last 2 decades we have learned about fetal oxygenation and fetal nutrient supply caused by the availability of fetal blood samples obtained under relatively steady state conditions. These studies, together with studies using stable isotope methodologies, have clarified some aspects of the supply of the major nutrients for the fetus such as glucose, amino acids, and fatty acids. At the same time, the relevance of placental function has been recognized as a major determinant of fetal diseases leading to intrauterine growth restriction. More recently, the availability of new tools such as 3-dimensional ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging, have made possible the evaluation of the growth and development of fetal organs. This knowledge in the healthy fetus will improve the ability of clinicians to recognize abnormal phenotypes of the different fetal organs, thus allowing to stage fetal diseases.

  16. Development of temperature regulation in the fetal sheep.

    PubMed

    Gunn, T R; Gluckman, P D

    1983-06-01

    To investigate the development of fetal thermoregulatory mechanisms the temperature of the ovine fetus in utero was altered by circulating water through a coil placed around the fetus. In 18 fetuses (76-142 days), temperature recordings were made from thermister probes placed in the fetal cranium below the frontal lobes, the fetal rectum, the amniotic cavity and the maternal vena cava. Severe hypothermia was observed during fetal surgery; the maximum decrement in fetal brain temperature ranged between -7.38 degrees C and -0.83 degrees C and was correlated inversely with gestational age (P less than 0.005). The temperature of the live fetal sheep in utero was 39.05 to 40.37 degrees C and was always greater than the maternal temperature by 0.30 to 0.78 degrees C. The amniotic fluid was intermediate in temperature between the fetus and mother. During cooling studies the fetal cranial temperature fell more quickly and to a greater extent (P less than 0.05) than the fetal rectal temperature. When the cooling was continued for 60 min, a steady fall in fetal temperature was observed until a plateau was reached at 20 to 40 min. The recovery time increased with increasing gestational age (P less than 0.001) suggesting that thermoregulation is still immature in late gestation. During prolonged cooling, fetal hypoxaemia and acidosis were observed.

  17. Influence of Infection During Pregnancy on Fetal Development

    PubMed Central

    Adams Waldorf, Kristina M.; McAdams, Ryan M.

    2014-01-01

    Infection by bacteria, viruses and parasites may lead to fetal death, organ injury or limited sequelae depending on the pathogen. Here we consider the role of infection during pregnancy on fetal development including placental development and function, which can lead to fetal growth restriction. The classic group of teratogenic pathogens are referred to as “TORCH” (Toxoplasma gondii, Others like Treponema pallidum, Rubella virus, Cytomegalovirus, Herpes simplex virus), but should include a much broader group of pathogens including Parvovirus B19, Varicella zoster virus, and Plasmodium falciparum to name a few. In this review, we describe the influence of different infections in utero on fetal development and the short- and long-term outcomes for the neonate. In some cases, the mechanisms used by these pathogens to disrupt fetal development are well known. Bacterial infection of the developing fetal lungs and brain begins with inflammatory cascade resulting in cytokine injury and oxidative stress. For some pathogens like P. falciparum, the mechanisms involve oxidative stress and apoptosis to disrupt placental and fetal growth. An in utero infection may also impact the long-term health of the infant; in many cases, a viral infection in utero increases the risk of developing Type 1 diabetes in childhood. Understanding the varied mechanisms employed by these pathogens may enable therapies to attenuate changes in fetal development, decrease preterm birth, and improve survival. PMID:23884862

  18. Effects of maternal subtotal nephrectomy on the development of the fetal kidney: A morphometric study.

    PubMed

    Kondo, Tomohiro; Kitano-Amahori, Yoko; Nagai, Hiroaki; Mino, Masaki; Takeshita, Ai; Kusakabe, Ken Takeshi; Okada, Toshiya

    2015-11-01

    The present study was designed to explore if maternal subtotal (5/6) nephrectomy affects the development of fetal rat kidneys using morphometric methods and examining whether there are any apoptotic changes in the fetal kidney. To generate 5/6 nephrectomized model rats, animals underwent 2/3 left nephrectomy on gestation day (GD) 5 and total right nephrectomy on GD 12. The fetal kidneys were examined on GDs 16 and 22. A significant decrease in fetal body weight resulting from maternal 5/6 nephrectomy was observed on GD 16, and a significant decrease in fetal renal weight and fetal body weight caused by maternal nephrectomy was observed on GD 22. Maternal 5/6 nephrectomy induced a significant increase in glomerular number, proximal tubular length, and total proximal tubular volume of fetuses on GD 22. Maternal 5/6 nephrectomy resulted in an increase in the number of apoptotic cells in the metanephric mesenchyme of the kidney on GD 16, and in the collecting tubules on GD 22. These findings suggest that maternal 5/6 nephrectomy stimulates the development of the fetal kidney while suppressing fetal growth.

  19. Bendectin and fetal development. A study of Boston City Hospital.

    PubMed

    Morelock, S; Hingson, R; Kayne, H; Dooling, E; Zuckerman, B; Day, N; Alpert, J J; Flowerdew, G

    1982-01-15

    As part of a prospective study investigating maternal characteristics and habits during pregnancy and their impact on fetal development, 1,690 mother/infant pairs were studied. Of the mothers, 375 reported using Bendectin during pregnancy. Multivariate analyses examining birth weight, length, head circumference, gestational age, and congenital malformations as dependent variables demonstrated no associations between Bendectin exposure and adverse fetal outcome.

  20. Fetal Neurobehavioral Development: A Tale of Two Cities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DiPietro, Janet A.; Caulfield, Laura; Costigan, Kathleen A.; Merialdi, Mario; Nguyen, Ruby H. N.; Zavaleta, Nelly; Gurewitsch, Edith D.

    2004-01-01

    Longitudinal neurobehavioral development was examined in 237 fetuses of low-risk pregnancies from 2 distinct populations-Baltimore, Maryland, and Lima, Peru-at 20, 24, 28, 32, 36, and 38 weeks gestation. Data were based on digitized Doppler-based fetal heart rate (FHR) and fetal movement (FM). In both groups, FHR declined while variability,…

  1. Role of melatonin in embryo fetal development

    PubMed Central

    Voiculescu, SE; Zygouropoulos, N; Zahiu, CD; Zagrean, AM

    2014-01-01

    Melatonin is an indoleamine produced by the pineal gland and secreted in a circadian manner. In the past few decades, research over this topic has been enhanced. Melatonin has many important roles in the human physiology: regulator of the circadian rhythms, sleep inducer, antioxidant, anticarcinogenic. This paper reviews the involvement of melatonin in embryo fetal development. The pineal gland develops completely postpartum, so both the embryo and the fetus are dependent on the maternal melatonin provided transplacentally. Melatonin appears to be involved in the normal outcome of pregnancy beginning with the oocyte quality and finishing with the parturition. Its pregnancy night-time concentrations increase after 24 weeks of gestation, with significantly high levels after 32 weeks. Melatonin receptors are widespread in the embryo and fetus since early stages. There is solid evidence that melatonin is neuroprotective and has a positive effect on the outcome of the compromised pregnancies. In addition, chronodisruption leads to a reproductive dysfunction. Thus, the influence of melatonin on the developing human fetus may not be limited to the entertaining of circadian rhythmicity, but further studies are needed. PMID:25713608

  2. Role of melatonin in embryo fetal development.

    PubMed

    Voiculescu, S E; Zygouropoulos, N; Zahiu, C D; Zagrean, A M

    2014-01-01

    Melatonin is an indoleamine produced by the pineal gland and secreted in a circadian manner. In the past few decades, research over this topic has been enhanced. Melatonin has many important roles in the human physiology: regulator of the circadian rhythms, sleep inducer, antioxidant, anticarcinogenic. This paper reviews the involvement of melatonin in embryo fetal development. The pineal gland develops completely postpartum, so both the embryo and the fetus are dependent on the maternal melatonin provided transplacentally. Melatonin appears to be involved in the normal outcome of pregnancy beginning with the oocyte quality and finishing with the parturition. Its pregnancy night-time concentrations increase after 24 weeks of gestation, with significantly high levels after 32 weeks. Melatonin receptors are widespread in the embryo and fetus since early stages. There is solid evidence that melatonin is neuroprotective and has a positive effect on the outcome of the compromised pregnancies. In addition, chronodisruption leads to a reproductive dysfunction. Thus, the influence of melatonin on the developing human fetus may not be limited to the entertaining of circadian rhythmicity, but further studies are needed.

  3. Fetal lung development in the diabetic pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Bourbon, J R; Farrell, P M

    1985-03-01

    It seems quite likely that the normal process of fetal lung biochemical maturation is delayed by maternal diabetes and that abnormalities in the pulmonary surfactant system are involved. The appearance of PG in amniotic fluid and possibly in fetal lung is impaired or at least delayed. The same is possibly true for DSPC, the main constituent of surfactant, but recent discrepant data call for further clarification of this specific point. Careful determination of the fetal lung phospholipid profile by amniotic fluid analysis helps predict and prevent RDS in IDM, along with a careful control of the maternal diabetic condition. A study of alveolar surfactant at birth, if it could be performed in addition to amniotic fluid analysis, would help to better characterize surfactant deficiency in IDM. On the basis of both in vivo and in vitro experimental approaches, it seems clear that hyperglycemia and fetal reactional hyperinsulinism are both involved in the processes delaying fetal lung maturation. Further advances in the understanding of cellular and molecular mechanisms leading to this delay will be conditional on the availability of animal models reproducing the features of the metabolic and hormonal environment of human fetuses in diabetic pregnancies. The appropriateness of in vivo models needs to be defined by two kinds of criteria: 1) presence of simultaneous hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia in the fetus; 2) the presence of delayed fetal lung maturation as judged by morphology and morphometry of epithelial lung cells, by physiological assessment of surfactant, and by the phospholipid composition of the lung (and including lung tissue per se, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, lamellar bodies, and/or isolated surfactant fractions). Therefore, future studies must necessarily be comprehensive in scope and include information indicating that fetal growth, blood glucose, and circulating insulin are all increased. Such models already exist in rats and rabbits. Rat models are

  4. Arginine nutrition and fetal brown adipose tissue development in nutrient-restricted sheep.

    PubMed

    Satterfield, M Carey; Dunlap, Kathrin A; Keisler, Duane H; Bazer, Fuller W; Wu, Guoyao

    2013-09-01

    Intrauterine growth restriction is a significant problem worldwide, resulting in increased rates of neonatal morbidity and mortality, as well as increased risks for metabolic and cardiovascular disease. The present study investigated the role of maternal undernutrition and L-arginine administration on fetal growth and development. Embryo transfer was utilized to generate genetically similar singleton pregnancies. On Day 35 of gestation, ewes were assigned to receive either 50 or 100% of their nutritional requirements. Ewes received i.v. injections of either saline or L-arginine three times daily from Day 100 to Day 125. Fetal growth was assessed at necropsy on Day 125. Maternal dietary manipulation altered circulating concentrations of leptin, progesterone, and amino acids in maternal plasma. Fetal weight was reduced in nutrient-restricted ewes on Day 125 compared with 100% fed ewes. Compared with saline-treated underfed ewes, maternal L-arginine administration did not affect fetal weight but increased weight of the fetal pancreas by 32% and fetal peri-renal brown adipose tissue mass by 48%. These results indicate that L-arginine administration enhanced fetal pancreatic and brown adipose tissue development. The postnatal effects of increased pancreatic and brown adipose tissue growth warrant further study.

  5. Tracking fetal development through molecular analysis of maternal biofluids☆

    PubMed Central

    Edlow, Andrea G.; Bianchi, Diana W.

    2015-01-01

    Current monitoring of fetal development includes fetal ultrasonography, chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis for chromosome analysis, and maternal serum biochemical screening for analytes associated with aneuploidy and open neural tube defects. Over the last 15 years, significant advances in noninvasive prenatal diagnosis (NIPD) via cell-free fetal (cff) nucleic acids in maternal plasma have resulted in the ability to determine fetal sex, RhD genotype, and aneuploidy. Cff nucleic acids in the maternal circulation originate primarily from the placenta. This contrasts with cff nucleic acids in amniotic fluid, which derive from the fetus, and are present in significantly higher concentrations than in maternal blood. The fetal origin of cff nucleic acids in the amniotic fluid permits the acquisition of real-time information about fetal development and gene expression. This review seeks to provide a comprehensive summary of the molecular analysis of cff nucleic acids in maternal biofluids to elucidate mechanisms of fetal development, physiology, and pathology. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Molecular Genetics of Human Reproductive Failure. PMID:22542507

  6. Effect of short-term exposure to five industrial metals on the embryonic and fetal development of the mouse

    SciTech Connect

    Wide, M.

    1984-02-01

    An increase is expected in the world's industrial use of several metals, Al, Co, Mo, V, and W, among others. Very little is known about their possible effects on early mammalian development. Groups of mice were injected with compounds of these metals either before implantation or at early organogenesis. None of the metal compounds showed any interference with implantation, but all of them significantly affected fetal development: Al caused an increased frequency of fetal internal hemorrhage, Mo inhibited fetal normal weight gain, W increased the frequency of resorptions, and Al, Co, Mo, and V all interfered with fetal skeletal ossification.

  7. Fetal pulmonary development: the role of respiratory movements.

    PubMed

    Harding, R

    1997-06-01

    The lung develops before birth as a collapsible, liquid-filled, organ. Throughout the later stages of gestation the fetal lungs are maintained at a level of expansion that is considerably greater than the level achieved as a result of passive equilibration between lung recoil and the chest wall. Fetal breathing movements (FBM) are a feature of normal fetal life and, as such, are used clinically in the assessment of fetal wellbeing. By opposing lung recoil, FBM help to maintain the high level of lung expansion that is now known to be essential for normal growth and structural maturation of the fetal lungs. During 'apnoeic' periods between successive episodes of FBM, active laryngeal constriction has the effect of opposing lung recoil by resisting the escape of lung liquid via the trachea. The prolonged absence or impairment of FBM is likely to result in a reduced mean level of lung expansion which can lead to hypoplasia of the lungs. There is clinical evidence, disputed by some, that the absence of FBM exacerbates the effects of other factors that are associated with lung hypoplasia, such as premature rupture of fetal membranes and oligohydramnios. Even in the absence of such factors, prolonged or repeated reductions or abolition of FBM may contribute to impairments of fetal lung development; FBM can be inhibited by fetal hypoxaemia, hypoglycaemia, maternal alcohol consumption, maternal smoking, intra-amniotic infection and maternal consumption of sedatives or narcotic drugs. Abnormal growth of the fetal lungs has relevance for postnatal respiratory health as it is now recognised that there may be only a limited capacity after birth for the restoration of normal pulmonary architecture following impaired intra-uterine lung development. PMID:9355800

  8. In utero development of the fetal intestine: Sonographic evaluation and correlation with gestational age and fetal maturity in dogs.

    PubMed

    Gil, Elaine M U; Garcia, Daniela A A; Froes, Tilde R

    2015-09-15

    Modern high-resolution ultrasound images enable earlier assessment of measures of fetal development, including identification of the bowel. The aim of this study was to describe the ultrasonographic development of fetal bowel and correlate this with gestational age; define whether ultrasonographic visualization of fetal intestinal peristalsis in utero is associated with fetal maturation and determine whether there is a difference in fetal intestinal peristalsis detection time between fetuses delivered by normal delivery and cesarean. A cohort study was conducted in pregnant bitches presented to a veterinary hospital, to assess fetal bowel development. Statistical analysis was used to establish the correlation of the stage of fetal bowel development, as recorded by ultrasound, with outcomes of normal delivery and cesarean section. The study was broken down into three stages: the first stage was a descriptive analysis of fetal bowel development by ultrasound; the second stage compared time (in days) of bowel development between groups (normal delivery vs. cesarean); and the third stage was correlated survival probability for fetuses born on any day after detection of intestinal peristalsis with fetal maturity. All statistical analyses were significant. It is possible to monitor pregnancy progression using ultrasonographic evaluation of bowel development and this can reliably identify the end of fetal organogenesis. However, ultrasonographic detection of bowel segments with visualization of wall layers and associated peristalsis should not be used as the sole indicator for cesarean section planning because it is not possible to determine ultrasonographically whether the bowel is functional (mature). PMID:26025243

  9. The effects of betamethasone on allopregnanolone concentrations and brain development in preterm fetal sheep.

    PubMed

    Yawno, Tamara; Mortale, Monique; Sutherland, Amy E; Jenkin, Graham; Wallace, Euan M; Walker, David W; Miller, Suzanne L

    2014-10-01

    The risk of preterm delivery often means that the fetus will be exposed to exogenous synthetic glucocorticoids to accelerate fetal lung maturation, but effects on other organs, particularly the brain, are not understood. The neurosteroid allopregnanolone (AP) is a GABAA receptor agonist that influences fetal brain development and has neuroprotective properties. In this study we determined the impact of maternal glucocorticoid (betamethasone) administration on brain development and AP synthesis in preterm fetal sheep. Pregnant ewes underwent surgery at 105 days gestation for implantation of fetal catheters. Ewes received either betamethasone (BM; 11.4 mg; n=10) or vehicle (saline; n=5) by i.m injection on days five (BM1) and six (BM2) following surgery. Five fetuses of the BM treated ewes received an infusion of alfaxalone (20 mg) over 48 h commencing 30 min prior to BM1. All animals were euthanased on day 7, and the fetal brains collected to determine AP concentrations and histopathology. BM significantly reduced AP levels in the fetal brain and placental cotyledons, and also in fetal plasma without altering progesterone concentrations. There was a significant decrease in the number of myelinating cells in subcortical white matter, but no change to total oligodendrocyte number. Co-administration of the AP analogue analog alfaxalone with BM prevented this change in MBP expression. BM, given at a dose clinically prescribed to accelerate lung maturation, adversely affects neurosteroid levels in the preterm fetal brain, and affects the maturational profile of white matter development; these effects were mitigated by the co-administration of alfaxolone.

  10. 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

  11. Sonographic Assessment of the Fetal Penile Development.

    PubMed

    Akpinar, Funda; Yilmaz, Saynur; Akdag Cirik, Derya; Kayikcioglu, Fulya; Dilbaz, Berna; Yucel, Husniye; Gelisen, Orhan

    2016-01-01

    The intrauterine diagnosis of micropenis is an important clue in the discernment of some syndromes and hormonal deficiencies. In this study, we tried to establish reference ranges for the fetal penile length and penile width. This prospective cross-sectional study included 179 healthy singleton male fetus pregnancies that were between 17 and 37 weeks of gestation. Of these pregnancies, the fetal penile length and width were measured using trans-abdominal ultrasound. The correlation coefficients of gestational age with penile measurements were calculated. We observed that as the gestational age increased both the penile length and width increased (p < .0001, correlation coefficients R(2) = 0.854 and R(2) = 0.883; respectively). Reference values of the penile length in the Turkish Population were similar to previously evaluated populations including English, American and Israeli populations. The penile width measurement is a convenient way to diagnose micropenis, but penile width measurement alone might miss some penile abnormalities including chordee and hypospadias.

  12. The effect of repeated acute hypoxaemia on fetal cardiovascular development in the sheep.

    PubMed

    Steyn, C; Hanson, M A

    1998-10-01

    1. Hypoxaemia during intrauterine life may be important in the development of cardiovascular diseases in later life. Thus it was the aim of this study to investigate the effect of repeated acute hypoxia on the cardiovascular development and growth of the fetus. 2. Fourteen fetal sheep (105-109 days gestational age) were instrumented with amniotic and vascular catheters, an electrocardiogram (ECG) electrode and a flow probe around the femoral artery. Seven animals were given repeated acute isocapnic hypoxaemia (Pa,O2 reduced to ca. 13 mmHg) for 1 h every day for 14 days and they were compared to seven animals which remained normoxic throughout with respect to fetal mean arterial blood pressure (MAP), fetal heart rate (FHR), and fetal baro- and chemoreflexes. 3. No differences were found between the two groups of fetuses in FHR, MAP, baro- or chemoreflexes, femoral blood flow, femoral vascular resistance or fetal growth. 4. Repeated acute hypoxaemia of a moderate degree over a period of 2 weeks in late gestation does not affect cardiovascular development or growth in the fetal sheep.

  13. Vitamin D in fetal brain development.

    PubMed

    Eyles, Darryl; Burne, Thomas; McGrath, John

    2011-08-01

    In this review we will provide a concise summary of the evidence implicating a role for vitamin D in the developing brain. Vitamin D is known to affect a diverse array of cellular functions. Over the past 10 years data has emerged implicating numerous ways in which this vitamin could also affect the developing brain including its effects on cell differentiation, neurotrophic factor expression, cytokine regulation, neurotransmitter synthesis, intracellular calcium signaling, anti-oxidant activity, and the expression of genes/proteins involved in neuronal differentiation, structure and metabolism. Dysfunction in any of these processes could adversely affect development. Although there are many ways to study the effects of vitamin D on the developing CNS in vivo, we will concentrate on one experimental model that has examined the impact of the dietary absence of vitamin D in utero. Finally, we discuss the epidemiological data that suggests that vitamin D deficiency either in utero or in early life may have adverse neuropsychiatric implications. PMID:21664981

  14. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and the Developing Socio-Emotional Brain

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Niccols, Alison

    2007-01-01

    Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is currently recognized as the most common known cause of mental retardation, affecting from 1 to 7 per 1000 live-born infants. Individuals with FAS suffer from changes in brain structure, cognitive impairments, and behavior problems. Researchers investigating neuropsychological functioning have identified deficits in…

  15. Does bleeding affect fetal Doppler parameters during genetic amniocentesis?

    PubMed Central

    İskender, Cantekin; Tarım, Ebru; Çok, Tayfun; Kalaycı, Hakan; Parlakgümüş, Ayşe; Yalçınkaya, Cem

    2014-01-01

    Objective The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between fetal Doppler parameters and bleeding at insertion points during amniocentesis. Material and Methods This prospective study was conducted between July 2010 and February 2011. A total of 215 amniocentesis procedures were performed during this period. Five patients with Down syndrome were excluded from the study. The remaining 210 patients were divided into Group 1 (bleeding at insertion site) and Group 2 as a control group. One needle type was used for all patients. Umbilical artery resistance index (UARI), umbilical artery pulsatility index (UAPI), middle cerebral artery resistance index (MCARI), middle cerebral artery pulsatility index (MCA PI), and middle cerebral artery peak systolic velocity (MCAPSV) were measured immediately and before and after amniocentesis. Results Bleeding at the insertion point during amniocentesis did not significantly change the UARI (34% increase for Group 1 and 46.5% increase for Group 2, p=0.238), the MCARI (52% increase for Group 1 and 45% increase for Group 2, p=0.622), or the MCAPSV (37% increase for Group 1 and 49% increase for Group 2, p=0.199). UARI, MCARI, MCA PI, and MCAPSV were not significantly altered following amniocentesis in Groups 1 and 2. There was a significant increase in UAPI following amniocentesis only in Group 2. Conclusion Bleeding during genetic amniocentesis did not change umbilical artery and middle cerebral artery Doppler parameters. PMID:24976776

  16. Perinatal Maternal Mental Health, Fetal Programming and Child Development

    PubMed Central

    Lewis, Andrew J.; Austin, Emma; Knapp, Rebecca; Vaiano, Tina; Galbally, Megan

    2015-01-01

    Maternal mental disorders over pregnancy show a clear influence on child development. This review is focused on the possible mechanisms by which maternal mental disorders influence fetal development via programming effects. This field is complex since mental health symptoms during pregnancy vary in type, timing and severity and maternal psychological distress is often accompanied by higher rates of smoking, alcohol use, poor diet and lifestyle. Studies are now beginning to examine fetal programming mechanisms, originally identified within the DOHaD framework, to examine how maternal mental disorders impact fetal development. Such mechanisms include hormonal priming effects such as elevated maternal glucocorticoids, alteration of placental function and perfusion, and epigenetic mechanisms. To date, mostly high prevalence mental disorders such as depression and anxiety have been investigated, but few studies employ diagnostic measures, and there is very little research examining the impact of maternal mental disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, eating disorders and personality disorders on fetal development. The next wave of longitudinal studies need to focus on specific hypotheses driven by plausible biological mechanisms for fetal programming and follow children for a sufficient period in order to examine the early manifestations of developmental vulnerability. Intervention studies can then be targeted to altering these mechanisms of intergenerational transmission once identified. PMID:27417821

  17. Perinatal Maternal Mental Health, Fetal Programming and Child Development.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Andrew J; Austin, Emma; Knapp, Rebecca; Vaiano, Tina; Galbally, Megan

    2015-11-26

    Maternal mental disorders over pregnancy show a clear influence on child development. This review is focused on the possible mechanisms by which maternal mental disorders influence fetal development via programming effects. This field is complex since mental health symptoms during pregnancy vary in type, timing and severity and maternal psychological distress is often accompanied by higher rates of smoking, alcohol use, poor diet and lifestyle. Studies are now beginning to examine fetal programming mechanisms, originally identified within the DOHaD framework, to examine how maternal mental disorders impact fetal development. Such mechanisms include hormonal priming effects such as elevated maternal glucocorticoids, alteration of placental function and perfusion, and epigenetic mechanisms. To date, mostly high prevalence mental disorders such as depression and anxiety have been investigated, but few studies employ diagnostic measures, and there is very little research examining the impact of maternal mental disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, eating disorders and personality disorders on fetal development. The next wave of longitudinal studies need to focus on specific hypotheses driven by plausible biological mechanisms for fetal programming and follow children for a sufficient period in order to examine the early manifestations of developmental vulnerability. Intervention studies can then be targeted to altering these mechanisms of intergenerational transmission once identified.

  18. Malformations of Cortical Development: From Postnatal to Fetal Imaging.

    PubMed

    Lerman-Sagie, Tally; Leibovitz, Zvi

    2016-09-01

    Abnormal fetal corticogenesis results in malformations of cortical development (MCD). Abnormal cell proliferation leads to microcephaly or megalencephaly, incomplete neuronal migration results in heterotopia and lissencephaly, neuronal overmigration manifests as cobblestone malformations, and anomalous postmigrational cortical organization is responsible for polymicrogyria and focal cortical dysplasias. MCD comprises various congenital brain disorders, caused by different genetic, infectious, or vascular etiologies and is associated with significant neurological morbidity. Although MCD are rarely diagnosed prenatally, both dedicated multiplanar neurosonography and magnetic resonance imaging enable good demonstration of fetal cortical development. The imaging signs of fetal MCD are: delayed or absent cerebral sulcation; premature abnormal sulci; thin and irregular hemispheric parenchyma; wide abnormal overdeveloped gyri; wide opening of isolated sulci; nodular bulging into the lateral ventricles; cortical clefts; intraparenchymal echogenic nodules; and cortical thickening. The postnatal and prenatal imaging features of four main malformations of cortical development-lissencephaly, cobblestone malformations, periventricular nodular heterotopia, and polymicrogyria-are described. PMID:27670206

  19. Fetal urinoma and prenatal hydronephrosis: how is renal function affected?

    PubMed Central

    Oktar, Tayfun; Salabaş, Emre; Kalelioğlu, İbrahim; Atar, Arda; Ander, Haluk; Ziylan, Orhan; Has, Recep; Yüksel, Atıl

    2013-01-01

    Objective: In our study, the functional prognosis of kidneys with prenatal urinomas were investigated. Material and methods: Between 2006 and 2010, fetal urinomas were detected in 19 fetuses using prenatal ultrasonography (US), and the medical records were reviewed retrospectively. Of the 19 cases, the follow-up data were available for 10 fetuses. The gestational age at diagnosis, prognosis of urinomas, clinical course and renal functions were recorded. Postnatal renal functions were assessed with renal scintigraphy. Results: Unilateral urinomas and increased parenchyma echogenicity in the ipsilateral kidney were detected in all of the fetuses. Of the 10 fetuses with follow-up data, the option of termination was offered in 6 cases of anhydramnios, including 3 cases with signs of infravesical obstruction (a possible posterior urethral valve (PUV) and poor prognostic factors and 3 cases with unilateral hydronephrosis and increased echogenicity in the contralateral kidney. Only one family agreed the termination. The other 5 fetuses died during the early postnatal period. The average postnatal follow-up period in the 4 surviving fetuses was 22.5 months (8–38 months). One patient with a PUV underwent ablation surgery during the early postnatal period. In the postnatal period, none of the 4 kidneys that were ipsilateral to the urinoma were functional on scintigraphic evaluation. The urinomas disappeared in 3 cases. Nephrectomy was performed in one case due to recurrent urinary tract infections. Conclusion: In our study, no function was detected in the ipsilateral kidney of surviving patients with urinomas. Upper urinary tract dilatation accompanied by a urinoma is a poor prognostic factor for renal function. PMID:26328088

  20. Can maternal-fetal hemodynamics influence prenatal development in dogs?

    PubMed

    Freitas, Luana Azevedo de; Mota, Gustavo Lobato; Silva, Herlon Victor Rodrigues; Carvalho, Cibele Figueira; Silva, Lúcia Daniel Machado da

    2016-09-01

    The goals of this study were to report embryonic and fetal ultrasound changes and compare blood flow of uteroplacental and umbilical arteries of normal and abnormal conceptus. Accordingly, from the day of mating or artificial insemination, all fetuses in 60 pregnancies were evaluated weekly. According to the ultrasound findings, the gestational age was determined and the conceptuses were divided into normal or abnormal (embryonic and fetal abnormalities). The two-dimensional ultrasound assessment consists of measuring and evaluating the echogenicity of conceptus and extra-fetal structures. Doppler velocimetry measured the resistivity index (RI) and pulsatility index (PI) of uteroplacental and umbilical arteries. Two-dimensional and Doppler measurements were expressed as mean and standard deviation. Differences between normal and abnormal groups were subject to Mann-Whitney test (P<0.05). Of 264 fetuses, 15.90% showed embryonic abnormalities (resorption) and 5.68% presented fetal abnormalities (congenital abnormalities, fetal underdevelopment and fetal death). We observed a reduced diameter and abnormalities in the contour of gestational vesicle, lack of viability, increased placental thickness, increased fluid echogenicity and increases in RI and PI of uteroplacental arteries of conceptuses with embryonic resorption between the 2nd and 4th weeks. Fetuses with abnormalities showed changes in the flow of uteroplacental and umbilical arteries prior to visualization of two-dimensional alterations and different vascular behavior according to the classification of the change. Results show that ultrasound is efficient for the detection of embryonic and fetal abnormalities. When combined with Doppler ultrasound, it allows early detection of gestational changes, as well as hemodynamic changes, in conceptuses with abnormalities, which may influence their development. PMID:27509872

  1. Artificial oxygen carriers rescue placental hypoxia and improve fetal development in the rat pre-eclampsia model.

    PubMed

    Li, Heng; Ohta, Hidenobu; Tahara, Yu; Nakamura, Sakiko; Taguchi, Kazuaki; Nakagawa, Machiko; Oishi, Yoshihisa; Goto, Yu-Ichi; Wada, Keiji; Kaga, Makiko; Inagaki, Masumi; Otagiri, Masaki; Yokota, Hideo; Shibata, Shigenobu; Sakai, Hiromi; Okamura, Kunihiro; Yaegashi, Nobuo

    2015-10-16

    Pre-eclampsia affects approximately 5% of all pregnant women and remains a major cause of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality. The hypertension associated with pre-eclampsia develops during pregnancy and remits after delivery, suggesting that the placenta is the most likely origin of this disease. The pathophysiology involves insufficient trophoblast invasion, resulting in incomplete narrow placental spiral artery remodeling. Placental insufficiency, which limits the maternal-fetal exchange of gas and nutrients, leads to fetal intrauterine growth restriction. In this study, in our attempt to develop a new therapy for pre-eclampsia, we directly rescued placental and fetal hypoxia with nano-scale size artificial oxygen carriers (hemoglobin vesicles). The present study is the first to demonstrate that artificial oxygen carriers successfully treat placental hypoxia, decrease maternal plasma levels of anti-angiogenic proteins and ameliorate fetal growth restriction in the pre-eclampsia rat model.

  2. Artificial oxygen carriers rescue placental hypoxia and improve fetal development in the rat pre-eclampsia model

    PubMed Central

    Li, Heng; Ohta, Hidenobu; Tahara, Yu; Nakamura, Sakiko; Taguchi, Kazuaki; Nakagawa, Machiko; Oishi, Yoshihisa; Goto, Yu-ichi; Wada, Keiji; Kaga, Makiko; Inagaki, Masumi; Otagiri, Masaki; Yokota, Hideo; Shibata, Shigenobu; Sakai, Hiromi; Okamura, Kunihiro; Yaegashi, Nobuo

    2015-01-01

    Pre-eclampsia affects approximately 5% of all pregnant women and remains a major cause of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality. The hypertension associated with pre-eclampsia develops during pregnancy and remits after delivery, suggesting that the placenta is the most likely origin of this disease. The pathophysiology involves insufficient trophoblast invasion, resulting in incomplete narrow placental spiral artery remodeling. Placental insufficiency, which limits the maternal-fetal exchange of gas and nutrients, leads to fetal intrauterine growth restriction. In this study, in our attempt to develop a new therapy for pre-eclampsia, we directly rescued placental and fetal hypoxia with nano-scale size artificial oxygen carriers (hemoglobin vesicles). The present study is the first to demonstrate that artificial oxygen carriers successfully treat placental hypoxia, decrease maternal plasma levels of anti-angiogenic proteins and ameliorate fetal growth restriction in the pre-eclampsia rat model. PMID:26471339

  3. Fetal programming of infant neuromotor development: the generation R study.

    PubMed

    van Batenburg-Eddes, Tamara; de Groot, Laila; Steegers, Eric A P; Hofman, Albert; Jaddoe, Vincent W V; Verhulst, Frank C; Tiemeier, Henning

    2010-02-01

    The objective of the study was to examine whether infant neuromotor development is determined by fetal size and body symmetry in the general population. This study was embedded within the Generation R Study, a population-based cohort in Rotterdam. In 2965 fetuses, growth parameters were measured in mid-pregnancy and late pregnancy. After birth, at age 9 to 15 wks, neuromotor development was assessed with an adapted version of Touwen's Neurodevelopmental Examination. Less optimal neuromotor development was defined as a score in the highest tertile. We found that higher fetal weight was beneficial to infant neurodevelopment. A fetus with a 1-SD score higher weight in mid-pregnancy had an 11% lower risk of less optimal neuromotor development (OR: 0.89; 95% CI: 0.82-0.97). Similarly, a fetus with a 1-SD score larger abdominal-to-head circumference (AC/HC) ratio had a 13% lower risk of less optimal neuromotor development (OR: 0.87; 95% CI: 0.79-0.96). These associations were also present in late pregnancy. Our findings show that fetal size and body symmetry in pregnancy are associated with infant neuromotor development. These results suggest that differences in infant neuromotor development, a marker of behavioral and cognitive problems, are at least partly caused by processes occurring early in fetal life. PMID:19809381

  4. Endothelin-1 receptor antagonists in fetal development and pulmonary arterial hypertension.

    PubMed

    de Raaf, Michiel Alexander; Beekhuijzen, Manon; Guignabert, Christophe; Vonk Noordegraaf, Anton; Bogaard, Harm Jan

    2015-08-15

    The Pregnancy Prevention Program (PPP) is in place to prevent drug-induced developmental malformations. Remarkably, among the ten PPP-enlisted drugs are three endothelin-1 (ET-1) receptor antagonists (ERA's: ambrisentan, bosentan and macitentan), which are approved for the treatment of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH). This review describes the effects of ERA's in PAH pathobiology and cardiopulmonary fetal development. While ERA's hamper pathological remodeling of the pulmonary vasculature and as such exert beneficial effects in PAH, they disturb fetal development of cardiopulmonary tissues. By blocking ET-1-mediated positive inotropic effects and myocardial fetal gene induction, ERA's may affect right ventricular adaptation to the increased pulmonary vascular resistance in both the fetus and the adult PAH patient.

  5. Epigenetic regulation during fetal femur development: DNA methylation matters.

    PubMed

    de Andrés, María C; Kingham, Emmajayne; Imagawa, Kei; Gonzalez, Antonio; Roach, Helmtrud I; Wilson, David I; Oreffo, Richard O C

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetic modifications are heritable changes in gene expression without changes in DNA sequence. DNA methylation has been implicated in the control of several cellular processes including differentiation, gene regulation, development, genomic imprinting and X-chromosome inactivation. Methylated cytosine residues at CpG dinucleotides are commonly associated with gene repression; conversely, strategic loss of methylation during development could lead to activation of lineage-specific genes. Evidence is emerging that bone development and growth are programmed; although, interestingly, bone is constantly remodelled throughout life. Using human embryonic stem cells, human fetal bone cells (HFBCs), adult chondrocytes and STRO-1(+) marrow stromal cells from human bone marrow, we have examined a spectrum of developmental stages of femur development and the role of DNA methylation therein. Using pyrosequencing methodology we analysed the status of methylation of genes implicated in bone biology; furthermore, we correlated these methylation levels with gene expression levels using qRT-PCR and protein distribution during fetal development evaluated using immunohistochemistry. We found that during fetal femur development DNA methylation inversely correlates with expression of genes including iNOS (NOS2) and COL9A1, but not catabolic genes including MMP13 and IL1B. Furthermore, significant demethylation was evident in the osteocalcin promoter between the fetal and adult developmental stages. Increased TET1 expression and decreased expression of DNA (cytosine-5-)-methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) in adult chondrocytes compared to HFBCs could contribute to the loss of methylation observed during fetal development. HFBC multipotency confirms these cells to be an ideal developmental system for investigation of DNA methylation regulation. In conclusion, these findings demonstrate the role of epigenetic regulation, specifically DNA methylation, in bone development, informing and opening

  6. Fetal Health Locus of Control Scale: Development and Validation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Labs, Sharon M.; Wurtele, Sandy K.

    1986-01-01

    Describes development of the Fetal Health Locus of Control scale, the scale's utility in predicting maternal health-related behavior during pregnancy, normative data, and information on factor structure and internal consistency. Reports that cigarette and caffeine consumption during pregnancy, and women's intentions to participate in prepared…

  7. Fetal Testosterone, Socio-Emotional Engagement and Language Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Farrant, Brad M.; Mattes, Eugen; Keelan, Jeff A.; Hickey, Martha; Whitehouse, Andrew J. O.

    2013-01-01

    The present study investigated the relations among fetal testosterone, child socio-emotional engagement and language development in a sample of 467 children (235 boys) from the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study. Bioavailable testosterone concentration measured in umbilical cord blood taken at birth was found to be significantly…

  8. Effects of proposed adipogenic factors in fetal swine sera upon preadipocyte development

    SciTech Connect

    Ramsay, T.G.; Hausman, G.J.; Martin, R.J.

    1986-03-01

    Genetic obesity has been detected in fetal pigs which suggests primary factors that cause the obesity develop prenatally. Growth hormone and thyroid hormones have been implicated as regulatory factors in fetal serum for preadipocyte differentiation. This experiment examined effects of growth hormone (GH) and thyroxine (T4) addition upon preadipocyte proliferation and differentiation when supplemented to deficient fetal pig sea. Hormones were added to decapitated fetal pig (Decap) sera to concentrations present in intact littermate (Reference) sera. Primary stromal-vascular cell cultures were prepared from rat inguinal adipose tissue. Cells were incubated with 5% decap or reference sera and hormones in media 199 during: days 1 to 5 for a /sup 3/H-thymidine incorporation assay; days 1 to 15 for assay of ..cap alpha..-glycerol phosphate dehydrogenase; days 5 to 14 for a complete differentiation assay. Decap sera promoted less proliferation and enzyme differentiation than reference sera with no effect of GH addition. GH reduced detection of lipid accumulating cells on percol density gradients by 81%. T4 addition stimulated preadipocyte multiplication and produced a 30% increase in completely differentiated preadipocytes. These results indicate thyroid hormones are important components of fetal sera for regulation of preadipocyte development, whereas GH may only affect cellular metabolism.

  9. Fetal muscle development, mesenchymal multipotent cell differentiation, and associated signaling pathways.

    PubMed

    Du, M; Zhao, J X; Yan, X; Huang, Y; Nicodemus, L V; Yue, W; McCormick, R J; Zhu, M J

    2011-02-01

    Enhancing muscle growth while reducing fat accumulation improves the efficiency of animal production. The fetal stage is crucial for skeletal muscle development. Fetal muscle development involves myogenesis, adipogenesis, and fibrogenesis from mesenchymal multipotent cells (MC), which are negatively affected by maternal nutrient deficiencies. Enhancing myogenesis increases the lean-to-fat ratio of animals, enhancing intramuscular adipogenesis increases intramuscular fat that is indispensible for the superior eating properties of meat because fat is the major contributor to meat flavor. The promotion of fibrogenesis leads to the accumulation of connective tissue, which contributes to the background toughness of meat and is undesirable. Thus, it is essential to regulate MC differentiation to enhance lean growth and improve meat quality. To date, our understanding of mechanisms regulating the lineage commitment of MC is limited. In this review, we first discuss the impact of maternal nutrient deficiency on fetal development, offspring body composition, and meat quality. Because maternal nutrition affects fetal muscle through altering MC differentiation, we then review several important extracellular morphogens regulating MC differentiation, including hedgehog, Wingless and Int (Wnt), and bone morphogenic proteins. Possible involvement of epigenetic modifications associated with histone deacetylases class IIa and histone acetyltransferase, p300, in MC differentiation is also discussed.

  10. Diffusion MRI Tractography of the Developing Human Fetal Heart

    PubMed Central

    Jackowski, Marcel P.; Kostis, William J.; Dai, Guangping; Sanders, Stephen; Sosnovik, David E.

    2013-01-01

    Objective Human myocardium has a complex and anisotropic 3D fiber pattern. It remains unknown, however, when in fetal life this anisotropic pattern develops and whether the human heart is structurally fully mature at birth. We aimed here to use diffusion tensor MRI (DTI) tractography to characterize the evolution of fiber architecture in the developing human fetal heart. Methods Human fetal hearts (n = 5) between 10–19 weeks of gestation were studied. The heart from a 6-day old neonate and an adult human heart served as controls. The degree of myocardial anisotropy was measured by calculating the fractional anisotropy (FA) index. In addition, fiber tracts were created by numerically integrating the primary eigenvector field in the heart into coherent streamlines. Results At 10–14 weeks the fetal hearts were highly isotropic and few tracts could be resolved. Between 14–19 weeks the anisotropy seen in the adult heart began to develop. Coherent fiber tracts were well resolved by 19 weeks. The 19-week myocardium, however, remained weakly anisotropic with a low FA and no discernable sheet structure. Conclusions The human fetal heart remains highly isotropic until 14–19 weeks, at which time cardiomyocytes self-align into coherent tracts. This process lags 2–3 months behind the onset of cardiac contraction, which may be a prerequisite for cardiomyocyte maturation and alignment. No evidence of a connective tissue scaffold guiding this process could be identified by DTI. Maturation of the heart’s sheet structure occurs late in gestation and evolves further after birth. PMID:23991152

  11. Fetal Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansen, John T.; Sladek, John R.

    1989-11-01

    This article reviews some of the significant contributions of fetal research and fetal tissue research over the past 20 years. The benefits of fetal research include the development of vaccines, advances in prenatal diagnosis, detection of malformations, assessment of safe and effective medications, and the development of in utero surgical therapies. Fetal tissue research benefits vaccine development, assessment of risk factors and toxicity levels in drug production, development of cell lines, and provides a source of fetal cells for ongoing transplantation trials. Together, fetal research and fetal tissue research offer tremendous potential for the treatment of the fetus, neonate, and adult.

  12. Commercialization and Industrial Development for the Fetal Hear Rate Monitor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zahorian, Stephen

    2000-01-01

    The primary objectives for this task were to continue the development and testing of the NASA/ODU passive acoustic fetal heart rate monitor, with the goal of transferring the technology to the commercial sector. Areas of work included: 1. To assist in the development of a new hardware front end electronics box for the fetal heart rate monitor, so as to reduce the size of the electronics box, and also to provide for a "low-frequency" and "high-frequency" mode of operation. To make necessary changes in the operating software to support the two modes of operation. 2. To provide an option for a strip chart recording for the system, so that medical personnel could more easily make comparisons with ultra sound strip chart recordings. and 3. To help with continued testing of the system.

  13. Sex-Specific Placental Responses in Fetal Development

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The placenta is an ephemeral but critical organ for the survival of all eutherian mammals and marsupials. It is the primary messenger system between the mother and fetus, where communicational signals, nutrients, waste, gases, and extrinsic factors are exchanged. Although the placenta may buffer the fetus from various environmental insults, placental dysfunction might also contribute to detrimental developmental origins of adult health and disease effects. The placenta of one sex over the other might possess greater ability to respond and buffer against environmental insults. Given the potential role of the placenta in effecting the lifetime health of the offspring, it is not surprising that there has been a resurging interest in this organ, including the Human Placental Project launched by the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development. In this review, we will compare embryological development of the laboratory mouse and human chorioallantoic placentae. Next, evidence that various species, including humans, exhibit normal sex-dependent structural and functional placental differences will be examined followed by how in utero environmental changes (nutritional state, stress, and exposure to environmental chemicals) might interact with fetal sex to affect this organ. Recent data also suggest that paternal state impacts placental function in a sex-dependent manner. The research to date linking placental maladaptive responses and later developmental origins of adult health and disease effects will be explored. Finally, we will focus on how sex chromosomes and epimutations may contribute to sex-dependent differences in placental function, the unanswered questions, and future directions that warrant further consideration. PMID:26241064

  14. [Recent findings in fetal lung development: structure, surfactant, lung fluid].

    PubMed

    Schwartze, H

    1990-01-01

    A great deal of lung development takes place after birth; new alveoli continue to develop until 8-11 years. However, the differentiation of epithelial cells is characteristic of the fetal lung from 24 weeks of gestation onwards: this is the point at which the surfactant containing type II cells can first be identified. Lung blood flow and the metabolic rate of type II cells increase in parallel rates the last 20% of the gestation period. The timely synthesis of surfactant depends on the availability of the fetal hormones T3, cortisol and prolactin, whereas this synthesis is inhibited by insulin and testosterone. Endogenous surfactant consists of 80% phosphatidylcholine and 10% protein. A sufficient quantity of surfactant is only available at term. Nowadayx, surfactant deficiency can be treated successfully with various exogenous surfactant preparations. Fetal lung liquid contributes about one half to the amniotic fluid. It is partly secreted by an active transport system. Secretion is inhibited by the stimulation of beta-adrenergic receptors in the lung tissue. The epithelial surface of the alveoli is a barrier which limits protein penetration considerably; lung liquid contains minimal amounts of protein. Under pathological conditions (RDS, haemorrhagic lung oedema) the alveolar barrier is disturbed so that plasma protein penetrate into the air spaces and form hyaline membranes.

  15. Maternal influences on fetal microbial colonization and immune development.

    PubMed

    Romano-Keeler, Joann; Weitkamp, Jörn-Hendrik

    2015-01-01

    While critical for normal development, the exact timing of establishment of the intestinal microbiome is unknown. For example, although preterm labor and birth have been associated with bacterial colonization of the amniotic cavity and fetal membranes for many years, the prevailing dogma of a sterile intrauterine environment during normal term pregnancies has been challenged more recently. While found to be a key contributor of evolution in the animal kingdom, maternal transmission of commensal bacteria may also constitute a critical process during healthy pregnancies in humans with yet unclear developmental importance. Metagenomic sequencing has elucidated a rich placental microbiome in normal term pregnancies likely providing important metabolic and immune contributions to the growing fetus. Conversely, an altered microbial composition during pregnancy may produce aberrant metabolites impairing fetal brain development and life-long neurological outcomes. Here we review the current understanding of microbial colonization at the feto-maternal interface and explain how normal gut colonization drives a balanced neonatal mucosal immune system, while dysbiosis contributes to aberrant immune function early in life and beyond. We discuss how maternal genetics, diet, medications, and probiotics inform the fetal microbiome in preparation for perinatal and postnatal bacterial colonization.

  16. Infant Behavior and Development in Relation to Fetal Movement and Habituation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Madison, Lynda S.; And Others

    1986-01-01

    Evaluated the relation between fetal activity and postnatal behavior and development by measuring the amount of fetal movement occurring in response to stimulation and the number of stimulus applications necessary for habituation. Preliminary evidence suggests that fetal rate of habituation predicts some aspects of infant behavior and development…

  17. Genotype and fetal size affect maternal-fetal amino acid status and fetal endocrinology in Large White × Landrace and Meishan pigs.

    PubMed

    Ashworth, Cheryl J; Nwagwu, Margaret O; McArdle, Harry J

    2013-01-01

    This study compared maternal plasma amino acid concentrations, placental protein secretion in vitro and fetal body composition and plasma amino acid and hormone concentrations in feto-placental units from the smallest and a normally-sized fetus carried by Large White × Landrace or Meishan gilts on Day 100 of pregnancy. Compared with Large White × Landrace, Meishan placental tissue secreted more protein and Meishan fetuses contained relatively more fat and protein, but less moisture. Fetal plasma concentrations of insulin, triiodothryonine, thyroxine and insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-II were higher in Meishan than Large White × Landrace fetuses. In both breeds, fetal cortisol concentrations were inversely related to fetal size, whereas concentrations of IGF-I were higher in average-sized fetuses. Concentrations of 10 amino acids were higher in Large White × Landrace than Meishan gilts, while glutamine concentrations were higher in Meishan gilts. Concentrations of alanine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid and threonine were higher in Meishan than Large White × Landrace fetuses. Average-sized fetuses had higher concentrations of asparagine, leucine, lysine, phenylalanine, threonine, tyrosine and valine than the smallest fetus. This study revealed novel genotype and fetal size differences in porcine maternal-fetal amino acid status and fetal hormone and metabolite concentrations.

  18. Enhancing Learning Environments for Students Affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: An Exploratory Study of Canadian Pre-Service Teacher Knowledge and Conceptions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pei, Jacqueline; Job, Jenelle; Poth, Cheryl; O'Brien-Langer, Anna; Tang, Wei

    2015-01-01

    There is a pressing need for enhancing the learning environment for students affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs). To develop relevant professional learning opportunities for teachers, a logical initial step is to explore the extent to which pre-service teachers accurately understand the unique neuropsychological functioning…

  19. Development of the fetal ilium – challenging concepts of bipedality

    PubMed Central

    Cunningham, Craig A; Black, Sue M

    2009-01-01

    Macroradiographs of 30 human fetal and neonatal ilia were analysed to investigate the early pattern of trabecular bone organization prior to the influences of direct weight-bearing locomotion. Consistent and well-defined patterns of internal organization were identified within the fetal and neonatal ilium, which correspond with previously recognized regions that have been attributed directly to forces associated with bipedal locomotion. This study proposes that patterns previously attributed to weight-bearing locomotive responses are present in the earliest stages of the development of this bone. It is suggested that the rudimentary scaffold seen in the fetal and neonatal ilium could indicate a predetermined template upon which locomotive influences may be superimposed and perhaps reinforced at a later age. Alternatively, this early pattern may mimic the adult form due to the effects of in-uterolimb movement activity even though it is not weight bearing. This is a preliminary study that will be supported in a further communication with three-dimensional micro-computed trabecular analysis. PMID:19018881

  20. Intrauterine position affects fetal weight and crown-rump length throughout gestation.

    PubMed

    Jang, Y D; Ma, Y L; Lindemann, M D

    2014-10-01

    To investigate the effect of intrauterine positions on fetal growth throughout gestation, data from a total of 65 gilts (n = 784 fetuses) that were slaughtered at assigned days of gestation (d 43, 58, 73, 91, 101, and 108) on a project to evaluate fetal mineral deposition were used. Placenta units were removed from the uterus, and position, sex, weight, and crown-rump length (CRL) of each fetus were recorded. Fetuses were classified into 5 categories within a uterine horn for the absolute intrauterine position: the ovarian end (OE) of the uterine horn, next to the ovarian end (NOE), the middle (MD), next to the cervical end (NCE), and the cervical end (CE), and also classified for the relative fetal position with respect to the sex of adjacent fetuses. Fetuses at the OE and NOE of the uterine horn tended to be heavier (P = 0.06) and longer (P < 0.05) than those at the MD of the uterine horn at d 58 of gestation. Fetuses at the OE of the uterine horn were also heavier and longer than those at the MD and NCE of the uterine horn at d 101 and 108 of gestation (P < 0.05). Fetuses at the CE of the uterine horn were intermediate in weight and length. There were no major effects of adjacent fetal sex (fetuses surrounded by the opposite sexes) in weight or length. Male fetuses were heavier than female fetuses at d 43, 58, 73, and 108 of gestation (P < 0.05) and longer than female fetuses at d 58 (P = 0.06), 73 (P < 0.05), 101 (P = 0.07), and 108 (P < 0.05) of gestation. Fetal weight was highly correlated with CRL at all gestational ages (P < 0.01). These results indicate that 1) the absolute intrauterine position affects fetal growth more than the sex of the adjacent fetus in the uterine horn, 2) each end of the uterine horn (OE and CE) has heavier fetuses than the MD, and 3) male pigs grow faster than female pigs even before birth.

  1. Effect of early fetal splenectomy on prenatal B-cell development in sheep

    PubMed Central

    Press, C McL; McCullagh, P; Landsverk, T

    2001-01-01

    The contribution of early splenic B-cell populations to the colonization of the ileal Peyer's patch was investigated following the surgical removal of the spleen in a series of 56-day-old fetal sheep. The fetuses were killed at 140 days of gestation and the ileal Peyer's patch, the distal jejunal lymph node which drains the Peyer's patch, and a peripheral lymph node, the superficial cervical lymph node, were examined. Enzyme and immunohistochemical evaluation concluded that the distribution of B cells, T cells and stromal cells in the ileal Peyer's patch was similar in splenectomized and normal fetal sheep. Thus, the presence of the fetal spleen was not essential for the colonization of the ileal Peyer's patch and other early sites of B-cell accumulation would appear capable of generating the necessary precursor populations. Investigation of B-cell populations in lymph nodes used a combination of terminal deoxynucleotidyl-transferase-mediated deoxyuridine-triphosphate nick-end-labelling (TUNEL) histochemistry and immunofluorescence to determine the average number of apoptotic B cells in the primary follicles of the outer cortex of splenectomized and normal lambs. A significantly increased number of apoptotic B cells was present in the distal jejunal lymph node but not in the superficial cervical lymph node of splenectomized lambs. This finding suggests that splenectomy affected prenatal B-cell development in fetal sheep and raises questions as to the regulation of B-cell lymphopoiesis in a species using a post-rearrangement organ of diversification. PMID:11260317

  2. Impact of maternal physical activity during gestation on porcine fetal, neonatal, and adolescent ovarian development.

    PubMed

    Kaminski, S L; Grazul-Bilska, A T; Harris, E K; Berg, E P; Vonnahme, K A

    2014-07-01

    To determine how exercise from mid to late (days 40-104) gestation impacts offspring body, uterine and ovarian weight, and ovarian cell proliferation at three different developmental stages, Yorkshire gilts were either exercised by walking (EX) or not exercised (CON). In parity 1, ovaries and uteri were collected from the heaviest (H) and lightest (L) neonates and adolescent (6 mo) offspring. In parity 2, mothers were assigned the same treatment groups, and ovaries and uteri were collected from H and L fetuses on day 94 of gestation. Body weight was greater (P < 0.02) for H than L fetuses and neonates but not affected by EX treatment at any developmental stage. Ovarian weight in L but not H neonates was greater (P < 0.02) in EX than CON. Labeling index (LI; percentage of proliferating cells) was greater (P < 0.01) in cortex than medulla regions of fetal and neonatal ovaries. In fetal ovaries, EX enhanced LI (P < 0.01), and LI was greater (P < 0.01) in H compared with L offspring. In adolescent ovaries, LI was greatest (P < 0.01) in healthy antral and least in atretic antral follicles, and LI was greater (P < 0.01) in granulosa than theca cells of healthy antral follicles. Thus, exercise increased LI in fetal but not neonatal or adolescent ovaries. Although maternal exercise during gestation influences fetal and neonatal ovarian development, impacts on fertility remain unknown.

  3. Co-Expression Analysis of Fetal Weight-Related Genes in Ovine Skeletal Muscle during Mid and Late Fetal Development Stages

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Lingyang; Zhao, Fuping; Ren, Hangxing; Li, Li; Lu, Jian; Liu, Jiasen; Zhang, Shifang; Liu, George E.; Song, Jiuzhou; Zhang, Li; Wei, Caihong; Du, Lixin

    2014-01-01

    Background: Muscle development and lipid metabolism play important roles during fetal development stages. The commercial Texel sheep are more muscular than the indigenous Ujumqin sheep. Results: We performed serial transcriptomics assays and systems biology analyses to investigate the dynamics of gene expression changes associated with fetal longissimus muscles during different fetal stages in two sheep breeds. Totally, we identified 1472 differentially expressed genes during various fetal stages using time-series expression analysis. A systems biology approach, weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA), was used to detect modules of correlated genes among these 1472 genes. Dramatically different gene modules were identified in four merged datasets, corresponding to the mid fetal stage in Texel and Ujumqin sheep, the late fetal stage in Texel and Ujumqin sheep, respectively. We further detected gene modules significantly correlated with fetal weight, and constructed networks and pathways using genes with high significances. In these gene modules, we identified genes like TADA3, LMNB1, TGF-β3, EEF1A2, FGFR1, MYOZ1, and FBP2 correlated with fetal weight. Conclusion: Our study revealed the complex network characteristics involved in muscle development and lipid metabolism during fetal development stages. Diverse patterns of the network connections observed between breeds and fetal stages could involve some hub genes, which play central roles in fetal development, correlating with fetal weight. Our findings could provide potential valuable biomarkers for selection of body weight-related traits in sheep and other livestock. PMID:25285036

  4. Maternal Obesity Affects Fetal Neurodevelopmental and Metabolic Gene Expression: A Pilot Study

    PubMed Central

    Edlow, Andrea G.; Vora, Neeta L.; Hui, Lisa; Wick, Heather C.; Cowan, Janet M.; Bianchi, Diana W.

    2014-01-01

    Objective One in three pregnant women in the United States is obese. Their offspring are at increased risk for neurodevelopmental and metabolic morbidity. Underlying molecular mechanisms are poorly understood. We performed a global gene expression analysis of mid-trimester amniotic fluid cell-free fetal RNA in obese versus lean pregnant women. Methods This prospective pilot study included eight obese (BMI≥30) and eight lean (BMI<25) women undergoing clinically indicated mid-trimester genetic amniocentesis. Subjects were matched for gestational age and fetal sex. Fetuses with abnormal karyotype or structural anomalies were excluded. Cell-free fetal RNA was extracted from amniotic fluid and hybridized to whole genome expression arrays. Genes significantly differentially regulated in 8/8 obese-lean pairs were identified using paired t-tests with the Benjamini-Hochberg correction (false discovery rate of <0.05). Biological interpretation was performed with Ingenuity Pathway Analysis and the BioGPS gene expression atlas. Results In fetuses of obese pregnant women, 205 genes were significantly differentially regulated. Apolipoprotein D, a gene highly expressed in the central nervous system and integral to lipid regulation, was the most up-regulated gene (9-fold). Apoptotic cell death was significantly down-regulated, particularly within nervous system pathways involving the cerebral cortex. Activation of the transcriptional regulators estrogen receptor, FOS, and STAT3 was predicted in fetuses of obese women, suggesting a pro-estrogenic, pro-inflammatory milieu. Conclusion Maternal obesity affects fetal neurodevelopmental and metabolic gene expression as early as the second trimester. These findings may have implications for postnatal neurodevelopmental and metabolic abnormalities described in the offspring of obese women. PMID:24558408

  5. Metabolic gene profile in early human fetal heart development.

    PubMed

    Iruretagoyena, J I; Davis, W; Bird, C; Olsen, J; Radue, R; Teo Broman, A; Kendziorski, C; Splinter BonDurant, S; Golos, T; Bird, I; Shah, D

    2014-07-01

    The primitive cardiac tube starts beating 6-8 weeks post fertilization in the developing embryo. In order to describe normal cardiac development during late first and early second trimester in human fetuses this study used microarray and pathways analysis and created a corresponding 'normal' database. Fourteen fetal hearts from human fetuses between 10 and 18 weeks of gestational age (GA) were prospectively collected at the time of elective termination of pregnancy. RNA from recovered tissues was used for transcriptome analysis with Affymetrix 1.0 ST microarray chip. From the amassed data we investigated differences in cardiac development within the 10-18 GA period dividing the sample by GA in three groups: 10-12 (H1), 13-15 (H2) and 16-18 (H3) weeks. A fold change of 2 or above adjusted for a false discovery rate of 5% was used as initial cutoff to determine differential gene expression for individual genes. Test for enrichment to identify functional groups was carried out using the Gene Ontology (GO) and the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG). Array analysis correctly identified the cardiac specific genes, and transcripts reported to be differentially expressed were confirmed by qRT-PCR. Single transcript and Ontology analysis showed first trimester heart expression of myosin-related genes to be up-regulated >5-fold compared with second trimester heart. In contrast the second trimester hearts showed further gestation-related increases in many genes involved in energy production and cardiac remodeling. In conclusion, fetal heart development during the first trimester was dominated by heart-specific genes coding for myocardial development and differentiation. During the second trimester, transcripts related to energy generation and cardiomyocyte communication for contractile coordination/proliferation were more dominant. Transcripts related to fatty acid metabolism can be seen as early as 10 weeks and clearly increase as the heart matures. Retinol

  6. Imprinted gene expression in fetal growth and development.

    PubMed

    Lambertini, L; Marsit, C J; Sharma, P; Maccani, M; Ma, Y; Hu, J; Chen, J

    2012-06-01

    Experimental studies showed that genomic imprinting is fundamental in fetoplacental development by timely regulating the expression of the imprinted genes to overlook a set of events determining placenta implantation, growth and embryogenesis. We examined the expression profile of 22 imprinted genes which have been linked to pregnancy abnormalities that may ultimately influence childhood development. The study was conducted in a subset of 106 placenta samples, overrepresented with small and large for gestational age cases, from the Rhode Island Child Health Study. We investigated associations between imprinted gene expression and three fetal development parameters: newborn head circumference, birth weight, and size for gestational age. Results from our investigation show that the maternally imprinted/paternally expressed gene ZNF331 inversely associates with each parameter to drive smaller fetal size, while paternally imprinted/maternally expressed gene SLC22A18 directly associates with the newborn head circumference promoting growth. Multidimensional Scaling analysis revealed two clusters within the 22 imprinted genes which are independently associated with fetoplacental development. Our data suggest that cluster 1 genes work by assuring cell growth and tissue development, while cluster 2 genes act by coordinating these processes. Results from this epidemiologic study offer solid support for the key role of imprinting in fetoplacental development.

  7. IGF2 DNA methylation is a modulator of newborn's fetal growth and development.

    PubMed

    St-Pierre, Julie; Hivert, Marie-France; Perron, Patrice; Poirier, Paul; Guay, Simon-Pierre; Brisson, Diane; Bouchard, Luigi

    2012-10-01

    The insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) gene, located within a cluster of imprinted genes on chromosome 11p15, encodes a fetal and placental growth factor affecting birth weight. DNA methylation variability at the IGF2 gene locus has been previously reported but its consequences on fetal growth and development are still mostly unknown in normal pediatric population. We collected one hundred placenta biopsies from 50 women with corresponding maternal and cord blood samples and measured anthropometric indices, blood pressure and metabolic phenotypes using standardized procedures. IGF2/H19 DNA methylation and IGF2 circulating levels were assessed using sodium bisulfite pyrosequencing and ELISA, respectively. Placental IGF2 (DMR0 and DMR2) DNA methylation levels were correlated with newborn's fetal growth indices, such as weight, and with maternal IGF2 circulating concentration at the third trimester of pregnancy, whereas H19 (DMR) DNA methylation levels were correlated with IGF2 levels in cord blood. The maternal genotype of a known IGF2/H19 polymorphism (rs2107425) was associated with birth weight. Taken together, we showed that IGF2/H19 epigenotype and genotypes independently account for 31% of the newborn's weight variance. No association was observed with maternal diabetic status, glucose concentrations or prenatal maternal body mass index. This is the first study showing that DNA methylation at the IGF2/H19 genes locus may act as a modulator of IGF2 newborn's fetal growth and development within normal range. IGF2/H19 DNA methylation could represent a cornerstone in linking birth weight and fetal metabolic programming of late onset obesity.

  8. Fetal alcohol syndrome and the developing socio-emotional brain.

    PubMed

    Niccols, Alison

    2007-10-01

    Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is currently recognized as the most common known cause of mental retardation, affecting from 1 to 7 per 1000 live-born infants. Individuals with FAS suffer from changes in brain structure, cognitive impairments, and behavior problems. Researchers investigating neuropsychological functioning have identified deficits in learning, memory, executive functioning, hyperactivity, impulsivity, and poor communication and social skills in individuals with FAS and fetal alcohol effects (FAE). Investigators using autopsy and brain imaging methods have identified microcephaly and structural abnormalities in various regions of the brain (including the basal ganglia, corpus callosum, cerebellum, and hippocampus) that may account for the neuropsychological deficits. Results of studies using newer brain imaging and analytic techniques have indicated specific alterations (i.e., displacements in the corpus callosum, increased gray matter density in the perisylvian regions, altered gray matter asymmetry, and disproportionate reductions in the frontal lobes) in the brains of individuals prenatally exposed to alcohol, and their relations with brain function. Future research, including using animal models, could help inform our knowledge of brain-behavior relations in the context of prenatal alcohol exposure, and assist with early identification and intervention. PMID:17669569

  9. Gaining insight of fetal brain development with diffusion MRI and histology.

    PubMed

    Huang, Hao; Vasung, Lana

    2014-02-01

    Human brain is extraordinarily complex and yet its origin is a simple tubular structure. Its development during the fetal period is characterized by a series of accurately organized events which underlie the mechanisms of dramatic structural changes during fetal development. Revealing detailed anatomy at different stages of human fetal brain development provides insight on understanding not only this highly ordered process, but also the neurobiological foundations of cognitive brain disorders such as mental retardation, autism, schizophrenia, bipolar and language impairment. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and histology are complementary tools which are capable of delineating the fetal brain structures at both macroscopic and microscopic levels. In this review, the structural development of the fetal brains has been characterized with DTI and histology. Major components of the fetal brain, including cortical plate, fetal white matter and cerebral wall layer between the ventricle and subplate, have been delineated with DTI and histology. Anisotropic metrics derived from DTI were used to quantify the microstructural changes during the dynamic process of human fetal cortical development and prenatal development of other animal models. Fetal white matter pathways have been traced with DTI-based tractography to reveal growth patterns of individual white matter tracts and corticocortical connectivity. These detailed anatomical accounts of the structural changes during fetal period may provide the clues of detecting developmental and cognitive brain disorders at their early stages. The anatomical information from DTI and histology may also provide reference standards for diagnostic radiology of premature newborns.

  10. Gaining insight of fetal brain development with diffusion MRI and histology.

    PubMed

    Huang, Hao; Vasung, Lana

    2014-02-01

    Human brain is extraordinarily complex and yet its origin is a simple tubular structure. Its development during the fetal period is characterized by a series of accurately organized events which underlie the mechanisms of dramatic structural changes during fetal development. Revealing detailed anatomy at different stages of human fetal brain development provides insight on understanding not only this highly ordered process, but also the neurobiological foundations of cognitive brain disorders such as mental retardation, autism, schizophrenia, bipolar and language impairment. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and histology are complementary tools which are capable of delineating the fetal brain structures at both macroscopic and microscopic levels. In this review, the structural development of the fetal brains has been characterized with DTI and histology. Major components of the fetal brain, including cortical plate, fetal white matter and cerebral wall layer between the ventricle and subplate, have been delineated with DTI and histology. Anisotropic metrics derived from DTI were used to quantify the microstructural changes during the dynamic process of human fetal cortical development and prenatal development of other animal models. Fetal white matter pathways have been traced with DTI-based tractography to reveal growth patterns of individual white matter tracts and corticocortical connectivity. These detailed anatomical accounts of the structural changes during fetal period may provide the clues of detecting developmental and cognitive brain disorders at their early stages. The anatomical information from DTI and histology may also provide reference standards for diagnostic radiology of premature newborns. PMID:23796901

  11. Development of fetal and neonatal sleep and circadian rhythms.

    PubMed

    Mirmiran, Majid; Maas, Yolanda G H; Ariagno, Ronald L

    2003-08-01

    The origin of sleep and circadian rhythms development is found during the fetal period. Both quiet (NREM) and active (REM) sleep are distinguishable during the last 10 weeks of gestation. Comparable to fetuses, low risk preterm infants recorded at 30-40 weeks postconceptional age, had a similar development of sleep i.e. an increase in quiet sleep and a decrease in indeterminate sleep. A further development in sleep organization characterized by increased slow wave and spindle activity during quiet sleep and coupling with circadian rhythm takes place during the first 6 months of life in both term and preterm infants.Circadian rhythm of fetal heart rate synchronized with maternal rest-activity, heart rate, cortisol, melatonin, and body temperature rhythms is present during the last 10 weeks of gestation. Although maternally influenced, circadian rhythm antenatally becomes ultradian at birth. Both preterm and term infants show a significant increase in circadian body temperature rhythm amplitude during the first 3 months of life.

  12. Psychoneuroimmunology in pregnancy: immune pathways linking stress with maternal health, adverse birth outcomes, and fetal development.

    PubMed

    Christian, Lisa M

    2012-01-01

    It is well-established that psychological stress promotes immune dysregulation in nonpregnant humans and animals. Stress promotes inflammation, impairs antibody responses to vaccination, slows wound healing, and suppresses cell-mediated immune function. Importantly, the immune system changes substantially to support healthy pregnancy, with attenuation of inflammatory responses and impairment of cell-mediated immunity. This adaptation is postulated to protect the fetus from rejection by the maternal immune system. Thus, stress-induced immune dysregulation during pregnancy has unique implications for both maternal and fetal health, particularly preterm birth. However, very limited research has examined stress-immune relationships in pregnancy. The application of psychoneuroimmunology research models to the perinatal period holds great promise for elucidating biological pathways by which stress may affect adverse pregnancy outcomes, maternal health, and fetal development.

  13. Psychoneuroimmunology in Pregnancy: Immune Pathways Linking Stress with Maternal Health, Adverse Birth Outcomes, and Fetal Development

    PubMed Central

    Christian, Lisa M.

    2011-01-01

    It is well-established that psychological stress promotes immune dysregulation in nonpregnant humans and animals. Stress promotes inflammation, impairs antibody responses to vaccination, slows wound healing, and suppresses cell-mediated immune function. Importantly, the immune system changes substantially to support healthy pregnancy, with attenuation of inflammatory responses and impairment of cell-mediated immunity. This adaptation is postulated to protect the fetus from rejection by the maternal immune system. Thus, stress-induced immune dysregulation during pregnancy has unique implications for both maternal and fetal health, particularly preterm birth. However, very limited research has examined stress-immune relationships in pregnancy. The application of psychoneuroimmunology research models to the perinatal period holds great promise for elucidating biological pathways by which stress may affect adverse pregnancy outcomes, maternal health, and fetal development. PMID:21787802

  14. Prenatal ethanol exposure disrupts the histological stages of fetal bone development.

    PubMed

    Snow, M E; Keiver, K

    2007-08-01

    Maternal ethanol intake during pregnancy results in impairments in general growth and skeletal development in the offspring. We have previously shown that ethanol retards skeletal ossification at doses lower than those that affect growth. Moreover, skeletal sites vary in their sensitivity to ethanol effects, with more severe effects occurring in bones that undergo a greater proportion of their development in utero. Taken together, these data suggest that ethanol has specific effects on bone development, and that later stages in the ossification process may be particularly affected. Such effects could have important implications for the offspring's long-term bone health, as studies suggest that the intrauterine environment can program the skeleton. The present study examined the histological stages of bone development to determine if prenatal ethanol exposure alters the morphological development of the growth plate in the fetal rat. Rats were fed a liquid diet containing ethanol (Ethanol, E group), or without ethanol (Pair-Fed, PF, or Control, C groups) for 6 weeks: 3 weeks prior to breeding and during 3 weeks of pregnancy. Fetal tibiae were fixed, decalcified and stained for histological analysis on day 21 of gestation. Maternal ethanol intake resulted in a significant decrease in fetal total bone and diaphysis lengths, compared with tibiae from PF and C fetuses. Although the lengths of the epiphyses were not affected, ethanol disrupted the organization of the histological zones within the epiphyses. Prenatal ethanol exposure decreased the length of the resting zone, but increased the length of the hypertrophic zone. Enlargement of the hypertrophic zone is consistent with an effect of ethanol on the later stages of bone development; however, ethanol's effect on the resting zone indicates that earlier stages of bone development may also be disrupted. The functional significance of these morphological changes to long-term bone health remains to be determined.

  15. Subclinical decelerations during developing hypotension in preterm fetal sheep after acute on chronic lipopolysaccharide exposure

    PubMed Central

    Lear, Christopher A.; Davidson, Joanne O.; Galinsky, Robert; Yuill, Caroline A.; Wassink, Guido; Booth, Lindsea C.; Drury, Paul P.; Bennet, Laura; Gunn, Alistair J.

    2015-01-01

    Subclinical (shallow) heart rate decelerations occur during neonatal sepsis, but there is limited information on their relationship with hypotension or whether they occur before birth. We examined whether subclinical decelerations, a fall in fetal heart rate (FHR) that remained above 100 bpm, were associated with hypotension in preterm fetal sheep exposed to lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Chronically-instrumented fetal sheep at 0.7 gestation received continuous low-dose LPS infusions (n = 15, 100 ng/kg over 24 h, followed by 250 ng/kg/24 h for 96 h) or saline (n = 8). Boluses of 1 μg LPS or saline were given at 48 and 72 h. FHR variability (FHRV) was calculated, and sample asymmetry was used to assess the severity and frequency of decelerations. Low-dose LPS infusion did not affect FHR. After the first LPS bolus, 7 fetuses remained normotensive, while 8 developed hypotension (a fall in mean arterial blood pressure of ≥5 mmHg). Developing hypotension was associated with subclinical decelerations, with a corresponding increase in sample asymmetry and FHRV (p < 0.05). The second LPS bolus was associated with similar but attenuated changes in FHR and blood pressure (p < 0.05). In conclusion, subclinical decelerations are not consistently seen during prenatal exposure to LPS, but may be a useful marker of developing inflammation-related hypotension before birth. PMID:26537688

  16. Subclinical decelerations during developing hypotension in preterm fetal sheep after acute on chronic lipopolysaccharide exposure.

    PubMed

    Lear, Christopher A; Davidson, Joanne O; Galinsky, Robert; Yuill, Caroline A; Wassink, Guido; Booth, Lindsea C; Drury, Paul P; Bennet, Laura; Gunn, Alistair J

    2015-01-01

    Subclinical (shallow) heart rate decelerations occur during neonatal sepsis, but there is limited information on their relationship with hypotension or whether they occur before birth. We examined whether subclinical decelerations, a fall in fetal heart rate (FHR) that remained above 100 bpm, were associated with hypotension in preterm fetal sheep exposed to lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Chronically-instrumented fetal sheep at 0.7 gestation received continuous low-dose LPS infusions (n = 15, 100 ng/kg over 24 h, followed by 250 ng/kg/24 h for 96 h) or saline (n = 8). Boluses of 1 μg LPS or saline were given at 48 and 72 h. FHR variability (FHRV) was calculated, and sample asymmetry was used to assess the severity and frequency of decelerations. Low-dose LPS infusion did not affect FHR. After the first LPS bolus, 7 fetuses remained normotensive, while 8 developed hypotension (a fall in mean arterial blood pressure of ≥5 mmHg). Developing hypotension was associated with subclinical decelerations, with a corresponding increase in sample asymmetry and FHRV (p < 0.05). The second LPS bolus was associated with similar but attenuated changes in FHR and blood pressure (p < 0.05). In conclusion, subclinical decelerations are not consistently seen during prenatal exposure to LPS, but may be a useful marker of developing inflammation-related hypotension before birth. PMID:26537688

  17. The effects of prenatal cannabis exposure on fetal development and pregnancy outcomes: a protocol

    PubMed Central

    Gunn, Jayleen K L; Rosales, Cecilia B; Center, Katherine E; Nuñez, Annabelle V; Gibson, Steven J; Ehiri, John E

    2015-01-01

    Introduction The effects of exposure to marijuana in utero on fetal development are not clear. Given that the recent legislation on cannabis in the US is likely to result in increased use, there is a need to assess the effects of prenatal cannabis exposure on fetal development and pregnancy outcomes. The objective of this review is to assess the effects of prenatal exposure to cannabis on pregnancy outcomes (including maternal and child outcomes). Methods and analyses Major databases will be searched from inception to the latest issue, with the aim of identifying studies that reported the effects of prenatal exposure to cannabis on fetal development and pregnancy outcomes. Two investigators will independently review all titles and abstracts to identify potential articles. Discrepancies will be resolved by repeated review, discussion and consensus. Study quality assessment will be undertaken, using standard protocols. To qualify for inclusion, studies must report at least one maternal or neonatal outcome post partum. Cross-sectional, case–control, cohort and randomised controlled trials published in English will be included. In order to rule out the effects of other drugs that may affect fetal development and pregnancy outcomes, studies will only be included if they report outcomes of prenatal exposure to cannabis while excluding other illicit substances. Data from eligible studies will be extracted, and data analysis will include a systematic review and critical appraisal of evidence, and meta-analysis if data permit. Meta-analysis will be conducted if three or more studies report comparable statistics on the same outcome. Ethics and dissemination The review which will result from this protocol has not already been conducted. Preparation of the review will follow the procedures stated in this protocol, and will adhere to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Ethical approval of data will not be required since

  18. The implications of iodine and its supplementation during pregnancy in fetal brain development.

    PubMed

    Puig-Domingo, Manel; Vila, Lluis

    2013-05-01

    Iodine is an essential trace element for life. Its biological effects are a consequence of its incorporation to the thyroid hormones, which play a crucial role in fetal organogenesis, and in particular in brain development. This takes place during early gestation and involves delicate targeting throughout the central nervous system, including adequate neuronal growth, migration and myelinization at different sites, such as the cerebral cortex and neocortex, visual and auditory cortex, hippocampus and cerebellum. Pregnancy is characterized by an increased demand of thyroid hormones by the feto-placental unit in order to fulfill the necessary requirements of thyroid hormone action for normal fetal development. Up until week 20, the fetal thyroid is not fully active and therefore is completely dependent on the maternal thyroxine supply. Thus, the maternal thyroid has to adapt to this situation by producing about 1.5 fold more thyroxine. This requires that enzymatic gland machinery works normally as well as an adequate iodine intake, the principal substrate for thyroid hormone synthesis. Biological consequences of iodine related maternal hypothyroxinemia are currently very well known, by both experimental models and by clinical and epidemiological evidences. The associated disturbances parallel the degree of maternal thyroxine deficiency, ranging from increased neonatal morbi-mortality and severe mental dysfunction, to hyperactivity, attention disorders and a substantial decrease of IQ of an irreversible nature in the progeny of mothers suffering a deprivation of iodine during pregnancy. As a consequence, iodine deficiency is the leading preventable cause of mental impaired function in the world, affecting as many as 2 billion people (35.2% of the entire population). Prevention of fetal iodine deficiency - a problem of pandemic proportions- is feasible, provided that an iodine supply of 200-300 μg/day to the mother is ensured, before and throughout gestation as well

  19. INFANT EMOTIONAL WITHDRAWAL: A PRECURSOR OF AFFECTIVE AND COGNITIVE DISTURBANCE IN FETAL ALCOHOL SPECTRUM DISORDERS

    PubMed Central

    Molteno, Christopher D.; Jacobson, Joseph L.; Carter, R. Colin; Dodge, Neil C.; Jacobson, Sandra W.

    2013-01-01

    Objectives To test the hypothesis that emotional withdrawal is an early indicator of affective disorder in infants heavily exposed prenatally to alcohol, which is independent of alcohol-related effects on mother-infant interaction and temperament and discriminated between children later diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and partial FAS (PFAS) and predicted cognitive and affective outcomes at 5 and 9 years. Methods The sample consisted of Cape Coloured (mixed ancestry) infants, whose mothers were interviewed during pregnancy regarding their alcohol consumption using a timeline follow-back approach. Infant emotional withdrawal (n = 85) was assessed on the Alarm Distress Baby Scale at 6.5 months. Mother-infant interaction was evaluated from video recordings during free play and infant feeding at 6.5 months (n = 127). Infant temperament was assessed by maternal report on the EAS Temperament Survey at 13 months (n = 119). Socio-demographic and psychological correlates of maternal alcohol use and infant iron deficiency were examined as potential confounders. The children were diagnosed for FAS/PFAS by expert dysmorphologists at 5 years; cognitive and affective function, at 5 and 9 years. Results Prenatal alcohol exposure was associated with increased infant emotional withdrawal and decreased activity, but unrelated to mother-infant interaction or any other temperament measures. Children later diagnosed with FAS and PFAS at 5 years exhibited more emotional withdrawal and less responsivity and activity as infants. Infant withdrawal, responsivity, quality of interaction, and maternal sensitivity also predicted poorer IQ and affective response at 5 and 9 years. When all four infant affective measures were examined simultaneously in a regression analysis, only infant emotional withdrawal persisted as a significant predictor of 9-year IQ. Conclusions This study is the first to document a direct effect of fetal alcohol exposure on emotional withdrawal in infancy

  20. The effect of maternal nutrition level during the periconception period on fetal muscle development and plasma hormone concentrations in sheep.

    PubMed

    Sen, U; Sirin, E; Yildiz, S; Aksoy, Y; Ulutas, Z; Kuran, M

    2016-10-01

    The effect of maternal nutrition level during the periconception period on the muscle development of fetus and maternal-fetal plasma hormone concentrations in sheep were examined. Estrus was synchronized in 55 Karayaka ewes and were either fed ad libitum (well-fed, WF, n=23) or 0.5×maintenance (under-fed, UF, n=32) 6 days before and 7 days after mating. Non-pregnant ewes (WF, n=13; UF, n=24) and ewes carrying twins (WF, n=1) and female (WF, n=1; UF, n=3) fetuses were removed from the experiment. The singleton male fetuses from well-fed (n=8) and under-fed (n=5) ewes were collected on day 90 of gestation and placental characteristics, fetal BWs and dimensions, fetal organs and muscles weights were recorded. Maternal (on day 7 after mating) and fetal (on day 90 of pregnancy) blood samples were collected to analyze plasma hormone concentrations. Placental characteristics, BW and dimensions, organs and muscles weights of fetuses were not affected by maternal feed intake during the periconception period. Maternal nutrition level did not affect fiber numbers and the muscle cross-sectional area of the fetal longissimus dorsi (LD), semitendinosus (ST) muscles, but the cross-sectional area of the secondary fibers in the fetal LD and ST muscles from the UF ewes were higher than those from the WF ewes (P<0.05). Also, the ratio of secondary to primary fibers in the ST muscle were tended to be lower in the fetuses from the UF ewes (P=0.07). Maternal nutrition level during the periconception period did not cause any significant changes in fetal plasma insulin and maternal and fetal plasma IGF-I, cortisol, progesterone, free T3 and T4 concentrations. However, maternal cortisol concentrations were lower while insulin concentrations were higher in the WF ewes than those in the UF ewes (P<0.05). These results indicate that the reduced maternal feed intake during the periconception period may alter muscle fiber diameter without affecting fiber types, fetal weights and organ

  1. [Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in fetal development and in infant nutrition].

    PubMed

    Valenzuela, A; Nieto, M S

    2001-10-01

    Docosahexanoic acid (C22:6, DHA) is a highly unsaturated omega-3 fatty acid that forms part of the central nervous and visual system structures. DHA is synthesized from its precursor, alfa-linolenic acid, that is also a omega-3 fatty acid and can be obtained from vegetable oils. Marine organisms, specially fish, are good nutritional sources of DHA and eicosapentanoic acid (EPA), another omega-3 fatty acid that has a role in vascular homeostasis. DHA increases membrane fluidity, improving neurogenesis, synaptogenesis and the activity of retinal photoreceptors. The fetus, specially during the last trimester of pregnancy, has high DHA requirements. It is provided by the mother, since fetal DHA synthesis is negligible in this stage of development. Breast feeding provides DHA to the child, but most replacement artificial formulas do not provide this fatty acid. At the present moment, many products for infant nutrition contain DHA.

  2. Fetal endocrinology

    PubMed Central

    Kota, Sunil Kumar; Gayatri, Kotni; Jammula, Sruti; Meher, Lalit Kumar; Kota, Siva Krishna; Krishna, S. V. S.; Modi, Kirtikumar D.

    2013-01-01

    Successful outcome of pregnancy depends upon genetic, cellular, and hormonal interactions, which lead to implantation, placentation, embryonic, and fetal development, parturition and fetal adaptation to extrauterine life. The fetal endocrine system commences development early in gestation and plays a modulating role on the various physiological organ systems and prepares the fetus for life after birth. Our current article provides an overview of the current knowledge of several aspects of this vast field of fetal endocrinology and the role of endocrine system on transition to extrauterine life. We also provide an insight into fetal endocrine adaptations pertinent to various clinically important situations like placental insufficiency and maternal malnutrition. PMID:23961471

  3. Biological mechanisms for nutritional regulation of maternal health and fetal development.

    PubMed

    Wu, Guoyao; Imhoff-Kunsch, Beth; Girard, Amy Webb

    2012-07-01

    This review paper highlights mechanisms for nutritional regulation of maternal health and fetal development. Malnutrition (nutrient deficiencies or obesity) in pregnant women adversely affects their health by causing or exacerbating a plethora of problems, such as anaemia, maternal haemorrhage, insulin resistance, and hypertensive disorders (e.g. pre-eclampsia/eclampsia). Maternal malnutrition during gestation also impairs embryonic and fetal growth and development, resulting in deleterious outcomes, including intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), low birthweight, preterm birth, and birth defects (e.g. neural tube defects and iodine deficiency disorders). IUGR and preterm birth contribute to high rates of neonatal morbidity and mortality. Major common mechanisms responsible for malnutrition-induced IUGR and preterm birth include: (i) abnormal growth and development of the placenta; (ii) impaired placental transfer of nutrients from mother to fetus; (iii) endocrine disorders; and (iv) disturbances in normal metabolic processes. Activation of a series of physiological responses leading to premature and sustained contraction of the uterine myometrium also results in preterm birth. Recent epidemiologic studies have suggested a link between IUGR and chronic metabolic disease in children and adults, and the effects of IUGR may be carried forward to subsequent generations through epigenetics. While advanced medical therapies, which are generally unavailable in low-income countries, are required to support preterm and IUGR infants, optimal nutrition during pregnancy may help ameliorate many of these problems. Future studies are necessary to develop effective nutritional interventions to enhance fetal growth and development and alleviate the burden of maternal morbidity and mortality in low- and middle-income countries. PMID:22742599

  4. Prenatal exposure to permethrin influences vascular development of fetal brain and adult behavior in mice offspring.

    PubMed

    Imanishi, Satoshi; Okura, Masahiro; Zaha, Hiroko; Yamamoto, Toshifumi; Akanuma, Hiromi; Nagano, Reiko; Shiraishi, Hiroaki; Fujimaki, Hidekazu; Sone, Hideko

    2013-11-01

    Pyrethroids are one of the most widely used classes of insecticides and show neurotoxic effects that induce oxidative stress in the neonatal rat brain. However, little is still known about effects of prenatal exposure to permethrin on vascular development in fetal brain, central nervous system development, and adult offspring behaviors. In this study, the effects of prenatal exposure to permethrin on the development of cerebral arteries in fetal brains, neurotransmitter in neonatal brains, and locomotor activities in offspring mice were investigated. Permethrin (0, 2, 10, 50, and 75 mg/kg) was orally administered to pregnant females once on gestation day 10.5. The brains of permethrin-treated fetuses showed altered vascular formation involving shortened lengths of vessels, an increased number of small branches, and, in some cases, insufficient fusion of the anterior communicating arteries in the area of circle of Willis. The prenatal exposure to permethrin altered neocortical and hippocampus thickness in the mid brain and significantly increased norepinephrine and dopamine levels at postnatal day 7 mice. For spontaneous behavior, the standing ability test using a viewing jar and open-field tests showed significant decrease of the standing ability and locomotor activity in male mice at 8 or 12 weeks of age, respectively. The results suggest that prenatal exposure to permethrin may affect insufficient development of the brain through alterations of vascular development.

  5. Subspecies differences in early fetal development and plasma pregnancy-associated glycoprotein concentrations in cattle.

    PubMed

    Mercadante, P M; Waters, K M; Mercadante, V R G; Lamb, G C; Elzo, M A; Johnson, S E; Rae, D O; Yelich, J V; Ealy, A D

    2013-08-01

    Inclusion of Bos indicus genetics improves production traits of cattle maintained in hot climates. Limited information exists detailing pregnancy-specific events as influenced by variable amounts of Bos indicus genetics. Three experiments were completed to examine the effect of Bos taurus and Bos indicus genotypes on fetal size and plasma pregnancy-associated glycoprotein (PAG) concentrations. In all experiments, cows were bred by AI after synchronization of ovulation. Fetal measurements were completed by transrectal ultrasonography and plasma PAG concentrations were quantified from plasma harvested the day of each fetal measurement. In Exp. 1, fetal size and plasma PAG concentrations were measured at d 53 of pregnancy in cows composed of various fractions of Angus and Brahman (n = 9 to 21 cows/group). Fetus size was greater in cows containing >80% Angus genetics compared with cows containing <80% Angus influence (3.40 ± 0.28 vs. 2.86 ± 0.28 cm crown-rump length; P < 0.01). Plasma PAG concentrations were reduced (P < 0.01) in cows containing >80% Angus genetics when compared with their contemporaries (6.0 ± 1.5 ng/mL vs. 9.4 ± 1.5 ng/mL). In Exp. 2, fetal measurements and plasma PAG concentrations were determined at d 35 and 62 of pregnancy in Angus and Brangus cows. Breed did not affect fetus size at d 35, but Angus cows contained larger fetuses than Brangus cows at d 62 [3.0 ± 0.03 vs. 2.8 ± 0.03 cm crown-nose length (CNL; P > 0.01)]. Plasma PAG concentrations were not different between breed at d 35 and 62 (P > 0.1). In Exp. 3, fetal measurements and plasma samples were collected at d 33/34, 40/41, 47/48, and 54/55 post-AI in Angus and Brangus cows. Fetus size was not different (P > 0.05) between genotypes on d 33/34, 40/41, and 47/48. Angus fetuses were larger than Brangus fetuses at d 54/55 (2.1 ± 0.03 vs. 1.9 ± 0.03 cm CNL; P = 0.001). Plasma PAG concentrations were less in Angus than Brangus cows at each time point (average 4.9 ± 0.9 vs. 8.2 ± 0

  6. Poisonous plants: effects on embryo and fetal development.

    PubMed

    Panter, Kip E; Welch, Kevin D; Gardner, Dale R; Green, Benedict T

    2013-12-01

    Poisonous plant research in the United States began over 100 years ago as a result of livestock losses from toxic plants as settlers migrated westward with their flocks, herds, and families. Major losses were soon associated with poisonous plants, such as locoweeds, selenium accumulating plants, poison-hemlock, larkspurs, Veratrum, lupines, death camas, water hemlock, and others. Identification of plants associated with poisoning, chemistry of the plants, physiological effects, pathology, diagnosis, and prognosis, why animals eat the plants, and grazing management to mitigate losses became the overarching mission of the current Poisonous Plant Research Laboratory. Additionally, spin-off benefits resulting from the animal research have provided novel compounds, new techniques, and animal models to study human health conditions (biomedical research). The Poisonous Plant Research Laboratory has become an international leader of poisonous plant research as evidenced by the recent completion of the ninth International Symposium on Poisonous Plant Research held July 2013 in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, China. In this article, we review plants that negatively impact embryo/fetal and neonatal growth and development, with emphasis on those plants that cause birth defects. Although this article focuses on the general aspects of selected groups of plants and their effects on the developing offspring, a companion paper in this volume reviews current understanding of the physiological, biochemical, and molecular mechanisms of toxicoses and teratogenesis.

  7. Air pollutant effects on fetal and early postnatal development.

    PubMed

    Wang, Lei; Pinkerton, Kent E

    2007-09-01

    Numerical research on the health effects of air pollution has been published in the last decade. Epidemiological studies have shown that children's exposure to air pollutants during fetal development and early postnatal life is associated with many types of health problems including abnormal development (low birth weight [LBW], very low birth weight [VLBW], preterm birth [PTB], intrauterine growth restriction [IUGR], congenital defects, and intrauterine and infant mortality), decreased lung growth, increased rates of respiratory tract infections, childhood asthma, behavioral problems, and neurocognitive decrements. This review focuses on the health effects of major outdoor air pollutants including particulates, carbon monoxide (CO), sulfur and nitrogen oxides (SO(2), NOx), ozone, and one common indoor air pollutant, environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). Animal data is presented that demonstrate perinatal windows of susceptibility to sidestream smoke, a surrogate for ETS, resulting in altered airway sensitivity and cell type frequency. A study of neonatal monkeys exposed to sidestream smoke during the perinatal period and/or early postnatal period that resulted in an altered balance of Th1-/Th2-cytokine secretion, skewing the immune response toward the allergy-associated Th2 cytokine phenotype, is also discussed. PMID:17963272

  8. Development of the human fetal hippocampal formation during early second trimester

    PubMed Central

    Ge, Xinting; Shi, Yonggang; Li, Junning; Zhang, Zhonghe; Lin, Xiangtao; Zhan, Jinfeng; Ge, Haitao; Xu, Junhai; Yu, Qiaowen; Leng, Yuan; Teng, Gaojun; Feng, Lei; Meng, Haiwei; Tang, Yuchun; Zang, Fengchao; Toga, Arthur W.; Liu, Shuwei

    2015-01-01

    Development of the fetal hippocampal formation has been difficult to fully describe because of rapid changes in its shape during the fetal period. The aims of this study were to: (1) segment the fetal hippocampal formation using 7.0 T MR images from 41 specimens with gestational ages ranging from 14 to 22 weeks and (2) reveal the developmental course of the fetal hippocampal formation using volume and shape analyses. Differences in hemispheric volume were observed, with the right hippocampi being larger than the left. Absolute volume changes showed a linear increase, while relative volume changes demonstrated an inverted-U shape trend during this period. Together these exhibited a variable developmental rate among different regions of the fetal brain. Different sub-regional growth of the fetal hippocampal formation was specifically observed using shape analysis. The fetal hippocampal formation possessed a prominent medial–lateral bidirectional shape growth pattern during its rotation process. Our results provide additional insight into 3D hippocampal morphology in the assessment of fetal brain development and can be used as a reference for future hippocampal studies. PMID:26123377

  9. Methyl Donor Deficiency Affects Fetal Programming of Gastric Ghrelin Cell Organization and Function in the Rat

    PubMed Central

    Bossenmeyer-Pourié, Carine; Blaise, Sébastien; Pourié, Grégory; Tomasetto, Catherine; Audonnet, Sandra; Ortiou, Sandrine; Koziel, Violette; Rio, Marie-Christine; Daval, Jean-Luc; Guéant, Jean-Louis; Beck, Bernard

    2010-01-01

    Methyl donor deficiency (MDD) during pregnancy influences intrauterine development. Ghrelin is expressed in the stomach of fetuses and influences fetal growth, but MDD influence on gastric ghrelin is unknown. We examined the gastric ghrelin system in MDD-induced intrauterine growth retardation. By using specific markers and approaches (such as periodic acid–Schiff, bromodeoxyuridine, homocysteine, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase biotin-dUTP nick end labeling, immunostaining, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction), we studied the gastric oxyntic mucosa cellular organization and ghrelin gene expression in the mucosa in 20-day-old fetuses and weanling pups, and plasma ghrelin concentration in weanling rat pups of dams either normally fed or deprived of choline, folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 during gestation and suckling periods. MDD fetuses weighed less than controls; the weight deficit reached 57% at weaning (P < 0.001). Both at the end of gestation and at weaning, they presented with an aberrant gastric oxyntic mucosa formation with loss of cell polarity, anarchic cell migration, abnormal progenitor differentiation, apoptosis, and signs of surface layer erosion. Ghrelin cells were abnormally located in the pit region of oxyntic glands. At weaning, plasma ghrelin levels were decreased (−28%; P < 0.001) despite unchanged mRNA expression in the stomach. This decrease was associated with lower body weight. Taken together, these data indicate that one mechanism through which MDD influences fetal programming is the remodeling of gastric cellular organization, leading to dysfunction of the ghrelin system and dramatic effects on growth. PMID:19948829

  10. The fetal origins of memory: the role of dietary choline in optimal brain development.

    PubMed

    Zeisel, Steven H

    2006-11-01

    Fetal nutrition sets the stage for organ function in later life. In this review we discuss the fetal and neonatal origins of brain function. Numerous research observations point to the importance of choline for the developing fetus and neonate. This essential nutrient is involved in 1-carbon metabolism and is the precursor for many important compounds, including phospholipids, acetylcholine, and the methyl donor betaine. Dietary intake of choline by the pregnant mother and later by the infant directly affects brain development and results in permanent changes in brain function. In rodents, perinatal supplementation of choline enhances memory and learning functions, changes that endure across the lifespan. Conversely, choline deficiency during these sensitive periods results in memory and cognitive deficits that also persist. Furthermore, recent studies suggest that perinatal choline supplementation can reduce the behavioral effects of prenatal stress and the cognitive effects of prenatal alcohol exposure in offspring. The likely mechanism for these effects of choline involves DNA methylation, altered gene expression, and associated changes in stem cell proliferation and differentiation. The currently available animal data on choline and hippocampal development are compelling, but studies are needed to determine whether the same is true in humans. PMID:17212955

  11. [Development of the affect system].

    PubMed

    Moser, U; Von Zeppelin, I

    1996-01-01

    The authors show that the development of the affect system commences with affects of an exclusively communicative nature. These regulate the relationship between subject and object. On a different plane they also provide information on the feeling of self deriving from the interaction. Affect is seen throughout as a special kind of information. One section of the article is given over to intensity regulation and early affect defenses. The development of cognitive processes leads to the integration of affect systems and cognitive structures. In the pre-conceptual concretistic phase, fantasies change the object relation in such a way as to make unpleasant affects disappear. Only at a later stage do fantasies acquire the capacity to deal with affects. Ultimately, the affect system is grounded on an invariant relationship feeling. On a variety of different levels it displays the features typical of situation theory and the theory of the representational world, thus making it possible to entertain complex object relations. In this process the various planes of the affect system are retained and practised. Finally, the authors discuss the consequences of their remarks for the understanding of psychic disturbances and the therapies brought to bear on them. PMID:8584745

  12. The relationship between first-trimester pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A levels and intrapartum fetal distress development

    PubMed Central

    Avşar, Ayşe Filiz; Seçen, Elçin İşlek; Akçay, Gülin Feykan Yeğin; Keskin, Hüseyin Levent; Taş, Emre Erdem; Dalgacı, Ahmet Ferit

    2016-01-01

    Objective To investigate the relationship between the development of intrapartum fetal distress and serum pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A) levels measured during first-trimester aneuploidy screening tests. Material and Methods This retrospective study included 283 uncomplicated pregnancies that resulted in full-term live births via spontaneous labor or with the induction by oxytocin. Cases were divided into two groups based on whether their first-trimester PAPP-A multiple of the median (MoM) levels were ≤0.5 (Group 1, n=75) or >0.5 (Group 2, n=208). As primary end points, the rate of cesarean section (C/S), the rate of C/S due to fetal distress, and the umbilical artery blood pH values in cases of C/S for fetal distress were compared between the two groups. Statistical analyses were performed using the Chi-square test and independent samples t-test. P≤0.05 were considered statistically significant. Results The mean gestational age at birth and the birth weights were significantly lower in Group 1 than in Group 2 (p=0.002 and p=0.007, respectively). Although the rate of C/S was similar between the groups (p=0.823), the rate of C/S due to fetal distress was significantly higher in Group 1 than in Group 2 (68.4% vs. 42%, respectively; p=0.050) and the mean umbilical artery blood pH value for C/S deliveries indicated by fetal distress was lower (p=0.048) in Group 1 than in Group 2. When the mode of delivery was analyzed according to the application of labor induction, both the C/S delivery rates (31.6% in Group 1 and 31.7% in Group 2; p=0.992) and C/S delivery rates due to fetal distress (66.7% in Group 1 and 46.2% in Group 2; p=0.405) were similar in both groups. Conclusion Low PAPP-A levels (≤0.5 MoM) in the first trimester are associated with the risk of intrapartum fetal distress development and the likelihood of C/S for fetal distress. Nonetheless, this risk is not affected by labor induction.

  13. The relationship between first-trimester pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A levels and intrapartum fetal distress development

    PubMed Central

    Avşar, Ayşe Filiz; Seçen, Elçin İşlek; Akçay, Gülin Feykan Yeğin; Keskin, Hüseyin Levent; Taş, Emre Erdem; Dalgacı, Ahmet Ferit

    2016-01-01

    Objective To investigate the relationship between the development of intrapartum fetal distress and serum pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A) levels measured during first-trimester aneuploidy screening tests. Material and Methods This retrospective study included 283 uncomplicated pregnancies that resulted in full-term live births via spontaneous labor or with the induction by oxytocin. Cases were divided into two groups based on whether their first-trimester PAPP-A multiple of the median (MoM) levels were ≤0.5 (Group 1, n=75) or >0.5 (Group 2, n=208). As primary end points, the rate of cesarean section (C/S), the rate of C/S due to fetal distress, and the umbilical artery blood pH values in cases of C/S for fetal distress were compared between the two groups. Statistical analyses were performed using the Chi-square test and independent samples t-test. P≤0.05 were considered statistically significant. Results The mean gestational age at birth and the birth weights were significantly lower in Group 1 than in Group 2 (p=0.002 and p=0.007, respectively). Although the rate of C/S was similar between the groups (p=0.823), the rate of C/S due to fetal distress was significantly higher in Group 1 than in Group 2 (68.4% vs. 42%, respectively; p=0.050) and the mean umbilical artery blood pH value for C/S deliveries indicated by fetal distress was lower (p=0.048) in Group 1 than in Group 2. When the mode of delivery was analyzed according to the application of labor induction, both the C/S delivery rates (31.6% in Group 1 and 31.7% in Group 2; p=0.992) and C/S delivery rates due to fetal distress (66.7% in Group 1 and 46.2% in Group 2; p=0.405) were similar in both groups. Conclusion Low PAPP-A levels (≤0.5 MoM) in the first trimester are associated with the risk of intrapartum fetal distress development and the likelihood of C/S for fetal distress. Nonetheless, this risk is not affected by labor induction. PMID:27651721

  14. Dietary choline deficiency alters global and gene-specific DNA methylation in the developing hippocampus of mouse fetal brains.

    PubMed

    Niculescu, Mihai D; Craciunescu, Corneliu N; Zeisel, Steven H

    2006-01-01

    The availability of choline during critical periods of fetal development alters hippocampal development and affects memory function throughout life. Choline deficiency during fetal development reduces proliferation and migration of neuronal precursor cells in the mouse fetal hippocampus and these changes are associated with modifications in the protein levels of some cell cycle regulators and early differentiation markers. We fed C57 BL/6 mouse dams diets deficient or normal in choline content from days 12 to 17 of pregnancy, and then collected fetal brains on embryonic day 17. Using laser-capture micro-dissection we harvested cells from the ventricular and subventricular zones of Ammon's horn and from the prime germinal zone of the dentate gyrus (hippocampus). In the ventricular and subventricular zones from the choline-deficient group, we observed increased protein levels for kinase-associated phosphatase (Kap) and for p15(INK4b) (two cell cycle inhibitors). In the dentate gyrus, we observed increased levels of calretinin (an early marker of neuronal differentiation). In fetal brain from mothers fed a choline-deficient diet, DNA global methylation was decreased in the ventricular and subventricular zones of Ammon's horn. We also observed decreased gene-specific DNA methylation of the gene (Cdkn3) that encodes for Kap, correlating with increased expression of this protein. This was not the case for p15(INK4b) or calretinin (Cdkn2b and Calb2, respectively). These data suggest that choline deficiency-induced changes in gene methylation could mediate the expression of a cell cycle regulator and thereby alter brain development.

  15. Effects of maternal drinking and marijuana use on fetal growth and development.

    PubMed

    Hingson, R; Alpert, J J; Day, N; Dooling, E; Kayne, H; Morelock, S; Oppenheimer, E; Zuckerman, B

    1982-10-01

    A study of 1,690 mother/child pairs at Boston City Hospital was conducted to assess the impact of maternal alcohol consumption on fetal development when confounding variables were controlled. Level of maternal drinking prior to pregnancy was associated with shorter duration of gestation. Lower maternal weight change, history of maternal illnesses, cigarette smoking, and marijuana use, however, were more consistently related to adverse fetal growth and development. New findings in this study include a negative association between maternal marijuana use during pregnancy and fetal growth. Also when confounding variables were controlled, women who used marijuana during pregnancy were five times more likely to deliver infants with features considered compatible with the fetal alcohol syndrome.

  16. In utero exposure to chloroquine alters sexual development in the male fetal rat

    SciTech Connect

    Clewell, Rebecca A. Pluta, Linda; Thomas, Russell S.; Andersen, Melvin E.

    2009-06-15

    Chloroquine (CQ), a drug that has been used extensively for the prevention and treatment of malaria, is currently considered safe for use during pregnancy. However, CQ has been shown to disrupt steroid homeostasis in adult rats and similar compounds, such as quinacrine, inhibit steroid production in the Leydig cell in vitro. To explore the effect of in utero CQ exposure on fetal male sexual development, pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats were given a daily dose of either water or chloroquine diphosphate from GD 16-18 by oral gavage. Chloroquine was administered as 200 mg/kg CQ base on GD 16, followed by two maintenance doses of 100 mg/kg CQ base on GD 16 and 18. Three days of CQ treatment resulted in reduced maternal and fetal weight on GD 19 and increased necrosis and steatosis in the maternal liver. Fetal livers also displayed mild lipid accumulation. Maternal serum progesterone was increased after CQ administration. Fetal testes testosterone, however, was significantly decreased. Examination of the fetal testes revealed significant alterations in vascularization and seminiferous tubule development after short-term CQ treatment. Anogenital distance was not altered. Microarray and RT-PCR showed down-regulation of several genes associated with cholesterol transport and steroid synthesis in the fetal testes. This study indicates that CQ inhibits testosterone synthesis and normal testis development in the rat fetus at human relevant doses.

  17. Cadmium Associated With Inhaled Cadmium Oxide Nanoparticles Impacts Fetal and Neonatal Development and Growth

    PubMed Central

    Blum, Jason L.; Xiong, Judy Q.; Hoffman, Carol; Zelikoff, Judith T.

    2012-01-01

    One industrially important metal oxide nanoparticle (NP) is cadmium oxide (CdO). A study was performed using timed-pregnant CD-1 mice to determine if Cd associated with inhaled CdO NP could reach the placenta and adversely affect the developing fetus and/or neonate. Pregnant mice were exposed by inhalation either every other day to 100 μg of freshly generated CdO/m3 (exposure 1) or daily to 230 μg CdO/m3 (exposure 2). In each exposure, mice were exposed to CdO NP or carrier gas (control) for 2.5 h from 4.5 days post coitus (dpc) through 16.5 dpc. At 17.5 dpc, fetuses and placentas from both exposures 1 and 2 were collected, measured, and weighed. A subgroup from the second exposure was allowed to give birth, and neonates were weighed daily until weaning. Cadmium in the uterus and placenta, as well as in other maternal organs, was elevated in NP-treated mice, but was undetectable in fetuses at 17.5 dpc. Daily inhalation of 230 μg CdO NP/m3 decreased the incidence of pregnancy (i.e., no evidence of implantation) by 23%, delayed maternal weight gain, altered placental weight, and decreased fetal length, as well as delayed neonatal growth. This study demonstrates that inhalation of CdO NP during pregnancy adversely affects reproductive fecundity and alters fetal and postnatal growth of the developing offspring. PMID:22240978

  18. Early development of the fetal central sulcus on 7.0T magnetic resonance imaging.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Haidong; Zhang, Zhonghe; Yin, Xuntao; Zhan, Jinfeng; Zhao, Zhenmei; Tang, Yuchun; Liu, Chao; Liu, Shuwei; Zhong, Shizhen

    2016-02-01

    In the previous studies, the criterion for deciding the occurrence time of the fetal central sulcus (CS) on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is based on the observation by the eyes. There have been no existing quantitative standards or numerical criteria in this field. In this study, we reconstructed the three-dimension (3D) images of the fetal brain based on the 7.0T MR images of 45 Chinese fetal specimens from the 11 to 22 weeks of gestational age (GA). Then we obtained data by measuring the maximum depth and length of the CS so as to analyze the early developmental pattern of it. These measures, especially CS depth, can be used to quantitatively determine the time of emergence of the fetal CS during the development. Statistics show that there are no gender or interhemispheric asymmetries of the CS from GA of 11 to 22 weeks. PMID:26562179

  19. Vertical transmission of Zika virus targeting the radial glial cells affects cortex development of offspring mice

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Kong-Yan; Zuo, Guo-Long; Li, Xiao-Feng; Ye, Qing; Deng, Yong-Qiang; Huang, Xing-Yao; Cao, Wu-Chun; Qin, Cheng-Feng; Luo, Zhen-Ge

    2016-01-01

    The recent Zika virus (ZIKV) epidemic in Latin America coincided with a marked increase in microcephaly in newborns. However, the causal link between maternal ZIKV infection and malformation of the fetal brain has not been firmly established. Here we show a vertical transmission of ZIKV in mice and a marked effect on fetal brain development. We found that intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of a contemporary ZIKV strain in pregnant mice led to the infection of radial glia cells (RGs) of dorsal ventricular zone of the fetuses, the primary neural progenitors responsible for cortex development, and caused a marked reduction of these cortex founder cells in the fetuses. Interestingly, the infected fetal mice exhibited a reduced cavity of lateral ventricles and a discernable decrease in surface areas of the cortex. This study thus supports the conclusion that vertically transmitted ZIKV affects fetal brain development and provides a valuable animal model for the evaluation of potential therapeutic or preventative strategies. PMID:27174054

  20. Vertical transmission of Zika virus targeting the radial glial cells affects cortex development of offspring mice.

    PubMed

    Wu, Kong-Yan; Zuo, Guo-Long; Li, Xiao-Feng; Ye, Qing; Deng, Yong-Qiang; Huang, Xing-Yao; Cao, Wu-Chun; Qin, Cheng-Feng; Luo, Zhen-Ge

    2016-06-01

    The recent Zika virus (ZIKV) epidemic in Latin America coincided with a marked increase in microcephaly in newborns. However, the causal link between maternal ZIKV infection and malformation of the fetal brain has not been firmly established. Here we show a vertical transmission of ZIKV in mice and a marked effect on fetal brain development. We found that intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of a contemporary ZIKV strain in pregnant mice led to the infection of radial glia cells (RGs) of dorsal ventricular zone of the fetuses, the primary neural progenitors responsible for cortex development, and caused a marked reduction of these cortex founder cells in the fetuses. Interestingly, the infected fetal mice exhibited a reduced cavity of lateral ventricles and a discernable decrease in surface areas of the cortex. This study thus supports the conclusion that vertically transmitted ZIKV affects fetal brain development and provides a valuable animal model for the evaluation of potential therapeutic or preventative strategies.

  1. Vertical transmission of Zika virus targeting the radial glial cells affects cortex development of offspring mice.

    PubMed

    Wu, Kong-Yan; Zuo, Guo-Long; Li, Xiao-Feng; Ye, Qing; Deng, Yong-Qiang; Huang, Xing-Yao; Cao, Wu-Chun; Qin, Cheng-Feng; Luo, Zhen-Ge

    2016-06-01

    The recent Zika virus (ZIKV) epidemic in Latin America coincided with a marked increase in microcephaly in newborns. However, the causal link between maternal ZIKV infection and malformation of the fetal brain has not been firmly established. Here we show a vertical transmission of ZIKV in mice and a marked effect on fetal brain development. We found that intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of a contemporary ZIKV strain in pregnant mice led to the infection of radial glia cells (RGs) of dorsal ventricular zone of the fetuses, the primary neural progenitors responsible for cortex development, and caused a marked reduction of these cortex founder cells in the fetuses. Interestingly, the infected fetal mice exhibited a reduced cavity of lateral ventricles and a discernable decrease in surface areas of the cortex. This study thus supports the conclusion that vertically transmitted ZIKV affects fetal brain development and provides a valuable animal model for the evaluation of potential therapeutic or preventative strategies. PMID:27174054

  2. Mapping Fetal Brain Development in utero Using MRI: The Big Bang of Brain Mapping

    PubMed Central

    Studholme, Colin

    2012-01-01

    The development of tools to construct and investigate probabilistic maps of the adult human brain from MRI have led to advances in both basic neuroscience and clinical diagnosis. These tools are increasingly being applied to brain development in adolescence, childhood and even neonatal and premature neonatal imaging. Looking even earlier in development, parallel developments in clinical fetal Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) have led to its growing use as a tool in challenging medical conditions. This has motivated new engineering developments that combine optimal fast MRI scans with techniques derived from computer vision that allow full 3D imaging of the moving fetal brain in utero without sedation. These promise to provide a new and unprecedented window into early human brain growth. This article will review the developments that have led us to this point, and examine the current state of the art in the fields of fast fetal imaging, motion correction and the tools to analyze dynamically changing fetal brain structure. New methods to deal with developmental tissue segmentation and the construction of spatio-temporal atlases will be examined, together with techniques to map fetal brain growth patterns. PMID:21568716

  3. Effects of maternal oral administration of morphine sulfate on developing rat fetal cerebrum: a morphometrical evaluation.

    PubMed

    Sadraie, Seyed Homayoon; Kaka, Gholam Reza; Sahraei, Hedayat; Dashtnavard, Hosein; Bahadoran, Hosein; Mofid, Mahmood; Nasab, Hossein Mahdavi; Jafari, Fatemeh

    2008-12-15

    Intrauterine morphine exposure is a risk factor for neurological and behavioral deficit in children, although the precise underlying biological correlate for this is unclear. Female pregnant rats were orally treated with 0.1 mg/ml of morphine solution on the 21st day of gestation. Pregnant rats were killed on the 21st day of gestation and their fetuses were taken out and evaluated for growth and cerebral development. The fetuses were fixed and followed by dehydration through graded ethanol solutions and were then embedded and their heads were coronally sectioned through the frontal cerebral cortex. Quantitative computer-assisted morphometric study was done on the frontal cerebral cortex (FCC) which consists of cortical plate (CP), intermediate (migratory) zone (IZ) and matrix (proliferative) zone (MZ) in the rat embryos. The results showed that morphine exposure caused a significant reduction of fetal weight and crown-to-rump length in morphine exposure group. The present study showed that animals with intrauterine morphine exposure, induced by a period of reduced placental blood flow during the second week of pregnancy, demonstrate reduced both cortical thickness and the numbers of neurons in the developing fetal frontal cerebral cortex (FCC). Histomorphometric evaluation revealed that the thickness of the CP was significantly decreased in the morphine-exposed embryos. In addition, neuronal counting showed that cell proliferation in the CP was suppressed after morphine administration and that the migration of neurons from the matrix zone (MZ) to the cortex was decelerated. In conclusion, these results showed that morphine exposure during the second week of pregnancy could affect brain development in a way, which could lead to neurological and behavioral deficits in the postnatal animal.

  4. Mapping fetal brain development in utero using magnetic resonance imaging: the Big Bang of brain mapping.

    PubMed

    Studholme, Colin

    2011-08-15

    The development of tools to construct and investigate probabilistic maps of the adult human brain from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has led to advances in both basic neuroscience and clinical diagnosis. These tools are increasingly being applied to brain development in adolescence and childhood, and even to neonatal and premature neonatal imaging. Even earlier in development, parallel advances in clinical fetal MRI have led to its growing use as a tool in challenging medical conditions. This has motivated new engineering developments encompassing optimal fast MRI scans and techniques derived from computer vision, the combination of which allows full 3D imaging of the moving fetal brain in utero without sedation. These promise to provide a new and unprecedented window into early human brain growth. This article reviews the developments that have led us to this point, examines the current state of the art in the fields of fast fetal imaging and motion correction, and describes the tools to analyze dynamically changing fetal brain structure. New methods to deal with developmental tissue segmentation and the construction of spatiotemporal atlases are examined, together with techniques to map fetal brain growth patterns.

  5. 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

  6. Arginine nutrition and fetal brown adipose tissue development in diet-induced obese sheep.

    PubMed

    Carey Satterfield, M; Dunlap, Kathrin A; Keisler, Duane H; Bazer, Fuller W; Wu, Guoyao

    2012-10-01

    The global incidence of human obesity has more than doubled over the past three decades. An ovine model of obesity was developed to determine effects of maternal obesity and arginine supplementation on maternal, placental, and fetal parameters of growth, health, and well being. One-hundred-twenty days prior to embryo transfer, ewes were fed either ad libitum (n = 10) to induce obesity or 100% National Research Council-recommended nutrient requirements (n = 10) as controls. Embryos from superovulated ewes with normal body condition were transferred to the uterus of control-fed and obese ewes on day 5.5 post-estrus to generate genetically similar singleton pregnancies. Beginning on day 100 of gestation, obese ewes received intravenous administration of saline or L-arginine-HCl three times daily (81 mg arginine/kg body weight/day) to day 125, whereas control-fed ewes received saline. Fetal growth was assessed at necropsy on day 125. Maternal obesity increased (1) percentages of maternal and fetal carcass lipids and (2) concentrations of leptin, insulin, glucose, glutamate, leucine, lysine and threonine in maternal plasma while reducing (1) concentrations of progesterone, glycine and serine in maternal plasma and (2) amniotic and allantoic fluid volumes. Administration of L-arginine to obese ewes increased arginine and ornithine concentrations in maternal and fetal plasma, amniotic fluid volume, protein content in maternal carcass, and fetal brown adipose tissue (+60%), while reducing maternal lipid content and circulating leptin levels. Fetal or placental weight did not differ among treatments. Results indicate that arginine treatment beneficially reduces maternal adiposity and enhances fetal brown adipose tissue development in obese ewes.

  7. Development of an implantable synthetic membrane for the treatment of preterm premature rupture of fetal membranes.

    PubMed

    Roman, Sabiniano; Bullock, Anthony J; Anumba, Dilly O; MacNeil, Sheila

    2016-02-01

    Preterm premature rupture of fetal membranes is a very common condition leading to premature labour of a non viable fetus. Significant morbidities may occur when preterm premature rupture of fetal membranes management is attempted to prolong the pregnancy for fetal maturation. Reducing the rate of loss of amniotic fluid and providing a barrier to bacterial entry may allow the pregnancy to continue to term, avoiding complications. Our aim is to develop a synthetic biocompatible membrane to form a distensible barrier for cervical closure which acts to reduce fluid loss and provide a surface for epithelial ingrowth to help repair the damaged membranes. Therefore, a bilayer membrane was developed using an electrospinning technique of combining two FDA-approved polymers, poly-L-lactic acid (PLA) and polyurethane (Z3) polymer. This was compared to a plain electrospun Z3 membrane. The physical and mechanical properties were assessed using scanning electron microscope images and a BOSE tensiometer, respectively, and compared to native fetal membranes. The performance of the membranes in preventing fluid loss was assessed by measuring their ability to support a column of water. Finally the ability of the membranes to support cell ingrowth was assessed by culturing adipose-derived stem cells on the membranes for two weeks and assessing metabolic activity after 7 and 14 days. The physical properties of the bilayer were similar to that of the native fetal membranes and it was resistant to fluid penetration. This bilayer membrane presented mechanical properties close to those for fetal membranes and showed elastic distention, which may be crucial for progress of the pregnancy. The membrane was also able to retain surgical sutures. In addition, it also supported the attachment and growth of adipose-derived stem cells for two weeks. In conclusion, this membrane may prove a useful approach in the treatment of preterm premature rupture of fetal membranes and now merits further

  8. Insulin-like growth factors in embryonic and fetal growth and skeletal development (Review).

    PubMed

    Agrogiannis, Georgios D; Sifakis, Stavros; Patsouris, Efstratios S; Konstantinidou, Anastasia E

    2014-08-01

    The insulin-like growth factors (IGF)-I and -II have a predominant role in fetal growth and development. IGFs are involved in the proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis of fetal cells in vitro and the IGF serum concentration has been shown to be closely correlated with fetal growth and length. IGF transcripts and peptides have been detected in almost every fetal tissue from as early in development as pre‑implantation to the final maturation stage. Furthermore, IGFs have been demonstrated to be involved in limb morphogenesis. However, although ablation of Igf genes in mice resulted in growth retardation and delay in skeletal maturation, no impact on outgrowth and patterning of embryonic limbs was observed. Additionally, various molecular defects in the Igf1 and Igf1r genes in humans have been associated with severe intrauterine growth retardation and impaired skeletal maturation, but not with truncated limbs or severe skeletal dysplasia. The conflicting data between in vitro and in vivo observations with regard to bone morphogenesis suggests that IGFs may not be the sole trophic factors involved in fetal skeletal growth and that redundant mechanisms may exist in chondro- and osteogenesis. Further investigation is required in order to elucidate the functions of IGFs in skeletal development.

  9. Improving metabolic health in obese male mice via diet and exercise restores embryo development and fetal growth.

    PubMed

    McPherson, Nicole O; Bakos, Hassan W; Owens, Julie A; Setchell, Brian P; Lane, Michelle

    2013-01-01

    Paternal obesity is now clearly associated with or causal of impaired embryo and fetal development and reduced pregnancy rates in humans and rodents. This appears to be a result of reduced blastocyst potential. Whether these adverse embryo and fetal outcomes can be ameliorated by interventions to reduce paternal obesity has not been established. Here, male mice fed a high fat diet (HFD) to induce obesity were used, to determine if early embryo and fetal development is improved by interventions of diet (CD) and/or exercise to reduce adiposity and improve metabolism. Exercise and to a lesser extent CD in obese males improved embryo development rates, with increased cell to cell contacts in the compacting embryo measured by E-cadherin in exercise interventions and subsequently, increased blastocyst trophectoderm (TE), inner cell mass (ICM) and epiblast cell numbers. Implantation rates and fetal development from resulting blastocysts were also improved by exercise in obese males. Additionally, all interventions to obese males increased fetal weight, with CD alone and exercise alone, also increasing fetal crown-rump length. Measures of embryo and fetal development correlated with paternal measures of glycaemia, insulin action and serum lipids regardless of paternal adiposity or intervention, suggesting a link between paternal metabolic health and subsequent embryo and fetal development. This is the first study to show that improvements to metabolic health of obese males through diet and exercise can improve embryo and fetal development, suggesting such interventions are likely to improve offspring health.

  10. Transplanted fetal striatum in Huntington's disease: Phenotypic development and lack of pathology

    PubMed Central

    Freeman, Thomas B.; Cicchetti, Francesca; Hauser, Robert A.; Deacon, Terrence W.; Li, Xiao-Jiang; Hersch, Steven M.; Nauert, G. Michael; Sanberg, Paul R.; Kordower, Jeffrey H.; Saporta, Samuel; Isacson, Ole

    2000-01-01

    Neural and stem cell transplantation is emerging as a potential treatment for neurodegenerative diseases. Transplantation of specific committed neuroblasts (fetal neurons) to the adult brain provides such scientific exploration of these new potential therapies. Huntington's disease (HD) is a fatal, incurable autosomal dominant (CAG repeat expansion of huntingtin protein) neurodegenerative disorder with primary neuronal pathology within the caudate–putamen (striatum). In a clinical trial of human fetal striatal tissue transplantation, one patient died 18 months after transplantation from cardiovascular disease, and postmortem histological analysis demonstrated surviving transplanted cells with typical morphology of the developing striatum. Selective markers of both striatal projection and interneurons such as dopamine and c-AMP-related phosphoprotein, calretinin, acetylcholinesterase, choline acetyltransferase, tyrosine hydroxylase, calbindin, enkephalin, and substance P showed positive transplant regions clearly innervated by host tyrosine hydroxylase fibers. There was no histological evidence of immune rejection including microglia and macrophages. Notably, neuronal protein aggregates of mutated huntingtin, which is typical HD neuropathology, were not found within the transplanted fetal tissue. Thus, although there is a genetically predetermined process causing neuronal death within the HD striatum, implanted fetal neural cells lacking the mutant HD gene may be able to replace damaged host neurons and reconstitute damaged neuronal connections. This study demonstrates that grafts derived from human fetal striatal tissue can survive, develop, and are unaffected by the disease process, at least for 18 months, after transplantation into a patient with HD. PMID:11106399

  11. Fetal Surgery

    PubMed Central

    Laberge, Jean-Martin

    1986-01-01

    Fetal surgery has come of age. For decades experimental fetal surgery proved essential in studying normal fetal physiology and development, and pathophysiology of congenital defects. Clinical fetal surgery started in the 1960s with intrauterine transfusions. In the 1970s, the advent of ultrasonography revolutionized fetal diagnosis and created a therapeutic vacuum. Fetal treatment, medical and surgical, is slowly trying to fill the gap. Most defects detected are best treated after birth, some requiring a modification in the time, mode and place of delivery for optimal obstetrical and neonatal care. Surgical intervention in utero should be considered for malformations that cause progressive damage to the fetus, leading to death or severe morbidity; that can be corrected or palliated in utero with a reasonable expectation of normal postnatal development; that cannot wait to be corrected after birth, even considering pre-term delivery; that are not accompanied by chromosomal or other major anomalies. At present, congenital hydronephrosis is the most common indication for fetal surgery, followed by obstructive hydrocephalus. Congenital diaphragmatic hernia also fulfills the criteria, but its correction poses more problems, and no clinical attempts have been reported so far. In the future many other malformations or diseases may become best treated in utero. The ethical and moral issues are complex and need to be discussed as clinical and experimental progress is made. PMID:21267309

  12. Immune mechanisms at the maternal-fetal interface: perspectives and challenges

    PubMed Central

    PrabhuDas, Mercy; Bonney, Elizabeth; Caron, Kathleen; Dey, Sudhansu; Erlebacher, Adrian; Fazleabas, Asgerally; Fisher, Susan; Golos, Thaddeus; Matzuk, Martin; McCune, Joseph M; Mor, Gil; Schulz, Laura; Soares, Michael; Spencer, Thomas; Strominger, Jack; Way, Sing Sing; Yoshinaga, Koji

    2016-01-01

    Leaders gathered at the US National Institutes of Health in November 2014 to discuss recent advances and emerging research areas in aspects of maternal-fetal immunity that may affect fetal development and pregnancy success. PMID:25789673

  13. Fetal MRI: A pictorial essay.

    PubMed

    Rathee, Sapna; Joshi, Priscilla; Kelkar, Abhimanyu; Seth, Nagesh

    2016-01-01

    Ultrasonography (USG) is the primary method for antenatal fetal evaluation. However, fetal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has now become a valuable adjunct to USG in confirming/excluding suspected abnormalities and in the detection of additional abnormalities, thus changing the outcome of pregnancy and optimizing perinatal management. With the development of ultrafast sequences, fetal MRI has made remarkable progress in recent times. In this pictorial essay, we illustrate a spectrum of structural abnormalities affecting the central nervous system, thorax, genitourinary and gastrointestinal tract, as well as miscellaneous anomalies. Anomalies in twin gestations and placental abnormalities have also been included.

  14. Fetal MRI: A pictorial essay

    PubMed Central

    Rathee, Sapna; Joshi, Priscilla; Kelkar, Abhimanyu; Seth, Nagesh

    2016-01-01

    Ultrasonography (USG) is the primary method for antenatal fetal evaluation. However, fetal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has now become a valuable adjunct to USG in confirming/excluding suspected abnormalities and in the detection of additional abnormalities, thus changing the outcome of pregnancy and optimizing perinatal management. With the development of ultrafast sequences, fetal MRI has made remarkable progress in recent times. In this pictorial essay, we illustrate a spectrum of structural abnormalities affecting the central nervous system, thorax, genitourinary and gastrointestinal tract, as well as miscellaneous anomalies. Anomalies in twin gestations and placental abnormalities have also been included. PMID:27081224

  15. Performance of American Indian Children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome on the Test of Language Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carney, Laura J.; Chermak, Gail D.

    1991-01-01

    Twenty-seven American Indian children (ages 4-12), 10 with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and 17 normally developing control subjects, were administered the Test of Language Development. FAS children exhibited depressed performance on most subtests. The older FAS children presented syntactic deficits whereas the younger FAS subjects presented more…

  16. Morpho-functional characteristics of rat fetal thyroid gland are affected by prenatal dexamethasone exposure.

    PubMed

    Manojlović-Stojanoski, Milica N; Filipović, Branko R; Nestorović, Nataša M; Šošić-Jurjević, Branka T; Ristić, Nataša M; Trifunović, Svetlana L; Milošević, Verica Lj

    2014-06-01

    Thyroid hormones (TH) and glucocorticoids strongly contribute to the maturation of fetal tissues in the preparation for extrauterine life. Influence of maternal dexamethasone (Dx) administration on thyroid glands morpho-functional characteristics of near term rat fetuses was investigated applying unbiased stereology. On the 16th day of pregnancy dams received 1.0mg/Dx/kg/b.w., followed by 0.5mg/Dx/kg/b.w. on the 17th and 18th days of gestation. The control females received the same volume of saline. The volume of fetal thyroid was estimated using Cavalieri's principle; the physical/fractionator design was applied for the determination of absolute number of follicular cells in mitosis and immunohistochemically labeled C cells; C cell volume was measured using the planar rotator. The functional activity of thyroid tissue was provided from thyroglobulin (Tg) and thyroperoxidase (TPO) immunohistochemical staining. Applying these design-based modern stereological methods it was shown that Dx treatment of gravid females led to a significant decrease of fetal thyroid gland volume in 19- and 21-day-old fetuses, due to decreased proliferation of follicular cells. The Tg and TPO immunohistochemistry demonstrated that intensive TH production starts and continues during the examined period in control and Dx-exposed fetuses. Under the influence of Dx the absolute number of C cells was lower in both groups of near term fetuses, although unchanged relation between the two populations of endocrine cells, follicular and C cells suggesting that structural relationships within the gland are preserved. In conclusion maternal glucocorticoid administration at the thyroid gland level exerts growth-inhibitory and maturational promoting effects in near term rat fetuses.

  17. Impact of fetal and neonatal viral (and parasitic) infections on later development and disease outcome.

    PubMed

    Maldonado, Yvonne A

    2008-01-01

    It is estimated that there are 4 million neonatal deaths and an equal number of stillbirths annually, the majority in the developing world. Neonatal deaths account for one third of deaths in children less than 5 years of age, and at least one third of neonatal deaths are related to infections. Infections also account for 80% of deaths in the postneonatal period through 5 years of age. There are several viral and parasitic infections which produce fetal and neonatal morbidity and mortality. Neonatal infections occur during one or more perinatal periods: in utero (congenital), intrapartum (during labor and delivery), and early or late postpartum. Here the term perinatal refers to all of these stages of fetal or neonatal infections. The mechanisms of perinatal viral and parasitic infections vary depending on the specific pathogen, however, all begin with maternal infection. Following maternal infection, organisms may produce indirect placental infection with or without fetal infection, direct fetal or neonatal infection, or primary maternal infection and subsequent perinatal sequelae without either placental or fetal infection. Some pathogens may produce infections by more than one mechanism. This brief report will provide an overview of the pathogenesis, general outcomes, and known pathogens associated with perinatal viral and parasitic infections. PMID:18196955

  18. Proline metabolism in the conceptus: implications for fetal growth and development.

    PubMed

    Wu, G; Bazer, F W; Datta, S; Johnson, G A; Li, P; Satterfield, M C; Spencer, T E

    2008-11-01

    Although there are published studies of proline biochemistry and nutrition in cultured cells and postnatal animals, little is known about proline metabolism and function in the conceptus (embryo/fetus, associated placental membranes, and fetal fluids). Because of the invasive nature of biochemical research on placental and fetal growth, animal models are often used to test hypotheses of biological importance. Recent evidence from studies with pigs and sheep shows that proline is a major substrate for polyamine synthesis via proline oxidase, ornithine aminotransferase, and ornithine decarboxylase in placentae. Both porcine and ovine placentae have a high capacity for proline catabolism and polyamine production. In addition, allantoic and amniotic fluids contain enzymes to convert proline into ornithine, which is delivered through the circulation to placental tissues. There is exquisite metabolic coordination among integrated pathways that support highest rates of polyamine synthesis and concentrations in placentae during early gestation when placental growth is most rapid. Interestingly, reduced placental and fetal growth are associated with reductions in placental proline transport, proline oxidase activity, and concentrations of polyamines in gestating dams with either naturally occurring or malnutrition-induced growth retardation. Conversely, increasing proline availability in maternal plasma through nutritional or pharmacological modulation in pigs and sheep enhances concentrations of proline and polyamines in placentae and fetal fluids, as well as fetal growth. These novel findings suggest an important role for proline in conceptus metabolism, growth and development, as well as a potential treatment for intrauterine growth restriction, which is a significant problem in both human medicine and animal agriculture.

  19. Impact of fetal and neonatal viral (and parasitic) infections on later development and disease outcome.

    PubMed

    Maldonado, Yvonne A

    2008-01-01

    It is estimated that there are 4 million neonatal deaths and an equal number of stillbirths annually, the majority in the developing world. Neonatal deaths account for one third of deaths in children less than 5 years of age, and at least one third of neonatal deaths are related to infections. Infections also account for 80% of deaths in the postneonatal period through 5 years of age. There are several viral and parasitic infections which produce fetal and neonatal morbidity and mortality. Neonatal infections occur during one or more perinatal periods: in utero (congenital), intrapartum (during labor and delivery), and early or late postpartum. Here the term perinatal refers to all of these stages of fetal or neonatal infections. The mechanisms of perinatal viral and parasitic infections vary depending on the specific pathogen, however, all begin with maternal infection. Following maternal infection, organisms may produce indirect placental infection with or without fetal infection, direct fetal or neonatal infection, or primary maternal infection and subsequent perinatal sequelae without either placental or fetal infection. Some pathogens may produce infections by more than one mechanism. This brief report will provide an overview of the pathogenesis, general outcomes, and known pathogens associated with perinatal viral and parasitic infections.

  20. Fine-mapping at three loci known to affect fetal hemoglobin levels explains additional genetic variation.

    PubMed

    Galarneau, Geneviève; Palmer, Cameron D; Sankaran, Vijay G; Orkin, Stuart H; Hirschhorn, Joel N; Lettre, Guillaume

    2010-12-01

    We used resequencing and genotyping in African Americans with sickle cell anemia (SCA) to characterize associations with fetal hemoglobin (HbF) levels at the BCL11A, HBS1L-MYB and β-globin loci. Fine-mapping of HbF association signals at these loci confirmed seven SNPs with independent effects and increased the explained heritable variation in HbF levels from 38.6% to 49.5%. We also identified rare missense variants that causally implicate MYB in HbF production.

  1. Similar photoperiod-related birth seasonalities among professional baseball players and lesbian women with an opposite seasonality among gay men: Maternal melatonin may affect fetal sexual dimorphism.

    PubMed

    Marzullo, Giovanni

    2014-05-30

    Based on pre-mid-20th-century data, the same photoperiod-related birth seasonality previously observed in schizophrenia was also recently found in neural-tube defects and in extreme left-handedness among professional baseball players. This led to a hypothesis implicating maternal melatonin and other mediators of sunlight actions capable of affecting 4th-embryonic-week developments including neural-tube closure and left-right differentiation of the brain. Here, new studies of baseball players suggest that the same sunlight actions could also affect testosterone-dependent male-female differentiation in the 4-month-old fetus. Independently of hand-preferences, baseball players (n=6829), and particularly the stronger hitters among them, showed a unique birth seasonality with an excess around early-November and an equally significant deficit 6 months later around early-May. In two smaller studies, north-American and other northern-hemisphere born lesbians showed the same strong-hitter birth seasonality while gay men showed the opposite seasonality. The sexual dimorphism-critical 4th-fetal-month testosterone surge coincides with the summer-solstice in early-November births and the winter-solstice in early-May births. These coincidences are discussed and a "melatonin mechanism" is proposed based on evidence that in seasonal breeders maternal melatonin imparts "photoperiodic history" to the newborn by direct inhibition of fetal testicular testosterone synthesis. The present effects could represent a vestige of this same phenomenon in man.

  2. Similar photoperiod-related birth seasonalities among professional baseball players and lesbian women with an opposite seasonality among gay men: Maternal melatonin may affect fetal sexual dimorphism.

    PubMed

    Marzullo, Giovanni

    2014-05-30

    Based on pre-mid-20th-century data, the same photoperiod-related birth seasonality previously observed in schizophrenia was also recently found in neural-tube defects and in extreme left-handedness among professional baseball players. This led to a hypothesis implicating maternal melatonin and other mediators of sunlight actions capable of affecting 4th-embryonic-week developments including neural-tube closure and left-right differentiation of the brain. Here, new studies of baseball players suggest that the same sunlight actions could also affect testosterone-dependent male-female differentiation in the 4-month-old fetus. Independently of hand-preferences, baseball players (n=6829), and particularly the stronger hitters among them, showed a unique birth seasonality with an excess around early-November and an equally significant deficit 6 months later around early-May. In two smaller studies, north-American and other northern-hemisphere born lesbians showed the same strong-hitter birth seasonality while gay men showed the opposite seasonality. The sexual dimorphism-critical 4th-fetal-month testosterone surge coincides with the summer-solstice in early-November births and the winter-solstice in early-May births. These coincidences are discussed and a "melatonin mechanism" is proposed based on evidence that in seasonal breeders maternal melatonin imparts "photoperiodic history" to the newborn by direct inhibition of fetal testicular testosterone synthesis. The present effects could represent a vestige of this same phenomenon in man. PMID:24612972

  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. [Morphogenesis of Human Fetal Thymus during Weeks 22-27 of Development].

    PubMed

    Kulida, L V; Peretyatko, L P; Nazarov, S B

    2015-01-01

    Distinctive features of human fetal thymus morphogenesis in early ontogeny in the case of uncomplicated pregnancy have been characterized. A steady increase of thymus dimensions and weight occurred concomitantly to differentiation of morphofunctional zones within the organ. Cell differentiation in the subcapsular and inner cortical zones of the thymus lobes was manifested as changes in parameters of expression of T-lymphocyte antigens CD1, CD2, and CD3 and ultrastructural features of reticuloepithelial cells (REC) type I and II forming a microenvironment for lymphocytes. RECs of the medullar zone formed a glomerular syncytium with desmosomal interepithelial contacts by week 22 of fetal development. Small lymphocytes predominated among thymocytes (66%). Hassall's corpuscles, the structural correlates of morphological and functional maturity, predominated in the fetal thymuses during developmental weeks 25-27.

  5. [Morphogenesis of Human Fetal Thymus during Weeks 22-27 of Development].

    PubMed

    Kulida, L V; Peretyatko, L P; Nazarov, S B

    2015-01-01

    Distinctive features of human fetal thymus morphogenesis in early ontogeny in the case of uncomplicated pregnancy have been characterized. A steady increase of thymus dimensions and weight occurred concomitantly to differentiation of morphofunctional zones within the organ. Cell differentiation in the subcapsular and inner cortical zones of the thymus lobes was manifested as changes in parameters of expression of T-lymphocyte antigens CD1, CD2, and CD3 and ultrastructural features of reticuloepithelial cells (REC) type I and II forming a microenvironment for lymphocytes. RECs of the medullar zone formed a glomerular syncytium with desmosomal interepithelial contacts by week 22 of fetal development. Small lymphocytes predominated among thymocytes (66%). Hassall's corpuscles, the structural correlates of morphological and functional maturity, predominated in the fetal thymuses during developmental weeks 25-27. PMID:26480484

  6. Development of a media campaign on fetal alcohol spectrum disorders for Northern Plains American Indian communities.

    PubMed

    Hanson, Jessica D; Winberg, Austin; Elliott, Amy

    2012-11-01

    Alcohol-exposed pregnancies are especially of concern for American Indians. The Indian Health Service reported that 47% to 56% of pregnant patients admitted to drinking alcohol during their pregnancy. In addition, rates of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome are estimated to be as high as 3.9 to 9.0 per 1,000 live births among American Indians in the Northern Plains, making prevention of alcohol-exposed pregnancies an important public health effort for this population. The goal of this article is to add to the literature on universal prevention of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum disorders by describing the development, dissemination, and evaluation of a media campaign on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders that was created by and for American Indian communities in the Northern Plains.

  7. Yellowstone bison fetal development and phenology of parturition

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gogan, P.J.P.; Podruzny, K.M.; Olexa, E.M.; Pac, H.I.; Frey, K.L.

    2005-01-01

    Knowledge of Yellowstone bison (Bison bison) parturition patterns allows managers to refine risk assessments and manage to reduce the potential for transmission of brucellosis between bison and cattle. We used historical (1941) and contemporary (1989–2002) weights and morphometric measurements of Yellowstone bison fetuses to describe fetal growth and to predict timing and synchrony of parturition. Our method was supported by agreement between our predicted parturition pattern and observed birth dates for bison that were taken in to captivity while pregnant. The distribution of parturition dates in Yellowstone bison is generally right-skewed with a majority of births in April and May and few births in the following months. Predicted timing of parturition was consistently earlier for bison of Yellowstone's northern herd than central herd. The predicted median parturition date for northern herd bison in the historical period was 3 to 12 days earlier than for 2 years in the contemporary period, respectively. Median predicted birth dates and birthing synchrony differed within herds and years in the contemporary period. For a single year of paired data, the predicted median birth date for northern herd bison was 14 days earlier than for central herd bison. This difference is coincident with an earlier onset of spring plant growth on the northern range. Our findings permit refinement of the timing of separation between Yellowstone bison and cattle intended to reduce the probability of transmission of brucellosis from bison to cattle.

  8. Placental CLIC3 is increased in fetal growth restriction and pre-eclampsia affected human pregnancies.

    PubMed

    Murthi, P; Stevenson, J L; Money, T T; Borg, A J; Brennecke, S P; Gude, N M

    2012-09-01

    Chloride intracellular channel (CLIC) proteins constitute a subgroup of the glutathione-S-transferase (GSTs) superfamily. In humans, the CLIC family of proteins consists of six members, designated CLIC 1-6, which have a conserved C-terminal 240 residue module and one major transmembrane domain. CLIC proteins regulate fundamental cellular processes including regulation of chloride ion concentration, stabilization of cell membrane potential, trans-epithelial transport, regulation of cell volume and stimulation of apoptotic processes in response to cellular stress. Previously, we described the expression profile of a member of the CLIC family of proteins, CLIC3, in human placentae and fetal membranes. In the current study, we determined CLIC3 expression in placentae from pregnancies complicated with either fetal growth restriction (FGR, n=19), pre-eclampsia (PE, n=16) or both FGR and PE combined (n=12) compared to gestation-matched controls (n=13) using real-time PCR and a CLIC3 specific immunoassay. Significantly increased CLIC3 mRNA and protein were detected in placental extracts from pregnancies with FGR, PE and PE with FGR compared to controls. Our results suggest that increased expression of CLIC3 may play a role in abnormal placental function associated with the human pregnancy disorders FGR and PE. PMID:22795578

  9. Antibody repertoire development in fetal and neonatal piglets XXI. Usage of most VH genes remains constant during fetal and postnatal development.

    PubMed

    Butler, John E; Sun, Xuizhu; Wertz, Nancy; Lager, Kelly M; Chaloner, Kathryn; Urban, Joseph; Francis, David L; Nara, Peter L; Tobin, Gregory J

    2011-12-01

    Usage of variable region gene segments during development of the antibody repertoire in mammals is unresolved in part because of the complexity of the locus in mice and humans and the difficulty of distinguishing intrinsic from extrinsic influences in these species. We present the first vertical studies on VH usage that spans the fetal and neonatal period using the piglet model. We tracked VH usage in DNA rearrangements and in VDJ transcripts throughout 75 days of gestation (DG) in outbred fetuses, thereafter in outbred germfree and colonized isolator piglets, isolator piglets infected with swine influenza and in conventionally reared nematode-infected adults. Seven VH genes account for >90% of the pre-immune repertoire which is the same among tissues and in both transcripts and DNA rearrangements. Statistical modeling supports the view that proportional usage of the major genes remains constant during fetal life and that postnatal usage ranking is similar to that during fetal life. Changes in usage ranking are developmental not antigen dependent. In this species exposure to environmental antigens results in diversification of the repertoire by somatic hypermutation of the same small number of VH genes that comprise the pre-immune repertoire, not by using other VH gene available in the germline. Therefore in swine a small number of VH genes shape the antibody repertoire throughout life questioning the need for extensive VH polygeny.

  10. Co-expression analysis of fetal weight-related genes in ovine skeletal muscle during mid and late fetal development stages

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Muscle development and lipid metabolism play important roles during fetal development stages. The commercial Texel sheep are more muscular than the indigenous Ujumqin sheep which are fatter. We performed serial transcriptomics assays and systems biology analyses to investigate the dynamics of gene e...

  11. Simvastatin reduces fetal testosterone production and permanently alters reproductive tract development in the male rat

    EPA Science Inventory

    Androgen signaling by fetal Leydig cells is critical in the proper development of the male reproductive tract. As cholesterol is a precursor for hormone biosynthesis,inhibition of the cholesterol pathway during sex differentiation may reduce testosterone {T). We hypothesized tha...

  12. Gestational nanomaterial exposures: microvascular implications during pregnancy, fetal development and adulthood.

    PubMed

    Stapleton, P A

    2016-04-15

    Air pollution particulate matter and engineered nanomaterials are encompassed in the broad definition of xenobiotic particles. While the effects of perinatal air pollution exposure have been investigated, elucidation of outcomes associated with nanomaterial exposure, the focus of this review, is still in its infancy. As the potential uses of nanomaterials, and therefore exposures, increase exponentially so does the need for thorough evaluation. Up to this point, the majority of research in the field of cardiovascular nanotoxicology has focused on the coronary and vascular reactions to pulmonary exposures in young adult, healthy, male models; however, as intentional and unintentional contacts persist, the non-pulmonary risks to under-represented populations become a critical concern. Development of the maternal-fetal circulation during successful mammalian gestation is one of the most unusual complex, dynamic, and acutely demanding physiological systems. Fetal development in a hostile gestational environment can lead to systemic alterations, which may encourage adult disease. Therefore, the purpose of this review is to highlight the few knowns associated with gestational engineered nanomaterial exposure segmented by physiological periods of development or systemic targets: preconception and maternal, gestational, fetal and progeny (Abstract figure). Overall, the limited studies currently available provide compelling evidence of maternal, fetal and offspring dysfunctions after engineered nanomaterial exposure. Understanding the mechanisms associated with these multigenerational effects may allow pregnant women to safely reap the benefits of nanotechnology-enabled products and assist in the implementation of exposure controls to protect the mother and fetus allowing for development of safety by design for engineered nanomaterials.

  13. CHARACTERIZATION OF THE PERIOD OF SENSITIVITY OF FETAL MALE SEXUAL DEVELOPMENT TO VINCLOZOLIN

    EPA Science Inventory

    Characterization of the period of sensitivity of fetal male sexual development to vinclozolin.

    Wolf CJ, LeBlanc GA, Ostby JS, Gray LE Jr.

    Endocrinology Branch, MD 72, Reproductive Toxicology Division, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, U....

  14. Ethanol exposure alters zebrafish development: a novel model of fetal alcohol syndrome.

    PubMed

    Bilotta, Joseph; Barnett, Jalynn A; Hancock, Laura; Saszik, Shannon

    2004-01-01

    Prenatal exposure to alcohol has been shown to produce the overt physical and behavioral symptoms known as fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) in humans. Also, it is believed that low concentrations and/or short durations of alcohol exposure can produce more subtle effects. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of embryonic ethanol exposure on the zebrafish (Danio rerio) in order to determine whether this species is a viable animal model for studying FAS. Fertilized embryos were reared in varying concentrations of ethanol (1.5% and 2.9%) and exposure times (e.g., 0-8, 6-24, 12-24, and 48-72 h postfertilization; hpf); anatomical measures including eye diameter and heart rate were compared across groups. Results found that at the highest concentration of ethanol (2.9%), there were more abnormal physical distortions and significantly higher mortality rates than any other group. Embryos exposed to ethanol for a shorter duration period (0-8 hpf) at a concentration of 1.5% exhibited more subtle effects such as significantly smaller eye diameter and lower heart rate than controls. These results indicate that embryonic alcohol exposure affects external and internal physical development and that the severity of these effects is a function of both the amount of ethanol and the timing of ethanol exposure. Thus, the zebrafish represents a useful model for examining basic questions about the effects of embryonic exposure to ethanol on development.

  15. Sexually dimorphic adaptations in basal maternal stress physiology during pregnancy and implications for fetal development.

    PubMed

    Giesbrecht, Gerald F; Campbell, Tavis; Letourneau, Nicole

    2015-06-01

    There is clear evidence of reciprocal exchange of information between the mother and fetus during pregnancy but the majority of research in this area has focussed on the fetus as a recipient of signals from the mother. Specifically, physiological signals produced by the maternal stress systems in response to the environment may carry valuable information about the state of the external world. Prenatal stress produces sex-specific adaptations within fetal physiology that have pervasive and long-lasting effects on development. Little is known, however, about the effects of sex-specific fetal signals on maternal adaptations to pregnancy. The current prospective study examined sexually dimorphic adaptations within maternal stress physiology, including the hypothalamic-adrenal-pituitary (HPA) axis and the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and associations with fetal growth. Using diurnal suites of saliva collected in early and late pregnancy, we demonstrate that basal cortisol and salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) differ by fetal sex. Women carrying female fetuses displayed greater autonomic arousal and flatter (but more elevated) diurnal cortisol patterns compared to women carrying males. Women with flatter daytime cortisol trajectories and more blunted sAA awakening responses also had infants with lower birth weight. These maternal adaptations are consistent with sexually dimorphic fetal developmental/evolutionary adaptation strategies that favor growth for males and conservation of resources for females. The findings provide new evidence to suggest that the fetus contributes to maternal HPA axis and ANS regulation during pregnancy and that these systems also contribute to the regulation of fetal growth.

  16. Sexually dimorphic adaptations in basal maternal stress physiology during pregnancy and implications for fetal development.

    PubMed

    Giesbrecht, Gerald F; Campbell, Tavis; Letourneau, Nicole

    2015-06-01

    There is clear evidence of reciprocal exchange of information between the mother and fetus during pregnancy but the majority of research in this area has focussed on the fetus as a recipient of signals from the mother. Specifically, physiological signals produced by the maternal stress systems in response to the environment may carry valuable information about the state of the external world. Prenatal stress produces sex-specific adaptations within fetal physiology that have pervasive and long-lasting effects on development. Little is known, however, about the effects of sex-specific fetal signals on maternal adaptations to pregnancy. The current prospective study examined sexually dimorphic adaptations within maternal stress physiology, including the hypothalamic-adrenal-pituitary (HPA) axis and the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and associations with fetal growth. Using diurnal suites of saliva collected in early and late pregnancy, we demonstrate that basal cortisol and salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) differ by fetal sex. Women carrying female fetuses displayed greater autonomic arousal and flatter (but more elevated) diurnal cortisol patterns compared to women carrying males. Women with flatter daytime cortisol trajectories and more blunted sAA awakening responses also had infants with lower birth weight. These maternal adaptations are consistent with sexually dimorphic fetal developmental/evolutionary adaptation strategies that favor growth for males and conservation of resources for females. The findings provide new evidence to suggest that the fetus contributes to maternal HPA axis and ANS regulation during pregnancy and that these systems also contribute to the regulation of fetal growth. PMID:25827961

  17. Spatial-temporal atlas of human fetal brain development during the early second trimester.

    PubMed

    Zhan, Jinfeng; Dinov, Ivo D; Li, Junning; Zhang, Zhonghe; Hobel, Sam; Shi, Yonggang; Lin, Xiangtao; Zamanyan, Alen; Feng, Lei; Teng, Gaojun; Fang, Fang; Tang, Yuchun; Zang, Fengchao; Toga, Arthur W; Liu, Shuwei

    2013-11-15

    During the second trimester, the human fetal brain undergoes numerous changes that lead to substantial variation in the neonatal in terms of its morphology and tissue types. As fetal MRI is more and more widely used for studying the human brain development during this period, a spatiotemporal atlas becomes necessary for characterizing the dynamic structural changes. In this study, 34 postmortem human fetal brains with gestational ages ranging from 15 to 22 weeks were scanned using 7.0 T MR. We used automated morphometrics, tensor-based morphometry and surface modeling techniques to analyze the data. Spatiotemporal atlases of each week and the overall atlas covering the whole period with high resolution and contrast were created. These atlases were used for the analysis of age-specific shape changes during this period, including development of the cerebral wall, lateral ventricles, Sylvian fissure, and growth direction based on local surface measurements. Our findings indicate that growth of the subplate zone is especially striking and is the main cause for the lamination pattern changes. Changes in the cortex around Sylvian fissure demonstrate that cortical growth may be one of the mechanisms for gyration. Surface deformation mapping, revealed by local shape analysis, indicates that there is global anterior-posterior growth pattern, with frontal and temporal lobes developing relatively quickly during this period. Our results are valuable for understanding the normal brain development trajectories and anatomical characteristics. These week-by-week fetal brain atlases can be used as reference in in vivo studies, and may facilitate the quantification of fetal brain development across space and time.

  18. Magnesium and fetal growth

    SciTech Connect

    Weaver, K.

    1988-01-01

    Fetal growth retardation and premature labor are major problems in perinatal medicine today and account for a great deal of the observed fetal morbidity. While the neonatal death rate has steadily declined over the past decade, there has been a lack of concommitant decrease in these two leading problems. Magnesium (Mg/sup ++/) plays a major role in both of these areas of concern. The fact that it is used as a treatment for premature labor has led investigators to look at low Mg/sup ++/ as a possible cause of this poorly understood phenomenon. The second major cause of small for gestational age infants is intrauterine growth retardation, a condition which may be of either fetal or maternal origin. In either case, Mg/sup ++/ may be implicated since it exerts a strong influence on the underlying pathophysiology of placental failure and maternal hypertension. Both of these conditions are mediated by vascular and platelet hyperactivity as well as by and increase in the ration of thromboxane to prostacyclin. Studies in both the human and animal species are beginning to show how Mg/sup ++/ interacts in these conditions to produce such a damaging fetal outcome. The recent use of Doppler velocimetry of the developing fetus has shown reduced fetal vascular and maternal uterine vascular compliance as early as 14 weeks of gestation in those who would be so affected.

  19. Chronic exposure to simulated space conditions predominantly affects cytoskeleton remodeling and oxidative stress response in mouse fetal fibroblasts.

    PubMed

    Beck, Michaël; Moreels, Marjan; Quintens, Roel; Abou-El-Ardat, Khalil; El-Saghire, Hussein; Tabury, Kevin; Michaux, Arlette; Janssen, Ann; Neefs, Mieke; Van Oostveldt, Patrick; De Vos, Winnok H; Baatout, Sarah

    2014-08-01

    Microgravity and cosmic rays as found in space are difficult to recreate on earth. However, ground-based models exist to simulate space flight experiments. In the present study, an experimental model was utilized to monitor gene expression changes in fetal skin fibroblasts of murine origin. Cells were continuously subjected for 65 h to a low dose (55 mSv) of ionizing radiation (IR), comprising a mixture of high‑linear energy transfer (LET) neutrons and low-LET gamma-rays, and/or simulated microgravity using the random positioning machine (RPM), after which microarrays were performed. The data were analyzed both by gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) and single gene analysis (SGA). Simulated microgravity affected fetal murine fibroblasts by inducing oxidative stress responsive genes. Three of these genes are targets of the nuclear factor‑erythroid 2 p45-related factor 2 (Nrf2), which may play a role in the cell response to simulated microgravity. In addition, simulated gravity decreased the expression of genes involved in cytoskeleton remodeling, which may have been caused by the downregulation of the serum response factor (SRF), possibly through the Rho signaling pathway. Similarly, chronic exposure to low-dose IR caused the downregulation of genes involved in cytoskeleton remodeling, as well as in cell cycle regulation and DNA damage response pathways. Many of the genes or gene sets that were altered in the individual treatments (RPM or IR) were not altered in the combined treatment (RPM and IR), indicating a complex interaction between RPM and IR.

  20. 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

  1. Flt3 Ligand Regulates the Development of Innate Lymphoid Cells in Fetal and Adult Mice.

    PubMed

    Baerenwaldt, Anne; von Burg, Nicole; Kreuzaler, Matthias; Sitte, Selina; Horvath, Edit; Peter, Annick; Voehringer, David; Rolink, Antonius G; Finke, Daniela

    2016-03-15

    Flt3 ligand (Flt3L) promotes survival of lymphoid progenitors in the bone marrow and differentiation of dendritic cells (DCs), but its role in regulating innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) during fetal and adult life is not understood. By using Flt3L knockout and transgenic mice, we demonstrate that Flt3L controls ILC numbers by regulating the pool of α4β7(-) and α4β7(+) lymphoid tissue inducer cell progenitors in the fetal liver and common lymphoid progenitors in the bone marrow. Deletion of flt3l severely reduced the number of fetal liver progenitors and lymphoid tissue inducer cells in the neonatal intestine, resulting in impaired development of Peyer's patches. In the adult intestine, NK cells and group 2 and 3 ILCs were severely reduced. This effect occurred independently of DCs as ILC numbers were normal in mice in which DCs were constitutively deleted. Finally, we could show that administration of Flt3L increased the number of NKp46(-) group 3 ILCs in wild-type and even in Il7(-/-) mice, which generally have reduced numbers of ILCs. Taken together, Flt3L significantly contributes to ILC and Peyer's patches development by targeting lymphoid progenitor cells during fetal and adult life.

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

    PubMed

    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

    2015-12-22

    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

  3. 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

  4. Body composition during fetal development and infancy through the age of 5 years.

    PubMed

    Toro-Ramos, T; Paley, C; Pi-Sunyer, F X; Gallagher, D

    2015-12-01

    Fetal body composition is an important determinant of body composition at birth, and it is likely to be an important determinant at later stages in life. The purpose of this work is to provide a comprehensive overview by presenting data from previously published studies that report on body composition during fetal development in newborns and the infant/child through 5 years of age. Understanding the changes in body composition that occur both in utero and during infancy and childhood, and how they may be related, may help inform evidence-based practice during pregnancy and childhood. We describe body composition measurement techniques from the in utero period to 5 years of age, and identify gaps in knowledge to direct future research efforts. Available literature on chemical and cadaver analyses of fetal studies during gestation is presented to show the timing and accretion rates of adipose and lean tissues. Quantitative and qualitative aspects of fetal lean and fat mass accretion could be especially useful in the clinical setting for diagnostic purposes. The practicality of different pediatric body composition measurement methods in the clinical setting is discussed by presenting the assumptions and limitations associated with each method that may assist the clinician in characterizing the health and nutritional status of the fetus, infant and child. It is our hope that this review will help guide future research efforts directed at increasing the understanding of how body composition in early development may be associated with chronic diseases in later life. PMID:26242725

  5. Impact of maternal undernutrition during the periconceptional period, fetal number, and fetal sex on the development of the hypothalamo-pituitary adrenal axis in sheep during late gestation.

    PubMed

    Edwards, L J; McMillen, I Caroline

    2002-05-01

    Evidence from epidemiologic, clinical, and experimental studies has shown that a suboptimal intrauterine environment during early pregnancy can alter fetal growth and gestation length and is associated with an increased prevalence of adult hypertension and cardiovascular disease. It has been postulated that maternal nutrient restriction may act to reprogram the development of the pituitary-adrenal axis, resulting in excess glucocorticoid exposure and adverse health outcomes in later life. It is unknown, however, whether maternal nutrient restriction during the periconceptional period alters the development of the fetal pituitary-adrenal axis or whether the effects of periconceptional undernutrition can be reversed by the provision of an adequate level of maternal nutrition throughout the remainder of pregnancy. We have investigated the effect of restricted periconceptional nutrition (70% of control feed allowance) from 60 days before until 7 days after mating and the effect of restricted gestational nutrition from Day 8 to 147 of gestation on the development of the fetal hypothalamo-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis in the sheep. In these studies, we have also investigated the effects of fetal number and sex on the pituitary-adrenal responses to periconceptional and gestational undernutrition. In ewes maintained on a control diet throughout the periconceptional and gestational periods, fetal plasma ACTH concentrations were higher and the prepartum surge in cortisol occurred earlier in singletons compared with twins. Plasma ACTH concentrations were also significantly higher in male compared with female singletons, and in twin fetuses, the prepartum surge in cortisol concentrations occurred earlier in males than in females. Periconceptional undernutrition resulted in higher fetal plasma concentrations of ACTH between 110 and 145 days of gestation and a significantly greater cortisol response to a bolus dose of corticotropin-releasing hormone in twin, but not singleton

  6. Hyperglycemia Differentially Affects Maternal and Fetal DNA Integrity and DNA Damage Response

    PubMed Central

    Moreli, Jusciele B.; Santos, Janine H.; Lorenzon-Ojea, Aline Rodrigues; Corrêa-Silva, Simone; Fortunato, Rodrigo S.; Rocha, Clarissa Ribeiro; Rudge, Marilza V.; Damasceno, Débora C.; Bevilacqua, Estela; Calderon, Iracema M.

    2016-01-01

    Objective: Investigate the DNA damage and its cellular response in blood samples from both mother and the umbilical cord of pregnancies complicated by hyperglycemia. Methods: A total of 144 subjects were divided into 4 groups: normoglycemia (ND; 46 cases), mild gestational hyperglycemia (MGH; 30 cases), gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM; 45 cases) and type-2 diabetes mellitus (DM2; 23 cases). Peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) isolation and/or leukocytes from whole maternal and umbilical cord blood were obtained from all groups at delivery. Nuclear and mitochondrial DNA damage were measured by gene-specific quantitative PCR, and the expression of mRNA and proteins involved in the base excision repair (BER) pathway were assessed by real-time qPCR and Western blot, respectively. Apoptosis was measured in vitro experiments by caspase 3/7 activity and ATP levels. Results: GDM and DM2 groups were characterized by an increase in oxidative stress biomarkers, an increase in nuclear and mitochondrial DNA damage, and decreased expression of mRNA (APE1, POLβ and FEN1) and proteins (hOGG1, APE1) involved in BER. The levels of hyperglycemia were associated with the in vitro apoptosis pathway. Blood levels of DNA damage in umbilical cord were similar among the groups. Newborns of diabetic mothers had increased expression of BER mRNA (APE1, POLβ and FEN1) and proteins (hOGG1, APE1, POLβ and FEN1). A diabetes-like environment was unable to induce apoptosis in the umbilical cord blood cells. Conclusions: Our data show relevant asymmetry between maternal and fetal blood cell susceptibility to DNA damage and apoptosis induction. Maternal cells seem to be more predisposed to changes in an adverse glucose environment. This may be due to differential ability in upregulating multiple genes involved in the activation of DNA repair response, especially the BER mechanism. However if this study shows a more effective adaptive response by the fetal organism, it also calls for

  7. A murine model for the assessment of placental and fetal development in teratogenicity studies.

    PubMed

    Hau, J; Basse, A; Wolstrup, C

    1987-01-01

    During normal pregnancy in the mouse, maternal serum levels of the analogues to human schwangerschaftsprotein-1 and alpha-fetoprotein correlate significantly with the growth of the placenta and fetus respectively. This relationship has been utilized in the analysis of the effect of sodium selenite on placental and fetal growth in mice. Moderate doses of sodium selenite did not affect the growth of the placenta and fetus significantly, whereas high doses of selenite resulted in a large percentage of abortions. The protein markers were found to be useful in the prediction of placental and fetal growth, and they are suggested to be of general use in the study of the impact of teratogenic substances, since they reflect the status of the fetoplacental mass during gestation.

  8. Fetal dexamethasone exposure accelerates development of renal function: relationship to dose, cell differentiation and growth inhibition.

    PubMed

    Slotkin, T A; Seidler, F J; Kavlock, R J; Gray, J A

    1992-02-01

    Fetal exposure to high doses of glucocorticoids slows cellular development and impairs organ performance, in association with growth retardation. Nevertheless, low doses of glucocorticoids may enhance cell differentiation and accelerate specific functions. The current study examined this apparent paradox in the developing rat kidney, using doses of dexamethasone that span the threshold for growth impairment: 0.05 or 0.2 mg/kg given on gestational days 17, 18 and 19. At the lower dose, which did not significantly retard body growth, the postnatal development of tubular reabsorptive capabilities for sodium, potassium, osmotic particles, water and urea was accelerated. These effects were less notable at the higher dose, which caused initial body growth impairment. The selectivity toward promotion of tubular function was evidenced by the absence of effect of either dose of dexamethasone on development of glomerular filtration rate. Because of the wide spectrum of dexamethasone's effects on tubular function, we also assessed fetal kidney adenylate cyclase as a means of detecting altered cell differentiation in the prenatal period during which dexamethasone was given. Either glucocorticoid dose increased the total adenylate cyclase catalytic activity (assessed with forskolin). Thus, the net effect of fetal dexamethasone exposure on development of renal excretory capabilities probably represents the summation of promoted cell differentiation and slowed development consequent to growth retardation. At low dose levels, the former effect predominates, leading to enhanced functional development, whereas higher doses that interfere with general growth and development can offset the direct promotional effect.

  9. Effect of zinc oxide nanoparticles on dams and embryo–fetal development in rats

    PubMed Central

    Hong, Jeong-Sup; Park, Myeong-Kyu; Kim, Min-Seok; Lim, Jeong-Hyeon; Park, Gil-Jong; Maeng, Eun-Ho; Shin, Jae-Ho; Kim, Yu-Ri; Kim, Meyoung-Kon; Lee, Jong-Kwon; Park, Jin-A; Kim, Jong-Choon; Shin, Ho-Chul

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated the potential adverse effects of zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnOSM20[−] NPs; negatively charged, 20 nm) on pregnant dams and embryo–fetal development after maternal exposure over the period of gestational days 5–19 with Sprague Dawley rats. ZnOSM20(−) NPs were administered to pregnant rats by gavage at 0 mg/kg/day, 100 mg/kg/day, 200 mg/kg/day, and 400 mg/kg/day. All dams were subjected to caesarean section on gestational day 20, and all the fetuses were examined for external, visceral, and skeletal alterations. Toxicity in the dams manifested as significantly decreased body weight at 400 mg/kg/day and decreased liver weight, and increased adrenal glands weight at 200 mg/kg/day and 400 mg/kg/day. However, no treatment-related difference in the number of corpora lutea, the number of implantation sites, the implantation rate (%), resorption, dead fetuses, litter size, fetal deaths, fetal and placental weights, and sex ratio were observed between the groups. Morphological examinations of the fetuses demonstrated no significant difference in the incidences of abnormalities between the groups. No significant difference was found in the Zn content of fetal tissue between the control and high-dose groups. These results showed that a 15-day repeated oral dose of ZnOSM20(−) was minimally maternotoxic at dose of 200 mg/kg/day and 400 mg/kg/day. PMID:25565833

  10. Effects of maternal undernutrition during late pregnancy on the development and function of ovine fetal liver.

    PubMed

    Gao, Feng; Liu, Yingchun; Li, Lingyao; Li, Ming; Zhang, Chongzhi; Ao, Changjin; Hou, Xianzhi

    2014-06-30

    This study investigated the effects of maternal undernutrition during late pregnancy on the development and function of ovine fetal liver. Eighteen ewes with singleton fetuses were allocated to three groups at d 90 of pregnancy: Restricted Group 1 (RG1, 0.175MJMEkgBW(-0.75)d(-1), n=6), Restricted Group 2 (RG2, 0.33MJMEkgBW(-0.75)d(-1), n=6) and a Control Group (CG, ad libitum, 0.67MJMEkgBW(-0.75)d(-1), n=6). Fetuses were recovered at slaughter on d 140. Fetuses in the RG1 group exhibited decreased (P<0.05) liver weight, total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC), superoxide dismutase activity (SOD), cholinesterase (CHE), total protein (TP), globulin (GLB), and alanine transaminase (ALT). In addition, intermediate changes were found in the RG2 fetuses, including decreased liver weight, T-AOC and CHE (P<0.05). In contrast, increases in fetal hepatic collagen fibers and reticular fibers, glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), malondialdehyde (MDA), nitric oxide (NO), nitric oxide synthase (NOs), monoamine oxidase (MAO), albumin (ALB)/GLB, aspartate transaminase (AST), and AST/ALT were found in the RG1 fetuses (P<0.05). The RG2 fetuses had increased fetal hepatic collagen fibers, NOs and MAO (P<0.05) relative to the control fetuses. These results indicate that impaired fetal hepatic growth, fibrosis, antioxidant imbalance and dysfunction were associated with maternal undernutrition.

  11. Effect of zinc oxide nanoparticles on dams and embryo-fetal development in rats.

    PubMed

    Hong, Jeong-Sup; Park, Myeong-Kyu; Kim, Min-Seok; Lim, Jeong-Hyeon; Park, Gil-Jong; Maeng, Eun-Ho; Shin, Jae-Ho; Kim, Yu-Ri; Kim, Meyoung-Kon; Lee, Jong-Kwon; Park, Jin-A; Kim, Jong-Choon; Shin, Ho-Chul

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated the potential adverse effects of zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO(SM20[-]) NPs; negatively charged, 20 nm) on pregnant dams and embryo-fetal development after maternal exposure over the period of gestational days 5-19 with Sprague Dawley rats. ZnO(SM20(-)) NPs were administered to pregnant rats by gavage at 0 mg/kg/day, 100 mg/kg/day, 200 mg/kg/day, and 400 mg/kg/day. All dams were subjected to caesarean section on gestational day 20, and all the fetuses were examined for external, visceral, and skeletal alterations. Toxicity in the dams manifested as significantly decreased body weight at 400 mg/kg/day and decreased liver weight, and increased adrenal glands weight at 200 mg/kg/day and 400 mg/kg/day. However, no treatment-related difference in the number of corpora lutea, the number of implantation sites, the implantation rate (%), resorption, dead fetuses, litter size, fetal deaths, fetal and placental weights, and sex ratio were observed between the groups. Morphological examinations of the fetuses demonstrated no significant difference in the incidences of abnormalities between the groups. No significant difference was found in the Zn content of fetal tissue between the control and high-dose groups. These results showed that a 15-day repeated oral dose of ZnO(SM20(-)) was minimally maternotoxic at dose of 200 mg/kg/day and 400 mg/kg/day. PMID:25565833

  12. When two obese parents are worse than one! Impacts on embryo and fetal development.

    PubMed

    McPherson, N O; Bell, V G; Zander-Fox, D L; Fullston, T; Wu, L L; Robker, R L; Lane, M

    2015-09-15

    The prevalence of overweight and obesity in reproductive-age adults is increasing worldwide. While the effects of either paternal or maternal obesity on gamete health and subsequent fertility and pregnancy have been reported independently, the combination of having both parents overweight/obese on fecundity and offspring health has received minimal attention. Using a 2 × 2 study design in rodents we established the relative contributions of paternal and maternal obesity on fetal and embryo development and whether combined paternal and maternal obesity had an additive effect. Here, we show that parental obesity reduces fetal and placental weights without altering pregnancy establishment and is not dependent on an in utero exposure to a high-fat diet. Interestingly combined parental obesity seemed to accumulate both the negative influences of paternal and maternal obesity had alone on embryo and fetal health rather than an amplification, manifested as reduced embryo developmental competency, reduced blastocyst cell numbers, impaired mitochondrial function, and alterations to active and repressive embryonic chromatin marks, resulting in aberrant placental gene expression and reduced fetal liver mtDNA copy numbers. Further understanding both the maternal cytoplasmic and paternal genetic interactions during this early developmental time frame will be vital for understanding how developmental programming is regulated and for the proposition of interventions to mitigate their effects. PMID:26199280

  13. 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

  14. 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

  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. Maternal vitamin D deficiency alters fetal brain development in the BALB/c mouse.

    PubMed

    Hawes, Jazmin E; Tesic, Dijana; Whitehouse, Andrew J; Zosky, Graeme R; Smith, Jeremy T; Wyrwoll, Caitlin S

    2015-06-01

    Prenatal exposure to vitamin D is thought to be critical for optimal fetal neurodevelopment, yet vitamin D deficiency is apparent in a growing proportion of pregnant women. The aim of this study was to determine whether a mouse model of vitamin D-deficiency alters fetal neurodevelopment. Female BALB/c mice were placed on either a vitamin D control (2,195 IU/kg) or deficient (0 IU/kg) diet for 5 weeks prior to and during pregnancy. Fetal brains were collected at embryonic day (E) 14.5 or E17.5 for morphological and gene expression analysis. Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy reduced fetal crown-rump length and head size. Moreover, lateral ventricle volume was reduced in vitamin D-deficient foetuses. Expression of neurotrophin genes brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) and transforming growth factor-β1 (Tgf-β1) was altered, with Bdnf reduced at E14.5 and increased at E17.5 following vitamin D deficiency. Brain expression of forkhead box protein P2 (Foxp2), a gene known to be important in human speech and language, was also altered. Importantly, Foxp2 immunoreactive cells in the developing cortex were reduced in vitamin D-deficient female foetuses. At E17.5, brain tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) gene expression was reduced in females, as was TH protein localization (to identify dopamine neurons) in the substantia nigra of vitamin D-deficient female foetuses. Overall, we show that prenatal vitamin D-deficiency leads to alterations in fetal mouse brain morphology and genes related to neuronal survival, speech and language development, and dopamine synthesis. Vitamin D appears to play an important role in mouse neurodevelopment. PMID:25753408

  17. Role of the Placental Vitamin D Receptor in Modulating Feto-Placental Growth in Fetal Growth Restriction and Preeclampsia-Affected Pregnancies

    PubMed Central

    Murthi, Padma; Yong, Hannah E. J.; Ngyuen, Thy P. H.; Ellery, Stacey; Singh, Harmeet; Rahman, Rahana; Dickinson, Hayley; Walker, David W.; Davies-Tuck, Miranda; Wallace, Euan M.; Ebeling, Peter R.

    2016-01-01

    Fetal growth restriction (FGR) is a common pregnancy complication that affects up to 5% of pregnancies worldwide. Recent studies demonstrate that Vitamin D deficiency is implicated in reduced fetal growth, which may be rescued by supplementation of Vitamin D. Despite this, the pathway(s) by which Vitamin D modulate fetal growth remains to be investigated. Our own studies demonstrate that the Vitamin D receptor (VDR) is significantly decreased in placentae from human pregnancies complicated by FGR and contributes to abnormal placental trophoblast apoptosis and differentiation and regulation of cell-cycle genes in vitro. Thus, Vitamin D signaling is important for normal placental function and fetal growth. This review discusses the association of Vitamin D with fetal growth, the function of Vitamin D and its receptor in pregnancy, as well as the functional significance of a placental source of Vitamin D in FGR. Additionally, we propose that for Vitamin D to be clinically effective to prevent and manage FGR, the molecular mechanisms of Vitamin D and its receptor in modulating fetal growth requires further investigation. PMID:26924988

  18. Fetal alcohol syndrome

    MedlinePlus

    Alcohol in pregnancy; Alcohol-related birth defects; Fetal alcohol effects; FAS ... varies. Almost none of these babies have normal brain development. Infants and children with fetal alcohol syndrome have many different problems, which can be ...

  19. [Fetal magnetocardiography].

    PubMed

    van Leeuwen, P

    1997-09-01

    demonstrate the potential of the method in the examination of the fetal conductive system, arrhythmias, congential defects, growth, development of the autonomic system, acidosis and distress. Furthermore, first results in pathological cases indicate that it may become a valuable tool in prenatal diagnostics. Improvements in instrumentation as well as prospective multicenter studies with larger numbers of appropriate subjects are required to determine whether magnetocardiography will establish itself as a new tool in clinical fetal, surveillance.

  20. Steroidogenic factor 1 differentially regulates fetal and adult leydig cell development in male mice.

    PubMed

    Karpova, Tatiana; Ravichandiran, Kumarasamy; Insisienmay, Lovella; Rice, Daren; Agbor, Valentine; Heckert, Leslie L

    2015-10-01

    The nuclear receptor steroidogenic factor 1 (SF-1, AD4BP, NR5A1) is a key regulator of the endocrine axes and is essential for adrenal and gonad development. Partial rescue of Nr5a1(-/-) mice with an SF-1-expressing transgene caused a hypomorphic phenotype that revealed its roles in Leydig cell development. In contrast to controls, all male rescue mice (Nr5a1(-/-);tg(+/0)) showed varying signs of androgen deficiency, including spermatogenic arrest, cryptorchidism, and poor virilization. Expression of various Leydig cell markers measured by immunohistochemistry, Western blot analysis, and RT-PCR indicated fetal and adult Leydig cell development were differentially impaired. Whereas fetal Leydig cell development was delayed in Nr5a1(-/-);tg(+/0) embryos, it recovered to control levels by birth. In contrast, Sult1e1, Vcam1, and Hsd3b6 transcript levels in adult rescue testes indicated complete blockage in adult Leydig cell development. In addition, between Postnatal Days 8 and 12, peritubular cells expressing PTCH1, SF-1, and CYP11A1 were observed in control testes but not in rescue testes, indicating SF-1 is needed for either survival or differentiation of adult Leydig cell progenitors. Cultured prepubertal rat peritubular cells also expressed SF-1 and PTCH1, but Cyp11a1 was expressed only after treatment with cAMP and retinoic acid. Together, data show SF-1 is needed for proper development of fetal and adult Leydig cells but with distinct primary functions; in fetal Leydig cells, it regulates differentiation, whereas in adult Leydig cells it regulates progenitor cell formation and/or survival. PMID:26269506

  1. Steroidogenic factor 1 differentially regulates fetal and adult leydig cell development in male mice.

    PubMed

    Karpova, Tatiana; Ravichandiran, Kumarasamy; Insisienmay, Lovella; Rice, Daren; Agbor, Valentine; Heckert, Leslie L

    2015-10-01

    The nuclear receptor steroidogenic factor 1 (SF-1, AD4BP, NR5A1) is a key regulator of the endocrine axes and is essential for adrenal and gonad development. Partial rescue of Nr5a1(-/-) mice with an SF-1-expressing transgene caused a hypomorphic phenotype that revealed its roles in Leydig cell development. In contrast to controls, all male rescue mice (Nr5a1(-/-);tg(+/0)) showed varying signs of androgen deficiency, including spermatogenic arrest, cryptorchidism, and poor virilization. Expression of various Leydig cell markers measured by immunohistochemistry, Western blot analysis, and RT-PCR indicated fetal and adult Leydig cell development were differentially impaired. Whereas fetal Leydig cell development was delayed in Nr5a1(-/-);tg(+/0) embryos, it recovered to control levels by birth. In contrast, Sult1e1, Vcam1, and Hsd3b6 transcript levels in adult rescue testes indicated complete blockage in adult Leydig cell development. In addition, between Postnatal Days 8 and 12, peritubular cells expressing PTCH1, SF-1, and CYP11A1 were observed in control testes but not in rescue testes, indicating SF-1 is needed for either survival or differentiation of adult Leydig cell progenitors. Cultured prepubertal rat peritubular cells also expressed SF-1 and PTCH1, but Cyp11a1 was expressed only after treatment with cAMP and retinoic acid. Together, data show SF-1 is needed for proper development of fetal and adult Leydig cells but with distinct primary functions; in fetal Leydig cells, it regulates differentiation, whereas in adult Leydig cells it regulates progenitor cell formation and/or survival.

  2. Environmental issues affecting CCT development

    SciTech Connect

    Reidy, M.

    1997-12-31

    While no final legislative schedule has been set for the new Congress, two issues with strong environmental ramifications which are likely to affect the coal industry seem to top the list of closely watched debates in Washington -- the Environmental Protection Agency`s proposed new ozone and particulate matter standards and utility restructuring. The paper discusses the background of the proposed standards, public comment, the Congressional review of regulations, other legislative options, and utility restructuring.

  3. [The fetal proteins in prognosis of development of pneumonia in patients with ischemic stroke].

    PubMed

    Arkhipkin, A A; Liang, O V; Kochetov, A G

    2014-12-01

    The searching of laboratory predictors of pneumonia in patients with ischemic stroke is an actual issue. The fetal proteins can be such biomarkers. The study was carried out to determine significance of such fetal proteins as alpha-fetoprotein, cancerous embryonic antigen, CA 19-9, CA 125, CA 15-3, CA 72-4, CYFRA 21-1 for prognosis of development of pneumonia in patients with ischemic stroke. The study included sampling of 216 patients in acute period of ischemic stroke. All patients were measured level of fetal proteins in first day from onset of disease using electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. It is demonstrated that CA 72-4 has the most significance for prognosis of development of pneumonia from all analyzed proteins and complications of ischemic stroke. The probability ratio relatively to other fetal proteins added up to 0.460 (CL 95% 0.267-0.791, p=0.011), to other complications--0.629 (CL 95% 0.433-0.913, p=0.015). The threshold value of CA 72-4 for development of pneumonia added up to 0.82 (CL 95% 0.68-0.96, p=0.011) U/ml. Under lower level of CA 72-4 the risk of development of pneumonia increases. Under higher level of CA 72-4 there is statistical probability of absence of developmnent of pneumonia. The threshold value was lower than reference interval which in the study added up to 0.85-1.42 U/ml. The detection of level of CA 72-4 on first day after onset of stroke in patients can be recommended for establishing of group of high risk of development of pneumonia and implementation of therapeutic activities. PMID:25872261

  4. Maternal and Fetal Anti-brain Antibodies in Development and Disease

    PubMed Central

    Fox, Elizabeth; Amaral, David; Van de Water, Judy

    2012-01-01

    Recent evidence has emerged indicating that the maternal immune response can have a substantial deleterious impact on prenatal development (Croen et al., 2008). The maternal immune response is largely sequestered from the fetus. Maternal antibodies, specifically immunoglobulin G (IgG), are passed to the fetus to provide passive immunity throughout much of pregnancy. However, both protective and pathogenic autoantibodies have equal access to the fetus (Goines and Van de Water, 2010). If the mother has an underlying autoimmune disease or has reactivity to fetal antigens, autoantibodies produced before or during pregnancy can target tissues in the developing fetus. One such tissue is the fetal brain. The blood brain barrier (BBB) is developing during the fetal period allowing maternal antibodies to have direct access to the brain during gestation (Diamond et al., 2009; Braunschweig et al., 2011). It has been proposed that brain injury by circulating brain–specific maternal autoantibodies might underlie multiple congenital, developmental disorders (Lee et al., 2009). In this review, we will discuss the current state of research in the area of maternal autoantibodies and the development of autism. PMID:22911883

  5. Chronic exposure to simulated space conditions predominantly affects cytoskeleton remodeling and oxidative stress response in mouse fetal fibroblasts.

    PubMed

    Beck, Michaël; Moreels, Marjan; Quintens, Roel; Abou-El-Ardat, Khalil; El-Saghire, Hussein; Tabury, Kevin; Michaux, Arlette; Janssen, Ann; Neefs, Mieke; Van Oostveldt, Patrick; De Vos, Winnok H; Baatout, Sarah

    2014-08-01

    Microgravity and cosmic rays as found in space are difficult to recreate on earth. However, ground-based models exist to simulate space flight experiments. In the present study, an experimental model was utilized to monitor gene expression changes in fetal skin fibroblasts of murine origin. Cells were continuously subjected for 65 h to a low dose (55 mSv) of ionizing radiation (IR), comprising a mixture of high‑linear energy transfer (LET) neutrons and low-LET gamma-rays, and/or simulated microgravity using the random positioning machine (RPM), after which microarrays were performed. The data were analyzed both by gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) and single gene analysis (SGA). Simulated microgravity affected fetal murine fibroblasts by inducing oxidative stress responsive genes. Three of these genes are targets of the nuclear factor‑erythroid 2 p45-related factor 2 (Nrf2), which may play a role in the cell response to simulated microgravity. In addition, simulated gravity decreased the expression of genes involved in cytoskeleton remodeling, which may have been caused by the downregulation of the serum response factor (SRF), possibly through the Rho signaling pathway. Similarly, chronic exposure to low-dose IR caused the downregulation of genes involved in cytoskeleton remodeling, as well as in cell cycle regulation and DNA damage response pathways. Many of the genes or gene sets that were altered in the individual treatments (RPM or IR) were not altered in the combined treatment (RPM and IR), indicating a complex interaction between RPM and IR. PMID:24859186

  6. Gestational nanomaterial exposures: microvascular implications during pregnancy, fetal development and adulthood.

    PubMed

    Stapleton, P A

    2016-04-15

    Air pollution particulate matter and engineered nanomaterials are encompassed in the broad definition of xenobiotic particles. While the effects of perinatal air pollution exposure have been investigated, elucidation of outcomes associated with nanomaterial exposure, the focus of this review, is still in its infancy. As the potential uses of nanomaterials, and therefore exposures, increase exponentially so does the need for thorough evaluation. Up to this point, the majority of research in the field of cardiovascular nanotoxicology has focused on the coronary and vascular reactions to pulmonary exposures in young adult, healthy, male models; however, as intentional and unintentional contacts persist, the non-pulmonary risks to under-represented populations become a critical concern. Development of the maternal-fetal circulation during successful mammalian gestation is one of the most unusual complex, dynamic, and acutely demanding physiological systems. Fetal development in a hostile gestational environment can lead to systemic alterations, which may encourage adult disease. Therefore, the purpose of this review is to highlight the few knowns associated with gestational engineered nanomaterial exposure segmented by physiological periods of development or systemic targets: preconception and maternal, gestational, fetal and progeny (Abstract figure). Overall, the limited studies currently available provide compelling evidence of maternal, fetal and offspring dysfunctions after engineered nanomaterial exposure. Understanding the mechanisms associated with these multigenerational effects may allow pregnant women to safely reap the benefits of nanotechnology-enabled products and assist in the implementation of exposure controls to protect the mother and fetus allowing for development of safety by design for engineered nanomaterials. PMID:26332609

  7. Development of external surfaces of human cerebellar lobes in the fetal period.

    PubMed

    Nowakowska-Kotas, Marta; Kędzia, Alicja; Dudek, Krzysztof

    2014-10-01

    In the fetal period, development of cerebellar lobes may proceed dissimilarly due to possible differentiated origins of the cells and diversified times of their migration to certain cerebellum regions. This can cause various growth trajectories for the external surfaces of cerebellar lobes. The goal of the study was to describe the development of the external surface of cerebellum lobes and fissures delineating them in the fetal period. The material consisted of 101 fetuses (48 males and 53 females)-crown rump length 89-229 mm corresponding to 15-28 weeks of fetal life. The methods were based on anthropometric measurements and preparation techniques combined with elicited image computer analysis. At the largest values of the cerebellum posterior lobe surface, the most dynamic growth rate was observed in the case of the anterior lobe. Among the cerebellar lobes, proportional change was observed as well as a gradual increase in anterior lobe surface area and a simultaneous decrease in the surface area of the flocculonodular lobe part of the cerebellum total external surface. This paper presents the different growth trajectories of cerebellar lobes and demonstrates the importance of the primary fissure as a delineating mark for two regions with different dynamics of development.

  8. Fetal malnutrition: a possible cause of the fetal alcohol syndrome.

    PubMed

    Lin, G W

    1981-01-01

    The effects of ethanol ingestion during pregnancy on total folate levels in fetal tissues and on the concentrations of free amino acids in fetal and maternal plasma were examined in the rat. No differences were observed between the ethanol-fed and the control groups in total folates in fetal brain and liver. However, the concentration of fetal plasma histidine was reduced by 50% as a result of maternal ethanol consumption; the maternal plasma histidine level was not affected. It is suggested that fetal malnutrition in an essential amino acid, histidine, could impair fetal protein synthesis producing the fetal alcohol syndrome. PMID:7312865

  9. [Influence of smoking on pregnency course and fetal development].

    PubMed

    Urbaniak, Tomasz; Klejewski, Andrzej; Sobczyk, Katarzyna

    2015-01-01

    Smoking is a significant factor which affects not only reproduction and the process of pregnancy but also the offspring. Endangering for tobacco smoke and nicotine either passive or active has an important influence for shortening the time of pregnancy, the weight of the newborn and the Placenta. The occurrence of complications connected with smoking is probably correlated with the amount of cigarettes smoked per day. The aim of the paper was to analyse the influence of passive and active smoking on the course of pregnancy. The study involved a group of 113 women who gave birth in Gynaecological and Obstetrics Clinical Hospital of the Karol's Marcinkowski University of Medical Sciences in Poznan during the period from January to June 2011. Based on data gained from documentation and mothers three groups were separated: 22 women who were active smokers, 32 passive smokers and 59 women from control group who have never been smoking. There were analyzed selected obstetric data and term of pregnancy, condition and weight of newborn, blood pH and alkaline balance from umbilical vessels. In research there were no correlation between groups and/or results of researches of blood Ph, alkaline balance from umbilical vessels and the assessment of the newborn in Apgar score at 1, 3, 5 minute. In fact passive smoking women were younger (the average 27.84) than actively smoking woman (30.23) and non-smokers (30.25) (p = 0.03). The most of small as for their gestational age infants were in the group of active smoking women (14%). Non-smokers more often did have a miscarriage (84%) in the past than other groups (active smokers 60%, passive 33%) (p = 0.04). Smoking women usually come from countryside or small towns, they were not marriage and they had preterm delivery. In this group there was found the biggest percent of too small newborns for their gestational age--14%.

  10. Pregnancy Distress Gets Under Fetal Skin: Maternal Ambulatory Assessment & Sex Differences in Prenatal Development

    PubMed Central

    Doyle, Colleen; Werner, Elizabeth; Feng, Tianshu; Lee, Seonjoo; Altemus, Margaret; Isler, Joseph R.

    2015-01-01

    Prenatal maternal distress is associated with an at-risk developmental profile, yet there is little fetal evidence of this putative in utero process. Moreover, the biological transmission for these maternal effects remains uncertain. In a study of n = 125 pregnant adolescents (ages 14–19), ambulatory assessments of daily negative mood (anger, frustration, irritation, stress), physical activity, blood pressure, heart rate (every 30 min over 24 hr), and salivary cortisol (six samples) were collected at 13–16, 24–27, 34–37 gestational weeks. Corticotropin-releasing hormone, C-reactive protein, and interleukin 6 from blood draws and 20 min assessments of fetal heart rate (FHR) and movement were acquired at the latter two sessions. On average, fetuses showed development in the expected direction (decrease in FHR, increase in SD of FHR and in the correlation of movement and FHR (“coupling”)). Maternal distress characteristics were associated with variations in the level and trajectory of fetal measures, and results often differed by sex. For males, greater maternal 1st and 2nd session negative mood and 2nd session physical activity were associated with lower overall FHR (p <.01), while 1st session cortisol was associated with a smaller increase in coupling (p <.01), and overall higher levels (p = .05)—findings suggesting accelerated development. For females, negative mood, cortisol, and diastolic blood pressure were associated with indications of relatively less advanced and accelerated outcomes. There were no associations between negative mood and biological variables. These data indicate that maternal psychobiological status influences fetal development, with females possibly more variously responsive to different exposures. PMID:25945698

  11. Pregnancy distress gets under fetal skin: Maternal ambulatory assessment & sex differences in prenatal development.

    PubMed

    Doyle, Colleen; Werner, Elizabeth; Feng, Tianshu; Lee, Seonjoo; Altemus, Margaret; Isler, Joseph R; Monk, Catherine

    2015-07-01

    Prenatal maternal distress is associated with an at-risk developmental profile, yet there is little fetal evidence of this putative in utero process. Moreover, the biological transmission for these maternal effects remains uncertain. In a study of n = 125 pregnant adolescents (ages 14-19), ambulatory assessments of daily negative mood (anger, frustration, irritation, stress), physical activity, blood pressure, heart rate (every 30 min over 24 hr), and salivary cortisol (six samples) were collected at 13-16, 24-27, 34-37 gestational weeks. Corticotropin-releasing hormone, C-reactive protein, and interleukin 6 from blood draws and 20 min assessments of fetal heart rate (FHR) and movement were acquired at the latter two sessions. On average, fetuses showed development in the expected direction (decrease in FHR, increase in SD of FHR and in the correlation of movement and FHR ("coupling")). Maternal distress characteristics were associated with variations in the level and trajectory of fetal measures, and results often differed by sex. For males, greater maternal 1st and 2nd session negative mood and 2nd session physical activity were associated with lower overall FHR (p < .01), while 1st session cortisol was associated with a smaller increase in coupling (p < .01), and overall higher levels (p = .05)-findings suggesting accelerated development. For females, negative mood, cortisol, and diastolic blood pressure were associated with indications of relatively less advanced and accelerated outcomes. There were no associations between negative mood and biological variables. These data indicate that maternal psychobiological status influences fetal development, with females possibly more variously responsive to different exposures. PMID:25945698

  12. Advances in fetal surgery

    PubMed Central

    Pedreira, Denise Araujo Lapa

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT This paper discusses the main advances in fetal surgical therapy aiming to inform health care professionals about the state-of-the-art techniques and future challenges in this field. We discuss the necessary steps of technical evolution from the initial open fetal surgery approach until the development of minimally invasive techniques of fetal endoscopic surgery (fetoscopy). PMID:27074241

  13. Fetal behavioral teratology.

    PubMed

    Visser, Gerard H A; Mulder, Eduard J H; Tessa Ververs, F F

    2010-10-01

    Ultrasound studies of fetal motor behavior provide direct – in vivo – insight in the functioning of the motor component of the fetal central nervous system. In this article, studies are reviewed showing changes in the first timetable of appearance of fetal movements, changes in quality and/or quantity of movements and disturbances in the development of fetal behavioral states in case of endogenous malfunctions, maternal diseases and exogenous behavioral teratogens.

  14. Effect of alcohol exposure on fetal brain development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sudheendran, Narendran; Bake, Shameena; Miranda, Rajesh C.; Larin, Kirill V.

    2013-02-01

    Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can be severely damage to the brain development in fetuses. This study investigates the effects of maternal ethanol consumption on brain development in mice embryos. Pregnant mice at gestational day 12.5 were intragastrically gavaged with ethanol (3g/Kg bwt) twice daily for three consecutive days. On gestational day 14.5, fetuses were collected and fixed in 4% paraformaldehyde and imaged using a swept-source optical coherence tomography (SSOCT) system. 3D images of the mice embryo brain were obtained and the volumes of the left and right ventricles of the brain were measured. The average volumes of the left and the right volumes of 5 embryos each alcohol-exposed and control embryos were measured to be 0.35 and 0.15 mm3, respectively. The results suggest that the left and right ventricle volumes of brain are much larger in the alcohol-exposed embryos as compared to control embryos indicating alcohol-induced developmental delay.

  15. Synaptic development and neuronal myelination are altered with growth restriction in fetal guinea pigs.

    PubMed

    Piorkowska, Karolina; Thompson, Jennifer; Nygard, Karen; Matushewski, Brad; Hammond, Robert; Richardson, Bryan

    2014-01-01

    This study examines aberrant synaptogenesis and myelination of neuronal connections as possible links to neurological sequelae in growth-restricted fetuses. Pregnant guinea pig sows were subjected to uterine blood flow restriction or sham surgeries at midgestation. The animals underwent necropsy at term with fetuses grouped according to body weight and brain-to-liver weight ratios as follows: appropriate for gestational age (n = 12); asymmetrically fetal growth restricted (aFGR; n = 8); symmetrically fetal growth restricted (sFGR; n = 8), and large for gestational age (n = 8). Fetal brains were perfusion fixed and paraffin embedded to determine immunoreactivity for synaptophysin and synaptopodin as markers of synaptic development and maturation, respectively, and for myelin basic protein as a marker for myelination, which was further assessed using Luxol fast blue staining. The most pertinent findings were that growth-restricted guinea pig fetuses exhibited reduced synaptogenesis and synaptic maturation as well as reduced myelination, which were primarily seen in subareas of the hippocampus and associated efferent tracts. These neurodevelopmental changes were more pronounced in the sFGR compared to the aFGR animals. Accordingly, altered hippocampal development involving synaptogenesis and myelination may represent a mechanism by which cognitive deficits manifest in human growth-restricted offspring in later life.

  16. Effect of water temperature on exercise-induced maternal hyperthermia on fetal development in rats.

    PubMed

    Mottola, M F; Fitzgerald, H M; Wilson, N C; Taylor, A W

    1993-07-01

    The objective of this study was to determine if water temperature influenced exercise-induced hyperthermia in swim-trained pregnant rats and the resulting fetal development. Pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats with 6 weeks pre-pregnancy training were exercised daily from day 1 to day 18 of gestation in water that was 34.6 +/- 0.4 degrees C (Cool Water Swimmers--CWS) or 37.6 +/- 0.1 degrees C (Warm Water Swimmers--WWS), for one hour/day. During this time period another group of pregnant rats was immersed to the neck in warm water (37.6 +/- 0.2 degrees C) (Warm Water Controls--WWC). On day 19 of gestation all animals were sacrificed and fetal development assessed. Maternal exercise in warm water elevated maternal body core temperature by 2.3 +/- 0.1 degrees C above resting values, with an increase in fetal abnormalities compared to the same exercise intensity in cool water. Fifty-eight percent of the abnormal fetuses and 60% of the resorption sites were found in the WWS group. Of the abnormalities determined, 65% were from the WWS group and 45% of these fetuses showed micrencephaly. Results suggest cool water may regulate maternal body temperature during swimming exercise and that swimming in warm water should be avoided during gestation because of potential teratogenic effects.

  17. Development of the stria vascularis and potassium regulation in the human fetal cochlea: Insights into hereditary sensorineural hearing loss

    PubMed Central

    de Groot, John C.M.J.; van Iperen, Liesbeth; Huisman, Margriet A.; Frijns, Johan H.M.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) is one of the most common congenital disorders in humans, afflicting one in every thousand newborns. The majority is of heritable origin and can be divided in syndromic and nonsyndromic forms. Knowledge of the expression profile of affected genes in the human fetal cochlea is limited, and as many of the gene mutations causing SNHL likely affect the stria vascularis or cochlear potassium homeostasis (both essential to hearing), a better insight into the embryological development of this organ is needed to understand SNHL etiologies. We present an investigation on the development of the stria vascularis in the human fetal cochlea between 9 and 18 weeks of gestation (W9–W18) and show the cochlear expression dynamics of key potassium‐regulating proteins. At W12, MITF+/SOX10+/KIT+ neural‐crest‐derived melanocytes migrated into the cochlea and penetrated the basement membrane of the lateral wall epithelium, developing into the intermediate cells of the stria vascularis. These melanocytes tightly integrated with Na+/K+‐ATPase‐positive marginal cells, which started to express KCNQ1 in their apical membrane at W16. At W18, KCNJ10 and gap junction proteins GJB2/CX26 and GJB6/CX30 were expressed in the cells in the outer sulcus, but not in the spiral ligament. Finally, we investigated GJA1/CX43 and GJE1/CX23 expression, and suggest that GJE1 presents a potential new SNHL associated locus. Our study helps to better understand human cochlear development, provides more insight into multiple forms of hereditary SNHL, and suggests that human hearing does not commence before the third trimester of pregnancy. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 75: 1219–1240, 2015 PMID:25663387

  18. Prenatal development of the fetal thoracic sympathetic trunk in sheep (Ovis aries).

    PubMed

    Nourinezhad, Jamal; Gilanpour, Hassan; Radmehr, Bijan

    2013-10-01

    This study aims at clarifying the detailed morphological and topographical changes of the thoracic part of the sympathetic trunk of sheep during fetal development. Bilateral micro-dissection of the thoracic sympathetic trunk was performed on 40 sheep fetuses aged 6-20 weeks (18 males and 22 females) under a stereomicroscope. The cervicothoracic ganglion (CTG) was observed on 75/80 sides (93.7%) and was composed of the caudal cervical and the first thoracic ganglia on 45/80 sides (56.2%), and of the caudal cervical and the first two thoracic ganglia on 30/80 sides (37.5%). The presence of the two last (12th-13th) thoracic ganglia was not constant. The influence of the sex, the side of the body, and the ages of the fetus on the morphology and topography of the thoracic sympathetic trunk in sheep were identified. In spite of the differences in the morphology and topography of the thoracic sympathetic trunk between early and late fetal developments, the morphology and topography of the older fetal thoracic sympathetic trunk tended to be similar to that of the adult sheep. To comprehend the comparative morphology of the fetal thoracic sympathetic trunk more completely, our results were compared with previous studies. Consequently, differences and similarities in the composition and position of the CTG, presence of single caudal cervical ganglion without fusion to the thoracic ganglia, and absence of the thoracic ganglia, and presence of splitting of the interganglionic branch were found among sheep, pig, and human fetuses. Therefore, sheep might be the appropriate animal model to be applied in human sympathetic nervous system. PMID:23639816

  19. The effects of nicotine on human fetal development.

    PubMed

    Holbrook, Bradley D

    2016-06-01

    Maternal smoking during pregnancy continues to represent a major public health concern. Nicotine is extremely harmful to the developing fetus through many different mechanisms, and the harms increase with later gestational age at exposure. Pregnancies complicated by maternal nicotine use are more likely to have significant adverse outcomes. Nicotine-exposed children tend to have several health problems throughout their lives, including impaired function of the endocrine, reproductive, respiratory, cardiovascular, and neurologic systems. Poor academic performance and significant behavioral disruptions are also common, including ADHD, aggressive behaviors, and future substance abuse. To diminish the adverse effects from cigarette smoking, some women are turning to electronic cigarettes, a new trend that is increasing in popularity worldwide. They are largely perceived as being safer to use in pregnancy than traditional cigarettes, although there is not adequate evidence to support this claim. At this time, electronic cigarette use during pregnancy cannot be recommended. Birth Defects Research (Part C) 108:181-192, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27297020

  20. Development of the stria vascularis and potassium regulation in the human fetal cochlea: Insights into hereditary sensorineural hearing loss.

    PubMed

    Locher, Heiko; de Groot, John C M J; van Iperen, Liesbeth; Huisman, Margriet A; Frijns, Johan H M; Chuva de Sousa Lopes, Susana M

    2015-11-01

    Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) is one of the most common congenital disorders in humans, afflicting one in every thousand newborns. The majority is of heritable origin and can be divided in syndromic and nonsyndromic forms. Knowledge of the expression profile of affected genes in the human fetal cochlea is limited, and as many of the gene mutations causing SNHL likely affect the stria vascularis or cochlear potassium homeostasis (both essential to hearing), a better insight into the embryological development of this organ is needed to understand SNHL etiologies. We present an investigation on the development of the stria vascularis in the human fetal cochlea between 9 and 18 weeks of gestation (W9-W18) and show the cochlear expression dynamics of key potassium-regulating proteins. At W12, MITF+/SOX10+/KIT+ neural-crest-derived melanocytes migrated into the cochlea and penetrated the basement membrane of the lateral wall epithelium, developing into the intermediate cells of the stria vascularis. These melanocytes tightly integrated with Na+/K+-ATPase-positive marginal cells, which started to express KCNQ1 in their apical membrane at W16. At W18, KCNJ10 and gap junction proteins GJB2/CX26 and GJB6/CX30 were expressed in the cells in the outer sulcus, but not in the spiral ligament. Finally, we investigated GJA1/CX43 and GJE1/CX23 expression, and suggest that GJE1 presents a potential new SNHL associated locus. Our study helps to better understand human cochlear development, provides more insight into multiple forms of hereditary SNHL, and suggests that human hearing does not commence before the third trimester of pregnancy. PMID:25663387

  1. Embryo-fetal development toxicity of honokiol microemulsion intravenously administered to pregnant rats.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qianqian; Ye, Xiangfeng; Wang, Lingzhi; Peng, Bangjie; Zhang, Yingxue; Bao, Jie; Li, Wanfang; Wei, Jinfeng; Wang, Aiping; Jin, Hongtao; Chen, Shizhong

    2016-02-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the embryo-fetal development toxicity of honokiol microemulsion. The drug was intravenously injected to pregnant SD rats at dose levels of 0, 200, 600 and 2000 μg/kg/day from day 6-15 of gestation. All the pregnant animals were observed for body weights and any abnormal changes and subjected to caesarean-section on gestation day (GD) 20; all fetuses obtained from caesarean-section were assessed by external inspection, visceral and skeletal examinations. No treatment-related external alterations as well as visceral and skeletal malformations were observed in honokiol microemulsion groups. There was no significant difference in the body weight gain of the pregnant rats, average number of corpora lutea, and the gravid uterus weight in the honokiol microemulsion groups compared with the vehicle control group. However, at a dose level of 2000 μg/kg/day, there was embryo-fetal developmental toxicity observed, including a decrease in the body length and tail length of fetuses. In conclusion, the no-observed-adverse-effect level (NOAEL) of honokiol microemulsion is 600 μg/kg/day, 75 times above the therapeutic dosage and it has embryo-fetal toxicity at a dose level of 2000 μg/kg/day, which is approximately 250 times above the therapeutic dosage.

  2. Cytogenetic analysis of trophoblasts by comparative genomic hybridization in embryo-fetal development anomalies.

    PubMed

    Tabet, A C; Aboura, A; Dauge, M C; Audibert, F; Coulomb, A; Batallan, A; Couturier-Turpin, M H; Feldmann, G; Tachdjian, G

    2001-08-01

    Cytogenetic studies of spontaneous abortions or intrauterine fetal death depend on conventional tissue culturing and karyotyping. This technique has limitations such as culture failure and selective growth of maternal cells. Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) using specific probes permits diagnosis of aneuploidies but is limited to one or a few chromosomal regions. Comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) provides an overview of chromosomal gains and losses in a single hybridization directly from DNA samples. In a prospective study, we analyzed by CGH trophoblast cells from 21 fetuses in cases of spontaneous abortions, intrauterine fetal death or polymalformed syndrome. Six numerical chromosomal abnormalities including one trisomy 7, one trisomy 10, three trisomies 18, one trisomy 21 and one monosomy X have been correctly identified by CGH. One structural abnormality of the long arm of chromosome 1 has been characterized by CGH. One triploidy and two balanced pericentromeric inversions of chromosome 9 have not been identified by CGH. Sexual chromosomal constitutions were concordant by both classical cytogenetic technique and CGH. Contribution of trophoblast analysis by CGH in embryo-fetal development anomalies is discussed. PMID:11536256

  3. The human placenta is a hematopoietic organ during the embryonic and fetal periods of development

    PubMed Central

    Bárcena, Alicia; Kapidzic, Mirhan; Muench, Marcus O.; Gormley, Matthew; Scott, Marvin A.; Weier, Jingly F.; Ferlatte, Christy; Fisher, Susan J.

    2008-01-01

    We studied the potential role of the human placenta as a hematopoietic organ during embryonic and fetal development. Placental samples contained two cell populations—CD34++CD45low and CD34+CD45low—that were found in chorionic villi and in the chorioamniotic membrane. CD34++CD45low cells express many cell surface antigens found on multipotent primitive hematopoietic progenitors and hematopoietic stem cells. CD34++CD45low cells contained colony-forming units culture (CFU-C) with myeloid and erythroid potential in clonogenic in vitro assays, and they generated CD56+ natural killer cells and CD19+CD20+sIgM+ B cells in polyclonal liquid cultures. CD34+CD45low cells mostly comprised erythroid- and myeloid-committed progenitors, while CD34− cells lacked CFU-C. The placenta-derived precursors were fetal in origin, as demonstrated by FISH using repeat-sequence chromosome-specific probes for X and Y. The number of CD34++CD45low cells increased with gestational age, but their density (cells per gram of tissue) peaked at 5–8 wk, decreasing more than sevenfold at the onset of the fetal phase (9 wk of gestation). In addition to multipotent progenitors, the placenta contained myeloid- and erythroid-committed progenitors indicative of active in situ hematopoiesis. These data suggest that the human placenta is an important hematopoietic organ, raising the possibility of banking placental hematopoietic stem cells along with cord blood for transplantation. PMID:19073167

  4. 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.

  5. Effects of 2-bromopropane on pregnant dams and embryo-fetal development in the ICR mouse.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jong C; Shin, Dong H; Heo, Jeong D; Kim, Choong Y; Chung, Moon K; Kim, Hyeon Y; Park, Seung C; Yun, Hyo I; Kim, Mu K

    2004-01-01

    2-Bromopropane (2-BP), a halogenated propane analogue, is a substitute for chlorofluorocarbones (CFCs) which have a great potential to destroy the ozone layer and to warm the earth's environment. The present study was carried out to investigate the potential adverse effects of 2-BP on pregnant dams and embryo-fetal development after maternal exposure during the gestational days (GD) 6-17 in ICR mice. The test chemical was administered subcutaneously to pregnant mice at dose levels of 0, 500, 1000, and 1500mg/kg per day. All dams were subjected to caesarean section on GD 18 and their fetuses were examined for external, visceral and skeletal abnormalities. Throughout the study period, no treatment-related deaths were found in the groups treated with 2-BP. Pregnant mice of the 1000 and 1500mg/kg groups showed treatment-related clinical signs such as rough fur and swelling, induration, crust formation, and ulceration in the injection sites which were dose dependent in incidence and severity. A decrease in fetal weight, an increase in fetal malformation, and an increase in fetal ossification delay were found at a dose level of 1500mg/kg per day in a dose-dependent manner. On the contrary, there were no adverse effects on body weight, body weight gain, gravid uterine weight, food consumption, gross finding at any dose tested. In addition, no treatment-related effects on the number of corpora lutea, implantations, resorptions, dead fetuses, live fetuses, and sex ratio of live fetuses were observed. These findings suggest that 2-BP was embryotoxic and teratogenic at a minimally maternally toxic dose (i.e., 1500mg/kg per day) in ICR mice. In the present experimental conditions, the no-observed-adverse-effect level of 2-BP is considered to be 500mg/kg per day for dams and 1000mg/kg per day for fetuses, respectively.

  6. 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

  7. Intrauterine Cannabis Exposure Affects Fetal Growth Trajectories: The Generation R Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    El Marroun, Hanan; Tiemeier, Henning; Steegers, Eric A. P.; Jaddoe, Vincent W. V.; Hofman, Albert; Verhulst, Frank C.; van den Brink, Wim; Huizink, Anja C.

    2009-01-01

    Objective: Cannabis is the most commonly consumed illicit drug among pregnant women. Intrauterine exposure to cannabis may result in risks for the developing fetus. The importance of intrauterine growth on subsequent psychological and behavioral child development has been demonstrated. This study examined the relation between maternal cannabis use…

  8. The expression of thyroid hormone transporters in the human fetal cerebral cortex during early development and in N-Tera-2 neurodifferentiation.

    PubMed

    Chan, S-Y; Martín-Santos, A; Loubière, L S; González, A M; Stieger, B; Logan, A; McCabe, C J; Franklyn, J A; Kilby, M D

    2011-06-01

    Associations of neurological impairment with mutations in the thyroid hormone (TH) transporter, MCT8, and with maternal hypothyroxinaemia, suggest that THs are crucial for human fetal brain development. It has been postulated that TH transporters regulate the cellular supply of THs within the fetal brain during development. This study describes the expression of TH transporters in the human fetal cerebral cortex (7–20 weeks gestation) and during retinoic acid induced neurodifferentiation of the human N-Tera-2 (NT2) cell line, in triiodothyronine (T3) replete and T3-depleted media. Compared with adult cortex, mRNAs encoding OATP1A2, OATP1C1, OATP3A1 variant 2, OATP4A1, LAT2 and CD98 were reduced in fetal cortex at different gestational ages, whilst mRNAs encoding MCT8, MCT10, OATP3A1 variant 1 and LAT1 were similar. From the early first trimester, immunohistochemistry localised MCT8 and MCT10 to the microvasculature and to undifferentiated CNS cells. With neurodifferentiation, NT2 cells demonstrated declining T3 uptake, accompanied by reduced expressions of MCT8, LAT1, CD98 and OATP4A1. T3 depletion significantly reduced MCT10 and LAT2 mRNA expression at specific time points during neurodifferentiation but there were no effects upon T3 uptake, neurodifferentiation marker expression or neurite lengths and branching. MCT8 repression also did not affect NT2 neurodifferentiation. In conclusion, many TH transporters are expressed in the human fetal cerebral cortex from the first trimester, which could regulate cellular TH supply during early development. However, human NT2 neurodifferentiation is not dependent upon T3 or MCT8 and there were no compensatory changes to promote T3 uptake in a T3-depleted environment. PMID:21486766

  9. Maternal and fetal influences on uterine and conceptus development in the cow: I. Growth of tissues of the gravid uterus.

    PubMed

    Ferrell, C L

    1991-05-01

    Objectives of this study were to evaluate maternal and fetal influences on development of gravid uterine tissues of cows. Brahman cows with Brahman or Charolais fetuses and Charolais cows with Brahman or Charolais fetuses were used. Cows were killed 232 +/- .5 or 271 +/- .7 d after mating. The gravid uterus of each cow was weighed and dissected into its component parts. Weights of the fetus, fetal membranes, cotyledons, caruncles, and uterus were recorded as were weights of the fetal liver, heart, kidneys, spleen, lungs, stomach complex, intestines, and semitendinosus muscle. Ribonucleic acid, DNA, and protein concentrations in caruncles, cotyledons, liver, heart, kidney, and semitendinosus muscle were determined. Data were analyzed by analysis of variance; breed of cow (C), breed of fetus (F), day of gestation (D), and all interactions were included in the model as fixed effects. Fetal weights were influenced (P less than .003) by C, F, D, and C x D and tended (P = .07) to be influenced by C X F X D. Weight, RNA, DNA, and protein contents of selected fetal tissues followed similar patterns of significance. Thus, both maternal and fetal genotype influenced fetal growth. Greater influences of the maternal system and interrelationships between maternal and fetal systems were observed at the latter stage of gestation. Placentomal (caruncle + cotyledon) weights were greater for Charolais than for Brahman cows (P less than .02) or fetuses (P less than .001) and were greater (P less than .01) at 271 than at 232 d. Caruncular weights followed similar patterns; however, fetal genotype was the only significant source of variation in cotyledonary weight, RNA, DNA, or protein content.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  10. Affective decision-making on the Iowa gambling task in children and adolescents with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

    PubMed

    Kully-Martens, Katrina; Treit, Sarah; Pei, Jacqueline; Rasmussen, Carmen

    2013-02-01

    Individuals with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) have difficulties with cognitive-based executive function (EF) tasks. The goal of the present study was to determine if children with FASD have impairments on the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), which measures affective EF (i.e., decision-making and risk-taking). Individuals with FASD (n = 31) and healthy controls (n = 31), aged 8-17 completed the IGT. Children with FASD were significantly impaired on the IGT compared to controls. Over the course of the task, control scores improved, whereas children with FASD exhibited an overall decrease in scores. Scores increased significantly with age in the control group but did not differ significantly with age for FASD participants. Children with FASD exhibited decision-making and risk-taking impairments on a hot EF task. Children with FASD did not appear to learn from negative experiences and shift to making more positive decisions over time and their performance did not improve with age. The implications of poor task performance and a lack of age-related findings in children with FASD are discussed.

  11. Development of Eimeria nieschulzi (Coccidia, Apicomplexa) Gamonts and Oocysts in Primary Fetal Rat Cells.

    PubMed

    Chen, Hong; Wiedmer, Stefanie; Hanig, Sacha; Entzeroth, Rolf; Kurth, Michael

    2013-01-01

    The in vitro production of gametocytes and oocysts of the apicomplexan parasite genus Eimeria is still a challenge in coccidiosis research. Until today, an in vitro development of gametocytes or oocysts had only been shown in some Eimeria species. For several mammalian Eimeria species, partial developments could be achieved in different cell types, but a development up to gametocytes or oocysts is still lacking. This study compares several permanent cell lines with primary fetal cells of the black rat (Rattus norvegicus) concerning the qualitative in vitro development of the rat parasite Eimeria nieschulzi. With the help of transgenic parasites, the developmental progress was documented. The selected Eimeria nieschulzi strain constitutively expresses the yellow fluorescent protein and a macrogamont specific upregulated red tandem dimer tomato. In the majority of all investigated host cells the development stopped at the second merozoite stage. In a mixed culture of cells derived from inner fetal organs the development of schizont generations I-IV, macrogamonts, and oocysts were observed in crypt-like organoid structures. Microgamonts and microgametes could not be observed and oocysts did not sporulate under air supply. By immunohistology, we could confirm that wild-type E. nieschulzi stages can be found in the crypts of the small intestine. The results of this study may be helpful for characterization of native host cells and for development of an in vitro cultivation system for Eimeria species. PMID:23862053

  12. Involvement of the SLIT/ROBO pathway in follicle development in the fetal ovary

    PubMed Central

    Dickinson, Rachel E; Hryhorskyj, Lynn; Tremewan, Hannah; Hogg, Kirsten; Thomson, Axel A; McNeilly, Alan S; Duncan, W Colin

    2010-01-01

    In humans and domestic mammals pivotal processes in ovary development, including primordial follicle assembly, occur prenatally. These events are essential for determining fertility in adult life however they remain poorly understood at the mechanistic level. In mammals the SLITs (SLIT1, SLIT2, SLIT3) and their ROBO (ROBO1, ROBO2, ROBO3/RIG-1, ROBO4/MAGIC ROBO) receptors regulate neural, leukocyte, vascular smooth muscle cell and endothelial cell migration. In addition the SLIT/ROBO pathway has functional roles in embryonic development and in the adult ovary by inhibiting cell migration and promoting apoptosis. We therefore characterised follicle formation and investigated the expression and localisation of the ROBO/SLIT pathway in the ovine fetal ovary. Using RT-PCR, we identified SLIT2, SLIT3, ROBO1, ROBO2 and ROBO4 in sheep ovaries harvested across gestation. The real-time quantitative PCR results implied that ROBO2 and ROBO4 expression were elevated during the early stages of follicle formation and stayed abundant during primordial follicle maturation (P<0.05). Immunohistochemistry examination demonstrated that ROBO1 was localised to the pre-granulosa cells while ROBO2, ROBO4 and SLIT2 were expressed in the oocytes of the developing primordial follicle. This indicates that in the fetal ovary SLIT-ROBO signalling may require an autocrine and paracrine interaction. Furthermore at the time of increased SLIT-ROBO expression there was a significant reduction in the number of proliferating oocytes in the developing ovary (P<0.0001). Overall these results suggest, for the first time, that the SLIT-ROBO pathway is expressed at the time of follicle formation during fetal ovary development. PMID:19900988

  13. Fetal programming of overweight through the microbiome: boys are disproportionately affected.

    PubMed

    Kozyrskyj, A L; Kalu, R; Koleva, P T; Bridgman, S L

    2016-02-01

    Maternal and childhood obesity in pregnancy are worrisome public health issues facing our world today. New gene sequencing methods have advanced our knowledge of the disruptive effect of birth interventions and postnatal exposures on the maturation of gut microbiota and immunity during infancy. Yet, little is known about the impact of maternal pregnancy overweight on gut microbes and related processes, and how this may affect overweight risk in offspring. To address this gap in knowledge, we surveyed human studies for evidence in children, infants and pregnant women to piece together the limited literature and generate hypotheses for future investigation. From this literature, we learned that higher Lactobacillus yet lower Bacteroides spp. colonization of gut microbiota within 3 months of birth predicted risk for infant and child overweight. The abundance of bifidobacteria and staphylococci also appeared to play a role in the association with overweight, as did infant fecal immunoglobulin A levels, glycoproteins of the gut immune system that are acquired from breast milk and produced by the infant. We proposed that pregnancy overweight influences the compositional structure of gut microbiota in infants through vertical transfer of microbiota and/or their metabolites during pregnancy, delivery and breastfeeding. Finally, we brought forward emerging evidence on sex dimorphism, as well as ethnic and geographic variation, in reported associations between maternal overweight-induced gut microbiota dysbiosis and overweight risk.

  14. Echocardiographic Assessment of Embryonic and Fetal Mouse Heart Development: A Focus on Haemodynamics and Morphology

    PubMed Central

    Hahurij, Nathan D.; Calkoen, Emmeline E.; Jongbloed, Monique R. M.; Roest, Arno A. W.; Gittenberger-de Groot, Adriana C.; Poelmann, Robert E.; De Ruiter, Marco C.; van Munsteren, Conny J.; Steendijk, Paul; Blom, Nico A.

    2014-01-01

    Background. Heart development is a complex process, and abnormal development may result in congenital heart disease (CHD). Currently, studies on animal models mainly focus on cardiac morphology and the availability of hemodynamic data, especially of the right heart half, is limited. Here we aimed to assess the morphological and hemodynamic parameters of normal developing mouse embryos/fetuses by using a high-frequency ultrasound system. Methods. A timed breeding program was initiated with a WT mouse line (Swiss/129Sv background). All recordings were performed transabdominally, in isoflurane sedated pregnant mice, in hearts of sequential developmental stages: 12.5, 14.5, and 17.5 days after conception (n = 105). Results. Along development the heart rate increased significantly from 125 ± 9.5 to 219 ± 8.3 beats per minute. Reliable flow measurements could be performed across the developing mitral and tricuspid valves and outflow tract. M-mode measurements could be obtained of all cardiac compartments. An overall increase of cardiac systolic and diastolic function with embryonic/fetal development was observed. Conclusion. High-frequency echocardiography is a promising and useful imaging modality for structural and hemodynamic analysis of embryonic/fetal mouse hearts. PMID:24707208

  15. Stimulatory Effects of Coumestrol on Embryonic and Fetal Development Through AKT and ERK1/2 MAPK Signal Transduction.

    PubMed

    Lim, Whasun; Song, Gwonhwa

    2016-12-01

    Successful establishment of pregnancy is required for fetal-maternal interactions regulating implantation, embryonic development and placentation. A uterine environment with insufficient growth factors and nutrients increases the incidence of intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) leading to an impaired uterine environment. In the present study, we demonstrated the effects of the phytoestrogen coumestrol on conceptus development in the pig that is regarded as an excellent biomedical animal model for research on IUGR. Results of this study indicated that coumestrol induced migration of porcine trophectoderm (pTr) cells in a concentration-dependent manner. In response to coumestrol, the phosphorylation of AKT, P70S6K, S6, ERK1/2 MAPK, and P90RSK proteins were activated in pTr cells and ERK1/2 MAPK and P90RSK phosphorylation was prolonged for a longer period than for the other proteins. To identify the signal transduction pathway induced by coumestrol, pharmacological inhibitors U0126 (an ERK1/2 inhibitor) and LY294002 (a PI3K inhibitor) were used to pretreat pTr cells. The results showed that coumestrol-induced phosphorylation of ERK1/2 MAPK and P90RSK was blocked by U0126. In addition, the increased phosphorylation in response to coumestrol was completely inhibited following pre-treatment incubation of pTr cells in the presence of LY294002 and U0126. Furthermore, these two inhibitors suppressed the ability of coumestrol to induce migration of pTr cells. Collectively, these findings suggest that coumestrol affects embryonic development through activation of the PI3K/AKT and ERK1/2 MAPK cell signal transduction pathways and improvement in the uterine environment through coumestrol supplementation may provide beneficial effects of enhancing embryonic and fetal survival and development. J. Cell. Physiol. 231: 2733-2740, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Effect of maternal undernutrition in early gestation on the development of fetal myofibres in the guinea-pig.

    PubMed

    Dwyer, C M; Madgwick, A J; Ward, S S; Stickland, N C

    1995-01-01

    alone (ER), therefore, resulted in a biceps brachii fibre number deficit similar to that caused by restriction throughout gestation only if the period of restriction extended as far as Day 25. Furthermore, fetal weight at term was impaired by short-term nutritional restriction in early gestation. Restriction in the last two-thirds of gestation, following an ad libitum diet in the first third, caused a reduction in biceps fibre number and had a severe effect on the maintenance of pregnancy. It is probable that undernutrition in early gestation had an indirect effect on muscle fibre number by affecting the development of the placenta. This could be avoided by nutritional rehabilitation before Day 25 of gestation, but appeared to be permanent thereafter. Undernutrition after Day 25 may have had a direct effect on the development of secondary fibres.

  17. Growth in Inuit children exposed to polychlorinated biphenyls and lead during fetal development and childhood

    PubMed Central

    Dallaire, Renée; Dewailly, Éric; Ayotte, Pierre; Forget-Dubois, Nadine; Jacobson, Sandra W.; Jacobson, Joseph L.; Muckle, Gina

    2014-01-01

    Background Because of their geographical location and traditional lifestyle, Canadian Inuit children are highly exposed to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and lead (Pb), environmental contaminants that are thought to affect fetal and child growth. We examined the associations of these exposures with the fetal and postnatal growth of Inuit children. Methods We conducted a prospective cohort study among Inuit from Nunavik (Arctic Québec). Mothers were recruited at their first prenatal visit; children (n = 290) were evaluated at birth and at 8–14 years of age. Concentrations of PCB 153 and Pb were determined in umbilical cord and child blood. Weight, height and head circumference were measured at birth and during childhood. Results Cord blood PCB 153 concentrations were not associated with anthropometric measurements at birth or school age, but child blood PCB 153 concentrations were associated with reduced weight, height and head circumference during childhood. There was no association between cord Pb levels and anthropometric outcomes at birth, but cord blood Pb was related to smaller height and a tendency to a smaller head circumference during childhood. Interpretation Our results suggest that chronic exposure to PCBs during childhood is negatively associated with skeletal growth and weight, while prenatal Pb exposure is related to reduce growth during childhood. This study is the first to link prenatal Pb exposure to poorer growth in school-age children. PMID:25042032

  18. Genetic ablation of androgen receptor signaling in fetal Leydig cell lineage affects Leydig cell functions in adult testis.

    PubMed

    Kaftanovskaya, Elena M; Lopez, Carolina; Ferguson, Lydia; Myhr, Courtney; Agoulnik, Alexander I

    2015-06-01

    It is commonly accepted that androgen-producing fetal Leydig cells (FLC) are substituted by adult Leydig cells (ALC) during perinatal testis development. The mechanisms influencing this process are unclear. We used mice with a retinoid acid receptor 2 promoter-Cre recombinase transgene (Rarb-cre) expressed in embryonic FLC precursors, but not in postnatal testis, and a dual fluorescent Cre recombinase reporter to label FLC and ALC in vivo. All FLC in newborn testis had the recombinant, whereas the majority of LC in adult testis had the nonrecombinant reporter. Primary LC cultures from adult testis had either recombinant (20%) or nonrecombinant (80%) cells, demonstrating that the FLC survive in adult testis and their ontogeny is distinct from ALC. Conditional inactivation of androgen receptor (AR) allele using the Rarb-cre transgene resulted in a 50% increase of AR-negative LC in adult testis. The mutant males became infertile with age, with all LC in older testis showing signs of incomplete differentiation, such as a large number of big lipid droplets, an increase of finger-like protrusions, and a misexpression of steroidogenic or FLC- and ALC-specific genes. We propose that the antiandrogenic exposure during early development may similarly result in an increase of FLC in adult testis, leading to abnormal LC differentiation.

  19. Effects of prenatal stress on fetal and child development: a critical literature review.

    PubMed

    Graignic-Philippe, R; Dayan, J; Chokron, S; Jacquet, A-Y; Tordjman, S

    2014-06-01

    Many studies have examined effects of prenatal stress on pregnancy and fetal development, especially on prematurity and birthweight, and more recently long-term effects on child behavioral and emotional development. These studies are reviewed and their limitations are discussed with regard to definitions (including the concepts of stress and anxiety), stress measurements, samples, and control for confounds such as depression. It appears necessary to assess individual stress reactivity prospectively and separately at each trimester of pregnancy, to discriminate chronic from acute stress, and to take into consideration moderator variables such as past life events, sociocultural factors, predictability, social support and coping strategies. Furthermore, it might be useful to examine simultaneously, during but also after pregnancy, stress, anxiety and depression in order to understand better their relationships and to evaluate their specific effects on pregnancy and child development. Finally, further research could benefit from an integrated psychological and biological approach studying together subjective perceived stress and objective physiological stress responses in pregnant women, and their effects on fetal and child development as well as on mother-infant interactions. PMID:24747487

  20. Retardation of fetal dendritic development induced by gestational hyperglycemia is associated with brain insulin/IGF-I signals.

    PubMed

    Jing, Yu-Hong; Song, Yan-Feng; Yao, Ya-Ming; Yin, Jie; Wang, De-Gui; Gao, Li-Ping

    2014-10-01

    Hyperglycemia is an essential risk factor for mothers and fetuses in gestational diabetes. Clinical observation has indicated that the offspring of mothers with diabetes shows impaired somatosensory function and IQ. However, only a few studies have explored the effects of hyperglycemia on fetal brain development. Neurodevelopment is susceptible to environmental conditions. Thus, this study aims to investigate the effects of maternal hyperglycemia on fetal brain development and to evaluate insulin and insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) signals in fetal brain under hyperglycemia or controlled hyperglycemia. At day 1 of pregnancy, gestational rats were intraperitoneally injected with streptozocin (60 mg/kg). Some of the hyperglycemic gestational rats were injected with insulin (20 IU, two times a day) to control hyperglycemia; the others were injected with saline of equal volume. The gestational rats were sacrificed at days 14, 16, and 18 of embryo development. The dendritic spines of subplate cortex neurons in the fetal brain were detected by Golgi-Cox staining. The mRNA levels of insulin receptors (IRs) and IGF-IR in the fetal brain were measured using qRT-PCR. The protein levels of synaptophysin, IR, and IGF-IR in the fetal brain were detected by western blot. No significant difference in fetal brain formation was observed between the maternal hyperglycemic group and insulin-treated group. By contrast, obvious retardation of dendritic development in the fetus was observed in the maternal hyperglycemic group. Similarly, synaptophysin expression was lower in the fetus of the maternal hyperglycemic group than in that of the insulin-treated group. The mRNA and protein expression levels of IRs in the fetal brain were higher in the hyperglycemic group than in the insulin-treated group. By contrast, the levels of IGF-IR in the brain were lower in the fetus of the maternal hyperglycemic group than in that of the insulin-treated group. These results suggested that

  1. DNA repair and induction of plasminogen activator in human fetal cells treated with ultraviolet light. [Development associated changes

    SciTech Connect

    Ben-Ishai, R.; Sharon, R.; Rothman, M.; Miskin, R. . Dept. of Biochemistry)

    1984-03-01

    Human fetal fibroblasts have been tested 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. Skin fibroblasts derived at 12 week gestation were more repair proficient than at 8 weeks. However, they exhibited a lower rate of repair than non-fetal cells. Enhancement of protease plasminogen activator (PA) was higher after u.v. irradiation in skin fibroblasts derived at 8 weeks than at 12 weeks gestation and was absent in non-fetal skin fibroblasts. Excision repair and PA inducibility depended on the tissue of origin in addition to gestational stage, as shown for skin and lung fibroblasts from the same 12 week fetus. 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).

  2. Expression Profile of Sonic Hedgehog Pathway Members in the Developing Human Fetal Brain

    PubMed Central

    Tichy, Julia; Zinke, Jenny; Bunz, Benedikt; Meyermann, Richard; Harter, Patrick N.; Mittelbronn, Michel

    2015-01-01

    The Sonic Hedgehog (SHH) pathway plays a central role in the developing mammalian CNS. In our study, we aimed to investigate the spatiotemporal SHH pathway expression pattern in human fetal brains. We analyzed 22 normal fetal brains for Shh, Patched, Smoothened, and Gli1-3 expression by immunohistochemistry. In the telencephalon, strongest expression of Shh, Smoothened, and Gli2 was found in the cortical plate (CP) and ventricular zone. Patched was strongly upregulated in the ventricular zone and Gli1 in the CP. In the cerebellum, SHH pathway members were strongly expressed in the external granular layer (EGL). SHH pathway members significantly decreased over time in the ventricular and subventricular zone and in the cerebellar EGL, while increasing levels were found in more superficial telencephalic layers. Our findings show that SHH pathway members are strongly expressed in areas important for proliferation and differentiation and indicate a temporal expression gradient in telencephalic and cerebellar layers probably due to decreased proliferation of progenitor cells and increased differentiation. Our data about the spatiotemporal expression of SHH pathway members in the developing human brain serves as a base for the understanding of both normal and pathological CNS development. PMID:26266257

  3. Fetal cerebral lobes development between 20 and 28 weeks gestational age: a postmortem MR study.

    PubMed

    Yang, Linlin; Chen, Liguang; Qiu, Xiuling; Zhang, Zhonghe; Liu, Shuwei; Wang, Guangbin; Xiao, Lianxiang; Lin, Xiangtao

    2014-02-01

    To investigate the fetal cerebral lobes development between 20 and 28 weeks gestational age, 36 fetus specimen without CNS abnormality, with 4 fetuses in each gestation week, were scanned with 3.0T MR. Lobular parameters were measured, including the parenchyma thickness of the frontoparietal and the temporal lobes, the margin length of frontoparietal, the insula and the temporal lobes, the Sylvian fissure and the perimeter of hippocampus, on the plane perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of hippocampus body across the base of cerebral peduncle. The relative value of parenchyma thickness and the lobes' length ratios to the same side hemisphere were calculated and their correlation with gestational weeks was analyzed. All measured parameters were positively correlated with gestational age. No significant tendency was found for relative value of the parenchyma thickness (P>0.05). The temporal lobe length ratio increased while the frontoparietal ratio decreased before 24 weeks GA and then the two reversed. The Sylvian fissure length ratio increased (P<0.001) and the hippocampus decreased (P<0.001) throughout this period. In conclusion, the early fetal cerebrum lobes developed asynchronously during this period, the 24 weeks GA could be a turning point for cerebrum development pattern changing from primitive to mature.

  4. Neither absence nor excess of FGF23 disturbs murine fetal-placental phosphorus homeostasis or prenatal skeletal development and mineralization.

    PubMed

    Ma, Yue; Samaraweera, Manoharee; Cooke-Hubley, Sandra; Kirby, Beth J; Karaplis, Andrew C; Lanske, Beate; Kovacs, Christopher S

    2014-05-01

    Fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF23) controls serum phosphorus largely through actions on the kidneys to excrete phosphorus and reduce calcitriol. Although these actions are well established in adults and children, the role that FGF23 plays in regulating fetal phosphorus metabolism has not been previously studied. We used several mouse models to study the effect of endogenous deficiency or excess of FGF23 on fetal phosphorus metabolism. We found that intact FGF23 does not cross the placenta from mother to fetus, but wild-type fetuses normally have intact FGF23 levels that approximately equal the maternal level. Deletion of Fgf23 or 7.8-fold higher serum FGF23 levels did not disturb any parameter of fetal mineral homeostasis, including serum and amniotic fluid phosphorus, skeletal morphology, skeletal mineral content, and placental phosphorus transport. Placentas and fetal kidneys abundantly express FGF23 target genes. Cyp24a1 was significantly reduced in Fgf23 null kidneys and was significantly increased in Phex null placentas and fetal kidneys. Phex null kidneys also showed reduced expression of Klotho. However, these changes in gene expression did not disturb any physiological parameter related to phosphorus. A 50% reduction in FGF23 also failed to affect renal phosphorus excretion into amniotic fluid when either PTH or the vitamin D receptor were absent. In conclusion, FGF23 is not an important regulator of fetal phosphorous metabolism. The active delivery of phosphorus across the placenta does not require FGF23, and that process overrides any effects that absence or excess of FGF23 might otherwise have on phosphate handling by the fetal kidneys.

  5. Limited and excess dietary protein during gestation affects growth and compositional traits in gilts and impairs offspring fetal growth.

    PubMed

    Rehfeldt, C; Lang, I S; Görs, S; Hennig, U; Kalbe, C; Stabenow, B; Brüssow, K-P; Pfuhl, R; Bellmann, O; Nürnberg, G; Otten, W; Metges, C C

    2011-02-01

    < 0.01) and greater fat content (P = 0.02 to 0.04) in LP and less fat content (P = 0.02 to 0.04) in HP gilts. Fetal litter weight and number, and embryonic survival at 64 dpc were not affected by the diets. These results indicated that gestation diets containing protein at 50 and 250% of recommendations and differing in protein:carbohydrate ratio led to marked changes in protein and fat metabolism in gilts resulting in fetal growth retardation of 15%, which mainly occurred during the second half of gestation.

  6. Transplacental stimulation of lung development in the fetal rabbit by 3,5-dimethyl-3'-isopropyl-L-thyronine.

    PubMed Central

    Ballard, P L; Benson, B J; Brehier, A; Carter, J P; Kriz, B M; Jorgensen, E C

    1980-01-01

    The effect of thyroid hormone on maturation of fetal rabbit lung was studied with maternal treatment using 3,5-dimethyl-3'-isopropyl-L-thyronine (DIMIT), a synthetic analogue of triiodothyronine. To investigate the in vivo kinetics and distribution of DIMIT, we prepared [3H]DIMIT and injected both pregnant rats (18-21 d gestation) and rabbits (25 d gestation). In the rat, maximal concentrations of radioactivity in maternal plasma, fetal plasma, and amniotic fluid occurred within 10 min, 1-2 h, and 4-6 h, respectively, after intramuscular injection. After 7 h the concentration of radioactivity in fetal plasma was 163 and 71% of the maternal level in rats and rabbits, respectively, indicating that DIMIT readily crosses the placenta. We treated pregnant rabbits for 1-2 d with DIMIT in doses of 0.5-3 mg/kg per d and examined the fetuses at 26 and 27 d gestation. Treatment did not affect fetal growth or viability. In fetal liver, DIMIT increased the activity of NADPH cytochromeac reductase by 64% and decreased the glycogen content by 73% compared to controls. The rate of choline incorporation by lung minces increased in dose-dependent manner to a maximum of +104% at 3 mg/kg DIMIT; this does stimulated by 38% the activity of lung phosphatidic acid phosphatase (PAPase), a corticosteroid-responsive enzyme, but there was no increase in tissue PAPase activity at most lower doses of DIMIT that enhanced choline incorporation. Treated lungs had 38% less glycogen tha controls, but there was no effect on tissue levels of DNA, protein, or phospholipid. DIMIT treatment increased the amount of total phospholipid (+163%). saturated phosphatidylcholine (+330%), and PAPase activity (+134%) in lung lavage fluid. The DIMIT effects on both choline incorporation by lung minces and phospholipid content of lavage fluid were substantially greater than what had occurred with an optimal dose of betamethasone. DIMIT also increased corticosteroid binding capacity in fetal plasma and produced a

  7. Doppler Impedance Changes at the Fetal Brain Vessels in a Pregnancy Affected with a Multiple Combination of Uteroplacental Anomalies

    PubMed Central

    Morales-Roselló, José; Peralta Llorens, Núria

    2012-01-01

    A fetus with a very rare five-fold combination of uteroplacental anomalies, bicornuate uterus, short cervix with cervical incompetence, multilobed placenta succenturiata, accessory cotyledon within the cervical funneling, and umbilical cord insertion into the anomalous cervical cotyledon, presented an early and marked decrease at the vertebral and middle cerebral arteries Doppler resistances. This cerebral low-impedance state, usually found before labor, and considered an adaptive mechanism developed to protect the fetus at term from labor asphyxia, was present for an unknown reason at 20 weeks. After the patient was treated with vaginal progesterone, the cervix shortening improved and markedly, at the same time, the cerebral vascular resistances increased and maintained an adequate for gestational age impedance until delivery at 34 weeks. As the described uteroplacental anomalies determined a high risk of preterm delivery, due to cervical dilation, cord compresion, and placental haemorrhage, these fluctuating brain vascular changes might be the result of the fetal adaptation to the changes preceding an imminent delivery. PMID:22481947

  8. PRENATAL NICOTINE EXPOSURE SELECTIVELY AFFECTS NICOTINIC RECEPTOR EXPRESSION IN PRIMARY AND ASSOCIATIVE VISUAL CORTICES OF THE FETAL BABOON

    PubMed Central

    Duncan, Jhodie R.; Garland, Marianne; Stark, Raymond I.; Myers, Michael M.; Fifer, William P.; Mokler, David J.; Kinney, Hannah C.

    2014-01-01

    Exposure to nicotine during pregnancy via maternal cigarette smoking is associated with visual deficits in children. This is possibly due to activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the occipital cortex which are important in the development of visual mapping. Using a baboon model we explored the effects of prenatal nicotine on parameters in the primary and associated visual cortices. Pregnant baboons were infused with nicotine (0.5 mg/hr, i.v.) or saline from 86 days gestation. At 161 days gestation fetal brains were collected (n=5/group) and the occipital lobe assessed for nAChRs and markers of the serotonergic and catecholaminergic systems using tissue autoradiography and/or high performance liquid chromatography. Neuronal nAChRs and serotonergic markers were expressed in a region and subunit dependent manner. Prenatal nicotine exposure was associated with increased binding for 3H-epibatidine sensitive nAChRs in the primary visual cortex (BA 17) and BA 18, but not BA 19, of the associative visual cortex (p<0.05). Markers of the serotonergic or catecholaminergic systems were not significantly altered. Thus, prenatal nicotine exposure is associated with alterations in the cholinergic system in the occipital lobe which may aid in the explanation of the appearance of visual deficits in children from mothers who smoke during pregnancy. PMID:24903536

  9. Life-Span Development of Affective Relationships.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Takahashi, Keiko

    This paper presents a model of affective relationships and a review of a number of empirical studies based on the model. The fundamental aim of the model is to describe the life-span development of affective relationships, which are measured in terms of an individual's representation of a variety of significant interpersonal relationships. These…

  10. The effects of Love Canal soil extracts on maternal health and fetal development in rats.

    PubMed

    Silkworth, J B; Tumasonis, C; Briggs, R G; Narang, A S; Narang, R S; Rej, R; Stein, V; McMartin, D N; Kaminsky, L S

    1986-10-01

    The effects of a solvent extract of the surface soil of the Love Canal chemical dump site, Niagara Falls, New York, and of a natural extract, or leachate, which is drained from the canal for treatment, on the maternal health and fetal development were determined in rats. The solvent extract, which was contaminated with 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (2, 3,7,8-TCDD) at 170 ppb and numerous other chlorinated organic compounds with the primary identified components being the isomers of benzenehexachloride (BHC), was dissolved in corn oil and administered by gavage to pregnant rats at 0,25,75, or 150 mg crude extract/kg/day on Days 6-15 of gestation. A 67% mortality was observed at the highest dose. The rats were sacrificed on Day 20. Dose-related increases in relative liver weight accompanied by hepatocyte hypertrophy were observed at all dose levels. Fetal birthweight was decreased at 75 and 150 mg extract/kg/day. No major treatment-related soft tissue or skeletal malformations, except for delayed ossification, were observed. Based on literature values for BHC, all of the observed toxicity could be accounted for by the BHC contaminants of the extract. The crude organic phase of the leachate was administered to pregnant rats at 0,10,100, or 250 mg/kg/day as described above. Maternal weight gain decreased at 100 and 250 mg/kg/day, accompanied by 5 and 14% maternal mortality, and 1 and 3 dead fetuses, respectively. Early resorptions and the percentage of dead implants increased whereas fetal birthweights were decreased at 250 mg/kg/day. No major treatment-related soft tissue or skeletal malformations, except for delayed ossification, were observed. The primary components of the complex leachate by mass were tetrachloroethanes; however, 2,3,7,8-TCDD, which was present at 3 ppm, probably accounted for all the observed toxicity. PMID:3781137

  11. Effects of Love Canal soil extracts on maternal health and fetal development in rats

    SciTech Connect

    Silkworth, J.B.; Tumasonis, C.; Briggs, R.G.; Narang, A.S.; Narang, R.S.; Rej, R.; Stein, V.; McMartin, D.N.; Kaminsky, L.S.

    1986-10-01

    The effects of a solvent extract of the surface soil of the Love Canal chemical dump site, Niagara Falls, New York, and of a natural extract, or leachate, which is drained from the canal for treatment, on the maternal health and fetal development were determined in rats. The solvent extract, which was contaminated with 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (2, 3,7,8-TCDD) at 170 ppb and numerous other chlorinated organic compounds with the primary identified components being the isomers of benzenehexachloride (BHC), was dissolved in corn oil and administered by gavage to pregnant rats at 0,25,75, or 150 mg crude extract/kg/day on Days 6-15 of gestation. A 67% mortality was observed at the highest dose. The rats were sacrificed on Day 20. Dose-related increases in relative liver weight accompanied by hepatocyte hypertrophy were observed at all dose levels. Fetal birthweight was decreased at 75 and 150 mg extract/kg/day. No major treatment-related soft tissue or skeletal malformations, except for delayed ossification, were observed. Based on literature values for BHC, all of the observed toxicity could be accounted for by the BHC contaminants of the extract. The crude organic phase of the leachate was administered to pregnant rats at 0,10,100, or 250 mg/kg/day as described above. Maternal weight gain decreased at 100 and 250 mg/kg/day, accompanied by 5 and 14% maternal mortality, and 1 and 3 dead fetuses, respectively. Early resorptions and the percentage of dead implants increased whereas fetal birthweights were decreased at 250 mg/kg/day. No major treatment-related soft tissue or skeletal malformations, except for delayed ossification, were observed. The primary components of the complex leachate by mass were tetrachloroethanes; however, 2,3,7,8-TCDD, which was present at 3 ppm, probably accounted for all the observed toxicity.

  12. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Caley, Linda M.; Kramer, Charlotte; Robinson, Luther K.

    2005-01-01

    Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is a serious and widespread problem in this country. Positioned within the community with links to children, families, and healthcare systems, school nurses are a critical element in the prevention and treatment of those affected by fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Although most school nurses are familiar…

  13. Incubation Temperature during Fetal Development Influences Morphophysiological Characteristics and Preferred Ambient Temperature of Chicken Hatchlings

    PubMed Central

    Morita, Viviane de Souza; de Almeida, Vitor Rosa; Matos, João Batista; Vicentini, Tamiris Iara; van den Brand, Henry; Boleli, Isabel Cristina

    2016-01-01

    Skin and feather characteristics, which play a critical role in body temperature maintenance, can be affected by incubation circumstances, such as incubation temperature. However, no study to date has assessed the influence of incubation temperature during the fetal stage on morphometric characteristics and vascular development of the skin, feather characteristics, and their relationship to hormone levels and preferred temperature in later life in chickens. Broiler breeder eggs were exposed to low (36°C), control (37.5°C), or high (39°C) temperatures (treatments LT, CK, and HT, respectively) from day 13 of incubation onward, because it is known that the endocrine axes are already established at this time. During this period, eggshell temperature of HT eggs (38.8±0.33°C) was higher than of LT (37.4±0.08°C) and CK eggs (37.8 ±0.15°C). The difference between eggshell and incubator air temperature diminished with the increasing incubation temperature, and was approximately zero for HT. HT hatchlings had higher surface temperature on the head, neck, and back, and thinner and more vascularized skin than did CK and LT hatchlings. No differences were found among treatments for body weight, total feather weight, number and length of barbs, barbule length, and plasma T4 concentration. LT hatchlings showed lower plasma T3 and GH, as well as lower T3/T4 ratio and decreased vascularity in the neck, back, and thigh skin compared to CK hatchlings. On the other hand, HT hatchlings had decreased skin thickness and increased vascularity, and preferred a higher ambient temperature compared to CK and HT hatchlings. In addition, for all treatments, surface temperature on the head was higher than of the other body regions. We conclude that changes in skin thickness and vascularity, as well as changes in thyroid and growth hormone levels, are the result of embryonic strategies to cope with higher or lower than normal incubation temperatures. Additionally exposure to increased

  14. Implantable Ultralow Pulmonary Pressure Monitoring System for Fetal Surgery

    PubMed Central

    Etemadi, Mozziyar; Heller, J. Alex; Schecter, Samuel C.; Shue, Eveline H.; Miniati, Doug; Roy, Shuvo

    2015-01-01

    Congenital pulmonary hypoplasia is a devastating condition affecting fetal and newborn pulmonary physiology, resulting in great morbidity and mortality. The fetal lung develops in a fluid-filled environment. In this paper, we describe a novel, implantable pressure sensing and recording device which we use to study the pressures present in the fetal pulmonary tree throughout gestation. The system achieves 0.18 cm H2O resolution and can record for 21 days continuously at 256 Hz. Sample tracings of in vivo fetal lamb recordings are shown. PMID:22801521

  15. The morphometric development and clinical importance of the hyoid bone during the fetal period.

    PubMed

    Kadir, Desdicioglu; Osman, Sulak; Mehmet Ali, Malas

    2015-01-01

    It was aimed that the morphometric development of the hyoid bone throughout the fetal period be anatomically researched and its clinical importance be evaluated. A total of 90 human fetuses (44 male, 46 female) whose ages varied between 18 and 40 gestational weeks and without an external pathology or anomaly were involved in the study. The fetuses were divided into groups according to gestational weeks and trimesters. In the wake of making the general external measurements of fetuses, the neck dissection was performed. Following the localization of the hyoid bone, the morphometric parameters pertaining to the hyoid bone were measured. The averages of the measured parameters according to the gestational weeks, trimesters and months, and their standard deviations were determined. There was a significant correlation between the measured parameters and the gestational age (p < 0.001). Between the genders, there was no difference among the other parameters, except for those regarding the distance between the hyoid bone and columna vertebralis, the hyoid bone corpus length, the hyoid bone right cornu majus initial width, the hyoid bone left cornu majus initial width, and the upper distance between the hyoid bone cornu majus (es) (p > 0.001). We are of the opinion that the data obtained during our study will be of use to forensic physicians and the involved clinicians in the evaluation of the development of the hyoid bone area during the fetal period, and in clinical studies and practices.

  16. Distinct Genetic Networks Orchestrate the Emergence of Specific Waves of Fetal and Adult B-1 and B-2 Development.

    PubMed

    Montecino-Rodriguez, Encarnacion; Fice, Michael; Casero, David; Berent-Maoz, Beata; Barber, Chad L; Dorshkind, Kenneth

    2016-09-20

    B cell development is often depicted as a linear process initiating in the fetus and continuing postnatally. Using a PU.1 hypomorphic mouse model, we found that B-1 and B-2 lymphopoiesis occurred in distinct fetal and adult waves differentially dependent on the Sfpi1 14 kB upstream regulatory element. The initial wave of fetal B-1 development was absent in PU.1 hypomorphic mice, while subsequent fetal and adult waves emerged. In contrast, B-2 lymphopoiesis occurred in distinct fetal and adult waves. Whole-transcriptome profiling of fetal and adult B cell progenitors supported the existence of three waves of B-1 and two waves of B-2 development and revealed that the network of transcription factors governing B lineage specification and commitment was highly divergent between B-1 and B-2 progenitors. These findings support the view that the B-1 and B-2 lineages are distinct and provide a genetic basis for layering of immune system development.

  17. Animal Models for Medication Development and Application to Treat Fetal Alcohol Effects.

    PubMed

    Barron, S; Hawkey, A; Fields, L; Littleton, J M

    2016-01-01

    Ethanol consumption during pregnancy can have lifelong consequences for the offspring, their family and society. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) include a range of physical and behavioral effects with the most significant impact occurring as a result of the effects of ethanol on the developing central nervous system (CNS). To date, there are no FDA approved drugs that have been tested that prevent/reduce or specifically treat the symptoms of FASD. There are several promising lines of research from rodent models aimed at reducing the neurotoxic effects of ethanol on the developing CNS or in treating the resulting behavioral impairments but these have not yet moved to clinical testing. The current review discusses some of the most promising targets for intervention and provides a review of the past and ongoing efforts to develop and screen pharmacological treatments for reducing the effects of prenatal ethanol exposure. PMID:27055621

  18. Roles of Melatonin in Fetal Programming in Compromised Pregnancies

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yu-Chieh; Sheen, Jiunn-Ming; Tiao, Miao-Meng; Tain, You-Lin; Huang, Li-Tung

    2013-01-01

    Compromised pregnancies such as those associated with gestational diabetes mellitus, intrauterine growth retardation, preeclampsia, maternal undernutrition, and maternal stress may negatively affect fetal development. Such pregnancies may induce oxidative stress to the fetus and alter fetal development through the epigenetic process that may affect development at a later stage. Melatonin is an oxidant scavenger that reverses oxidative stress during the prenatal period. Moreover, the role of melatonin in epigenetic modifications in the field of developmental programming has been studied extensively. Here, we describe the physiological function of melatonin in pregnancy and discuss the roles of melatonin in fetal programming in compromised pregnancies, focusing on its involvement in redox and epigenetic mechanisms. PMID:23466884

  19. [Fetal nutrition and future health].

    PubMed

    Henriksen, Tore; Haugen, Guttorm; Bollerslev, Jens; Kolset, Svein Olav; Drevon, Christian A; Iversen, Per Ole; Clausen, Torun

    2005-02-17

    Fetal nutrition may permanently affect physiological properties of the new individual and hence the risk of future disease. Epidemiological studies indicate that fetal nutrition may significantly influence the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Controlled animal studies show that even properties traditionally considered as exclusively genetic, like fur colour, may be modified by altered maternal nutrition. The expression "fetal programming" has been introduced to describe permanent effects of environmental conditions in fetal life. An important mechanism of fetal programming seems to be epigenetic regulation. One example of epigenetic regulation is methylation of the DNA base cytosine in promoter regions of some genes. DNA methylation will lead to decreased gene expression. Over the last two decades, marked changes in dietary habits and other life style features have taken place among young Norwegian women. This is particularly reflected in the increasing prevalence of obesity. Maternal weight and metabolic status is closely associated with the growth and development of the fetus. Thus, diet and physical activity become particularly important aspects of the health of young women.

  20. Environmental Factors Affecting Preschoolers' Motor Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Venetsanou, Fotini; Kambas, Antonis

    2010-01-01

    The process of development occurs according to the pattern established by the genetic potential and also by the influence of environmental factors. The aim of the present study was to focus on the main environmental factors affecting motor development. The review of the literature revealed that family features, such as socioeconomic status,…

  1. Periconceptional growth hormone treatment alters fetal growth and development in lambs.

    PubMed

    Koch, J M; Wilmoth, T A; Wilson, M E

    2010-05-01

    Research in the area of fetal programming has focused on intrauterine growth restriction. Few studies have attempted to examine programming mechanisms that ultimately lead to lambs with a greater potential for postnatal growth. We previously demonstrated that treatment of ewes with GH at the time of breeding led to an increase in birth weight. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine the effects of a single injection of sustained-release GH given during the periconceptional period on fetal growth and development and to determine if the GH axis would be altered in these offspring. Estrus was synchronized using 2 injections of PGF(2alpha); at the time of the second injection, ewes assigned to treatment were also given an injection of sustained-release GH. A maternal jugular vein sample was taken weekly to analyze IGF-I as a proxy for GH to estimate the duration of the treatment effect. In ewes treated with GH, IGF-I increased (P < 0.05) by wk 1 and remained elevated until wk 4 postinjection. Lambs were weighed, crown-rump length and abdominal girth were determined, and a plasma sample was collected. In a subset of male lambs, liver, heart, and brain weights were obtained, as well as left and right ventricular wall thicknesses. On postnatal d 100, a subset of ewe lambs were weighed and challenged with an intravenous injection of GHRH. Lambs from treated ewes had increased (P < 0.05) birth weight and abdominal girth compared with control lambs; however, there was no difference in crown-rump length. Expression of GH receptor and IGF-I were increased (P < 0.05) in lambs gestated by GH-treated ewes compared with control ewes. The left ventricular wall was thinner (P < 0.05) from lambs in the GH-treated group compared with control lambs. On postnatal d 100, those ewe lambs born to ewes treated with GH continued to be heavier (P < 0.05) and had no IGF-I response to GHRH challenge. In conclusion, treating ewes with a single injection of GH appeared to alter

  2. Activators of the nuclear hormone receptors PPARalpha and FXR accelerate the development of the fetal epidermal permeability barrier.

    PubMed Central

    Hanley, K; Jiang, Y; Crumrine, D; Bass, N M; Appel, R; Elias, P M; Williams, M L; Feingold, K R

    1997-01-01

    Members of the superfamily of nuclear hormone receptors which are obligate heterodimeric partners of the retinoid X receptor may be important in epidermal development. Here, we examined the effects of activators of the receptors for vitamin D3 and retinoids, and of the peroxisome proliferator activated receptors (PPARs) and the farnesoid X-activated receptor (FXR), on the development of the fetal epidermal barrier in vitro. Skin explants from gestational day 17 rats (term is 22 d) are unstratified and lack a stratum corneum (SC). After incubation in hormone-free media for 3-4 d, a multilayered SC replete with mature lamellar membranes in the interstices and a functionally competent barrier appear. 9-cis or all-trans retinoic acid, 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D3, or the PPARgamma ligands prostaglandin J2 or troglitazone did not affect the development of barrier function or epidermal morphology. In contrast, activators of the PPARalpha, oleic acid, linoleic acid, and clofibrate, accelerated epidermal development, resulting in mature lamellar membranes, a multilayered SC, and a competent barrier after 2 d of incubation. The FXR activators, all-trans farnesol and juvenile hormone III, also accelerated epidermal barrier development. Activities of beta-glucocerebrosidase and steroid sulfatase, enzymes previously linked to barrier maturation, also increased after treatment with PPARalpha and FXR activators. In contrast, isoprenoids, such as nerolidol, cis-farnesol, or geranylgeraniol, or metabolites in the cholesterol pathway, such as mevalonate, squalene, or 25-hydroxycholesterol, did not alter barrier development. Finally, additive effects were observed in explants incubated with clofibrate and farnesol together in suboptimal concentrations which alone did not affect barrier development. These data indicate a putative physiologic role for PPARalpha and FXR in epidermal barrier development. PMID:9239419

  3. Pdgfr-α mediates testis cord organization and fetal Leydig cell development in the XY gonad

    PubMed Central

    Brennan, Jennifer; Tilmann, Christopher; Capel, Blanche

    2003-01-01

    During testis development, the rapid morphological changes initiated by Sry require the coordinate integration of many signaling pathways. Based on the established role of the platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) family of ligands and receptors in migration, proliferation, and differentiation of cells in various organ systems, we have investigated the role of PDGF in testis organogenesis. Analysis of expression patterns and characterization of the gonad phenotype in Pdgfr-α−/− embryos identified PDGFR-α as a critical mediator of signaling in the early testis at multiple steps of testis development. Pdgfr-α−/− XY gonads displayed disruptions in the organization of the vasculature and in the partitioning of interstitial and testis cord compartments. Closer examination revealed severe reductions in characteristic XY proliferation, mesonephric cell migration, and fetal Leydig cell differentiation. This work identifies PDGF signaling through the α receptor as an important event downstream of Sry in testis organogenesis and Leydig cell differentiation. PMID:12651897

  4. Embryonic alcohol exposure: Towards the development of a zebrafish model of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

    PubMed

    Gerlai, Robert

    2015-11-01

    Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is a devastating disease of the brain caused by exposure to alcohol during prenatal development. Its prevalence exceeds 1%. The majority of FASD cases represent the milder forms of the disease which often remain undiagnosed, and even when diagnosed treatment options for the patient are limited due to lack of information about the mechanisms that underlie the disease. The zebrafish has been proposed as a model organism for exploring the mechanisms of FASD. Our laboratory has been studying the effects of low doses of alcohol during embryonic development in the zebrafish. This review discusses the methods of alcohol exposure, its effects on behavioral performance including social behavior and learning, and the potential underlying biological mechanisms in zebrafish. It is based upon a recent keynote address delivered by the author, and it focuses on findings obtained mainly in his own laboratory. It paints a promising future of this small vertebrate in FASD research.

  5. Ubp43 gene expression is required for normal Isg15 expression and fetal development

    PubMed Central

    Rempel, Lea A; Austin, Kathleen J; Ritchie, Kenneth J; Yan, Ming; Shen, Meifeng; Zhang, Dong-Er; Henkes, Luiz E; Hansen, Thomas R

    2007-01-01

    Background Isg15 covalently modifies murine endometrial proteins in response to early pregnancy. Isg15 can also be severed from targeted proteins by a specific protease called Ubp43 (Usp18). Mice lacking Ubp43 (null) form increased conjugated Isg15 in response to interferon. The Isg15 system has not been examined in chorioallantoic placenta (CP) or mesometrial (MM) components of implantation sites beyond 9.5 days post coitum (dpc). It was hypothesized that deletion of Ubp43 would cause disregulation of Isg15 in implantation sites, and that this would affect pregnancy rates. Methods Heterozygous (het) Ubp43 mice were mated and MM and CP implantation sites were collected on 12.5 and 17.5 days post-coitum (dpc). Results Free and conjugated Isg15 were greater on 12.5 versus 17.5 dpc in MM. Free and conjugated Isg15 were also present in CP, but did not differ due to genotype on 12.5 dpc. However, null CP had greater free and conjugated Isg15 when compared to het/wt on 17.5 dpc. Null progeny died in utero with fetal genotype ratios (wt:het:null) of 2:5:1 on 12.5 and 2:2:1 on 17.5 dpc. Implantation sites were disrupted within the junctional zone and spongiotrophoblast, contained less vasculature based on lectin B4 staining and contained greater Isg15 mRNA and VEGF protein in Ubp43 null when compared to wt placenta. Conclusion It is concluded that Isg15 and its conjugates are present in implantation sites during mid to late gestation and that deletion of Ubp43 causes an increase in free and conjugated Isg15 at the feto-maternal interface. Also, under mixed genetic background, deletion of Ubp43 results in fetal death. PMID:17381847

  6. Repercussions of mild diabetes on pregnancy in Wistar rats and on the fetal development

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Experimental models are necessary to elucidate diabetes pathophysiological mechanisms not yet understood in humans. Objective: To evaluate the repercussions of the mild diabetes, considering two methodologies, on the pregnancy of Wistar rats and on the development of their offspring. Methods In the 1st induction, female offspring were distributed into two experimental groups: Group streptozotocin (STZ, n = 67): received the β-cytotoxic agent (100 mg STZ/kg body weight - sc) on the 1st day of the life; and Non-diabetic Group (ND, n = 14): received the vehicle in a similar time period. In the adult life, the animals were mated. After a positive diagnosis of pregnancy (0), female rats from group STZ presenting with lower glycemia than 120 mg/dL received more 20 mg STZ/kg (ip) at day 7 of pregnancy (2nd induction). The female rats with glycemia higher than 120 mg/dL were discarded because they reproduced results already found in the literature. In the mornings of days 0, 7, 14 and 21 of the pregnancy glycemia was determined. At day 21 of pregnancy (at term), the female rats were anesthetized and killed for maternal reproductive performance and fetal development analysis. The data were analyzed using Student-Newman-Keuls, Chi-square and Zero-inflated Poisson (ZIP) Tests (p < 0.05). Results STZ rats presented increased rates of pre (STZ = 22.0%; ND = 5.1%) and post-implantation losses (STZ = 26.1%; ND = 5.7%), reduced rates of fetuses with appropriate weight for gestational age (STZ = 66%; ND = 93%) and reduced degree of development (ossification sites). Conclusion Mild diabetes led a negative impact on maternal reproductive performance and caused intrauterine growth restriction and impaired fetal development. PMID:20416073

  7. Glucosamine supplementation affects placental development in swine

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Previous studies indicated that the depth of the folds of the endometrial epithelial-fetal trophoblast bilayer of the pig placenta is increased in the placenta of small fetuses during late gestation, and that hyaluronan metabolism plays a role in the process. Given this, we hypothesized that glucosa...

  8. Mapping Primary Gyrogenesis During Fetal Development in Primate Brains: High-Resolution in Utero Structural MRI of Fetal Brain Development in Pregnant Baboons

    PubMed Central

    Kochunov, Peter; Castro, Carlos; Davis, Duff; Dudley, Donald; Brewer, Jordan; Zhang, Yi; Kroenke, Christopher D.; Purdy, David; Fox, Peter T.; Simerly, Calvin; Schatten, Gerald

    2010-01-01

    The global and regional changes in the fetal cerebral cortex in primates were mapped during primary gyrification (PG; weeks 17–25 of 26 weeks total gestation). Studying pregnant baboons using high-resolution MRI in utero, measurements included cerebral volume, cortical surface area, gyrification index and length and depth of 10 primary cortical sulci. Seven normally developing fetuses were imaged in two animals longitudinally and sequentially. We compared these results to those on PG that from the ferret studies and analyzed them in the context of our recent studies of phylogenetics of cerebral gyrification. We observed that in both primates and non-primates, the cerebrum undergoes a very rapid transformation into the gyrencephalic state, subsequently accompanied by an accelerated growth in brain volume and cortical surface area. However, PG trends in baboons exhibited some critical differences from those observed in ferrets. For example, in baboons, the growth along the long (length) axis of cortical sulci was unrelated to the growth along the short (depth) axis and far outpaced it. Additionally, the correlation between the rate of growth along the short sulcal axis and heritability of sulcal depth was negative and approached significance (r = −0.60; p < 0.10), while the same trend for long axis was positive and not significant (p = 0.3; p = 0.40). These findings, in an animal that shares a highly orchestrated pattern of PG with humans, suggest that ontogenic processes that influence changes in sulcal length and depth are diverse and possibly driven by different factors in primates than in non-primates. PMID:20631812

  9. Alteration of rat fetal cerebral cortex development after prenatal exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls.

    PubMed

    Naveau, Elise; Pinson, Anneline; Gérard, Arlette; Nguyen, Laurent; Charlier, Corinne; Thomé, Jean-Pierre; Zoeller, R Thomas; Bourguignon, Jean-Pierre; Parent, Anne-Simone

    2014-01-01

    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are environmental contaminants that persist in environment and human tissues. Perinatal exposure to these endocrine disruptors causes cognitive deficits and learning disabilities in children. These effects may involve their ability to interfere with thyroid hormone (TH) action. We tested the hypothesis that developmental exposure to PCBs can concomitantly alter TH levels and TH-regulated events during cerebral cortex development: progenitor proliferation, cell cycle exit and neuron migration. Pregnant rats exposed to the commercial PCB mixture Aroclor 1254 ended gestation with reduced total and free serum thyroxine levels. Exposure to Aroclor 1254 increased cell cycle exit of the neuronal progenitors and delayed radial neuronal migration in the fetal cortex. Progenitor cell proliferation, cell death and differentiation rate were not altered by prenatal exposure to PCBs. Given that PCBs remain ubiquitous, though diminishing, contaminants in human systems, it is important that we further understand their deleterious effects in the brain.

  10. Air pollution effects on fetal and child development: a cohort comparison in China.

    PubMed

    Tang, Deliang; Li, Ting Yu; Chow, Judith C; Kulkarni, Sanasi U; Watson, John G; Ho, Steven Sai Hang; Quan, Zhang Y; Qu, L R; Perera, Frederica

    2014-02-01

    In Tongliang, China, a coal-fired power plant was the major pollution source until its shutdown in 2004. We enrolled two cohorts of nonsmoking women and their newborns before and after the shutdown to examine the relationship between prenatal exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and fetal and child growth and development. PAHs were used to measure exposure to air pollution generated by the power plant. Using PAH-DNA adduct levels as biomarkers for the biologically effective dose of PAH exposure, we examined whether PAH-DNA adduct levels were associated with birth outcome, growth rate, and neurodevelopment. Head circumference was greater in children of the second cohort, compared with the first (p = 0.001), consistent with significantly reduced levels of cord blood PAH-DNA adducts in cohort II (p < 0.001) and reduced levels of ambient PAHs (p = 0.01).

  11. [Features of development of fetal bone organ culture in space flight].

    PubMed

    Berezovskaia, O P

    2002-01-01

    Fetal mouse metatarsals cultured for 4 days onboard international space laboratory IML-1 (STS-42) were investigated using light microscopy and electron microscopy combined with X-ray microanalysis. Bones cultured in microgravity were equal in length to both ground and inflight (1 g) controls. Three zones: epiphyseal, proliferative, and hypertrophic chondrocytes were distinguished and measured in metatarsals isolated from 16-day-old fetuses. In bone cultures exposed to microgravity, hypertrophic zone tended to decrease and epiphyseal area was increased compared to controls. Proliferative zone has equal length both in bones cultured under microgravity and in controls. The same tendency was observed in bone cultures from 17-day-old fetuses. Metatarsals cultured in microgravity have less spreading calcification zone of diaphysis in comparison with both controls. The results suggest that maturation of chondrocytes and calcification of cartilage, but not cell proliferation, are microgravity sensitive processes in developing bones isolated from the organism.

  12. ATF4 plays a pivotal role in the development of functional hematopoietic stem cells in mouse fetal liver.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yunze; Zhou, Jie; Liu, Dan; Dong, Fang; Cheng, Hui; Wang, Weili; Pang, Yakun; Wang, Yajie; Mu, Xiaohuan; Ni, Yanli; Li, Zhuan; Xu, Huiyu; Hao, Sha; Wang, Xiaochen; Ma, Shihui; Wang, Qian-fei; Xiao, Guozhi; Yuan, Weiping; Liu, Bing; Cheng, Tao

    2015-11-19

    The fetal liver (FL) serves as a predominant site for expansion of functional hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) during mouse embryogenesis. However, the mechanisms for HSC development in FL remain poorly understood. In this study, we demonstrate that deletion of activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) significantly impaired hematopoietic development and reduced HSC self-renewal in FL. In contrast, generation of the first HSC population in the aorta-gonad-mesonephros region was not affected. The migration activity of ATF4(-/-) HSCs was moderately reduced. Interestingly, the HSC-supporting ability of both endothelial and stromal cells in FL was significantly compromised in the absence of ATF4. Gene profiling using RNA-seq revealed downregulated expression of a panel of cytokines in ATF4(-/-) stromal cells, including angiopoietin-like protein 3 (Angptl3) and vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA). Addition of Angptl3, but not VEGFA, partially rescued the repopulating defect of ATF4(-/-) HSCs in the culture. Furthermore, chromatin immunoprecipitation assay in conjunction with silencing RNA-mediated silencing and complementary DNA overexpression showed transcriptional control of Angptl3 by ATF4. To summarize, ATF4 plays a pivotal role in functional expansion and repopulating efficiency of HSCs in developing FL, and it acts through upregulating transcription of cytokines such as Angptl3 in the microenvironment.

  13. Statistical considerations for the development of prescriptive fetal and newborn growth standards in the INTERGROWTH-21st Project.

    PubMed

    Altman, D G; Ohuma, E O

    2013-09-01

    The INTERGROWTH-21(st) Project has in its mandate to develop prescriptive standards for fetal, neonatal and preterm post-neonatal growth. The project comprises three components: the Fetal Growth Longitudinal Study (FGLS), the Preterm Postnatal Follow-up Study (PPFS), and the Newborn Cross-Sectional Study (NCSS). We consider here the statistical aspects of the three components as they relate to the construction of these standards, in particular the sample size, and outline the principles that will guide the planned main analyses.

  14. Fetal development and risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes type 2 in adult life.

    PubMed

    Szostak-Węgierek, Dorota; Szamotulska, Katarzyna

    2011-01-01

    The fetal origin hypothesis of adult cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidemia in persons born with low birthweight, independently of their extrauterine risk factors, has been well established in the last decade of the twentieth century. However, mechanisms responsible for this relationship are still under investigation. Insulin resistance resulting from the restriction of intrauterine development of skeletal muscles and other organs is considered as the most important cause of metabolic disturbances and their cardiovascular complications in adult subjects born with intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR). Decline of insulin secretion, overactivation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis, reduced glucose uptake in the liver and raised lipid oxidation in the muscles may also explain this association. On the other hand, abnormal vascular development , increased activity of the sympathetic nervous system, defective endothelial function and/or impaired renal function in growth restricted newborns may contribute to hypertension in their later life. With respect to maternal conditions and life-style factors that may increase cardiovascular risk in adult offspring born with IUGR, the most consistent results concern pregnancy induced hypertension, preeclampsia, undernutrition, smoking during pregnancy, hypercholesterolemia, inflammation and/or enhanced glucocorticoid secretion. Macrosomia of the newborn, a frequent sequel to maternal diabetes and/or obesity, also increases the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases in adulthood. Maternal overnutrition, and particularly high fat and sugar intake, seem to play a key role in fetal programming of cardiovascular risk in subjects born with macrosomia. Epigenetic imprinting underlies the described pathomechanisms. The presented associations are illustrated, among others, with the results of studies performed by the authors of this review.

  15. Factors Affecting the Quality of Staff Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Purcell, Larry O.

    A review of the literature concerning the effectiveness and quality of staff development programs focuses on factors that affect the success of such programs. These factors include: individual concerns, training activities, applications, qualifications of consultants, scheduling, strategies, facilities, feedback, collaboration, and outcomes. It is…

  16. Comparative assessments of the effects of alcohol exposure on fetal brain development using optical coherence tomography and ultrasound imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sudheendran, Narendran; Bake, Shameena; Miranda, Rajesh C.; Larin, Kirill V.

    2013-02-01

    The developing fetal brain is vulnerable to a variety of environmental agents including maternal ethanol consumption. Preclinical studies on the development and amelioration of fetal teratology would be significantly facilitated by the application of high resolution imaging technologies like optical coherence tomography (OCT) and high-frequency ultrasound (US). This study investigates the ability of these imaging technologies to measure the effects of maternal ethanol exposure on brain development, ex vivo, in fetal mice. Pregnant mice at gestational day 12.5 were administered ethanol (3 g/Kg b.wt.) or water by intragastric gavage, twice daily for three consecutive days. On gestational day 14.5, fetuses were collected and imaged. Three-dimensional images of the mice fetus brains were obtained by OCT and high-resolution US, and the volumes of the left and right ventricles of the brain were measured. Ethanol-exposed fetuses exhibited a statistically significant, 2-fold increase in average left and right ventricular volumes compared with the ventricular volume of control fetuses, with OCT-derived measures of 0.38 and 0.18 mm3, respectively, whereas the boundaries of the fetal mouse lateral ventricles were not clearly definable with US imaging. Our results indicate that OCT is a useful technology for assessing ventriculomegaly accompanying alcohol-induced developmental delay. This study clearly demonstrated advantages of using OCT for quantitative assessment of embryonic development compared with US imaging.

  17. Comparative assessments of the effects of alcohol exposure on fetal brain development using optical coherence tomography and ultrasound imaging.

    PubMed

    Sudheendran, Narendran; Bake, Shameena; Miranda, Rajesh C; Larin, Kirill V

    2013-02-01

    The developing fetal brain is vulnerable to a variety of environmental agents including maternal ethanol consumption. Preclinical studies on the development and amelioration of fetal teratology would be significantly facilitated by the application of high resolution imaging technologies like optical coherence tomography (OCT) and high-frequency ultrasound (US). This study investigates the ability of these imaging technologies to measure the effects of maternal ethanol exposure on brain development, ex vivo, in fetal mice. Pregnant mice at gestational day 12.5 were administered ethanol (3 g/Kg b.wt.) or water by intragastric gavage, twice daily for three consecutive days. On gestational day 14.5, fetuses were collected and imaged. Three-dimensional images of the mice fetus brains were obtained by OCT and high-resolution US, and the volumes of the left and right ventricles of the brain were measured. Ethanol-exposed fetuses exhibited a statistically significant, 2-fold increase in average left and right ventricular volumes compared with the ventricular volume of control fetuses, with OCT-derived measures of 0.38 and 0.18 mm3, respectively, whereas the boundaries of the fetal mouse lateral ventricles were not clearly definable with US imaging. Our results indicate that OCT is a useful technology for assessing ventriculomegaly accompanying alcohol-induced developmental delay. This study clearly demonstrated advantages of using OCT for quantitative assessment of embryonic development compared with US imaging.

  18. Variability in Classroom Social Communication: Performance of Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and Typically Developing Peers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kjellmer, Liselotte; Olswang, Lesley B.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: In this study, the authors examined how variability in classroom social communication performance differed between children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) and pair-matched, typically developing peers. Method: Twelve pairs of children were observed in their classrooms, 40 min per day (20 min per child) for 4 days over a…

  19. PAH-DNA adducts in cord blood and fetal and child development in a Chinese cohort

    SciTech Connect

    Tang, D.L.; Li, T.Y.; Liu, J.J.; Chen, Y.H.; Qu, L.R.; Perera, F.

    2006-08-15

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are an important class of toxic pollutants released by fossil fuel combustion. Other pollutants include metals and particulate matter. PAH-DNA adducts, or benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) adducts as their proxy, provide a chemical-specific measure of individual biologically effective doses that have been associated with increased risk of cancer and adverse birth outcomes. In the present study we examined the relationship between prenatal PAH exposure and fetal and child growth and development in Tongliang, China, where a seasonally operated coal-fired power plant was the major pollution source. In a cohort of 150 nonsmoking women and their newborns enrolled between 4 March 2002 and 19 June 2002, BaP-DNA adducts were measured in maternal and umbilical cord blood obtained at delivery. High PAH-DNA adduct levels (above the median of detectable adduct level) were associated with decreased birth head circumference (p = 0.057) and reduced children's weight at 18 months, 24 months, and 30 months of age (p {lt} 0.05), after controlling for potential confounders. In addition, in separate models, longer duration of prenatal exposure was associated with reduced birth length (p = 0.033) and reduced children's height at 18 (p = 0.001), 24 (p {lt} 0.001), and 30 months of age (p {lt} 0.001). The findings suggest that exposure to elevated levels of PAHS, with the Tongliang power plant being a significant source, is associated with reduced fetal and child growth in this population.

  20. Effects of restricted feeding on fetal and placental development in pregnant rabbits.

    PubMed

    Matsuoka, Tetsuya; Mizoguchi, Yasumoto; Haneda, Ryo; Otsuka, Ema; Mizuguchi, Hiroyasu; Fukuda, Kazuya; Ishikawa, Tsutomu; Tsurumoto, Kazuko; Noguchi, Maki; Tamai, Sachiko; Asano, Yuzo

    2012-02-01

    In our previous study on the effects of restricted feeding on pregnant rabbits (Matsuoka et al., 2009), animals given 20 g/day of diet on and after gestation day 6 (GD 6) showed significant changes in blood coagulation-related parameters suggesting a tendency to bleed and a decrease in serum concentration of progesterone, an important factor to maintain pregnancy, on GD 22, and a half of them showed serum progesterone concentrations less than 4.0 ng/ml which resulted in abortions on and after GD 23. In the present study, the effects of restricted feeding of 20 g/day from GD 6 to GD 22 on embryo-fetal and placental development on GD 23 as well as on blood coagulation-related parameters and serum progesterone concentrations on GD 22 were examined in pregnant rabbits. As compared with the non-restricted feeding (Not-treated, NT) group, the restricted feeding (RF) group showed lower values of platelets, fibrinogen, activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) and antithrombin III (ATIII) and a longer prothrombin time (PT), reflecting an inhibition of blood coagulation, and a decrease in serum progesterone concentration on GD 22. Cesarean section performed on GD 23 revealed that the RF group showed a tendency towards an increase in the embryo-fetal death index and lower body weights and placental volumes compared with the NT group. Histological examination of the placenta in the RF group revealed that the labyrinth zone was thin and many glycogen-containing cells still remained in the basal zone, suggesting a delay in placental growth.

  1. Structural Development, Cellular Differentiation and Proliferation of the Respiratory Epithelium in the Bovine Fetal Lung.

    PubMed

    Drozdowska, J; Cousens, C; Finlayson, J; Collie, D; Dagleish, M P

    2016-01-01

    Fetal bovine lung samples of 11 different gestational ages were assigned to a classical developmental stage based on histological morphology. Immunohistochemistry was used to characterize the morphology of forming airways, proliferation rate of airway epithelium and the presence of epithelial cell types (i.e. ciliated cells, club cells, neuroepithelial cells (NECs) and type II pneumocytes). Typical structural organization of pseudoglandular (84-98 days gestational age [DGA]), canalicular (154-168 DGA) and alveolar (224-266 DGA) stages was recognized. In addition, transitional pseudoglandular-canalicular (112-126 DGA) and canalicular-saccular (182 DGA) morphologies were present. The embryonic stage was not observed. A significantly (P <0.05) higher proliferation rate of pulmonary epithelium, on average 5.5% and 4.4% in bronchi and bronchioles, respectively, was present in the transitional pseudoglandular-canalicular phase (112-126 DGA) compared with all other phases, while from 8 weeks before term (224-266 DGA) proliferation had almost ceased. The first epithelial cells identified by specific marker proteins in the earliest samples available for study (84 DGA) were ciliated cells and NECs. Club cells were present initially at 112 DGA and type II pneumocytes at 224 DGA. At the latest time points (224-226 DGA) these latter cell types were still present at a much lower percentage compared with adult cattle. This study characterized bovine fetal lung development by histological morphology and cellular composition of the respiratory epithelium and suggests that the apparent structural anatomical maturity of the bovine lung at term is not matched by functional maturity of the respiratory epithelium.

  2. Apoptotic effects of dillapiole on maturation of mouse oocytes, fertilization and fetal development.

    PubMed

    Hsuuw, Yan-Der; Chan, Wen-Hsiung

    2015-10-01

    Previously, we reported that dillapiole, a phenylpropanoid with antileishmanial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal and acaricidal activities, is a risk factor for normal embryonic development that triggers apoptotic processes in the inner cell mass of mouse blastocysts, leading to impaired embryonic development and cell viability. In the current study, we investigated the deleterious effects of dillapiole on mouse oocyte maturation, in vitro fertilization (IVF) and subsequent pre- and post-implantation development, both in vitro and in vivo. Notably, dillapiole induced significant impairment of mouse oocyte maturation, decrease in the IVF rate and inhibition of subsequent embryonic development in vitro. Pre-incubation of oocytes with dillapiole during in vitro maturation led to an increase in post-implantation embryo resorption and decrease in mouse fetal weight. In an in vivo animal model, 2.5, 5 or 10 μM dillapiole provided in drinking water caused a decrease in oocyte maturation and IVF, and led to deleterious effects on early embryonic development. Importantly, pre-incubation of oocytes with a caspase-3-specific inhibitor effectively blocked dillapiole-triggered deleterious effects, clearly implying that embryonic injury induced by dillapiole is mediated via a caspase-dependent apoptotic mechanism. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to establish the impact of dillapiole on maturation of mouse oocytes, fertilization and sequential embryonic development. PMID:25721892

  3. 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

  4. STUDIES IN FETAL BEHAVIOR: REVISITED, RENEWED, AND REIMAGINED.

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    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 electrodrmal activity and fetal heartrate, 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 physio-logical 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

  5. A connection between extracellular matrix and hormonal signals during the development of the human fetal adrenal gland.

    PubMed

    Chamoux, E; Otis, M; Gallo-Payet, N

    2005-10-01

    The human adrenal cortex, involved in adaptive responses to stress, body homeostasis and secondary sexual characters, emerges from a tightly regulated development of a zone-specific secretion pattern during fetal life. Its development during fetal life is critical for the well being of pregnancy, the initiation of delivery, and even for an adequate adaptation to extra-uterine life. As early as from the sixth week of pregnancy, the fetal adrenal gland is characterized by a highly proliferative zone at the periphery, a concentric migration accompanied by cell differentiation (cortisol secretion) and apoptosis in the central androgen-secreting fetal zone. After birth, a strong reorganization occurs in the adrenal gland so that it better fulfills the newborn's needs, with aldosterone production in the external zona glomerulosa, cortisol secretion in the zona fasciculata and androgens in the central zona reticularis. In addition to the major hormonal stimuli provided by angiotensin II and adrenocorticotropin, we have tested for some years the hypotheses that such plasticity may be under the control of the extracellular matrix. A growing number of data have been harvested during the last years, in particular about extracellular matrix expression and its putative role in the development of the human adrenal cortex. Laminin, collagen and fibronectin have been shown to play important roles not only in the plasticity of the adrenal cortex, but also in cell responsiveness to hormones, thus clarifying some of the unexplained observations that used to feed controversies. PMID:16172742

  6. Maternal obesity leads to increased proliferation and numbers of astrocytes in the developing fetal and neonatal mouse hypothalamus.

    PubMed

    Kim, Dong Won; Glendining, Kelly A; Grattan, David R; Jasoni, Christine L

    2016-10-01

    Maternal obesity during pregnancy is associated with chronic maternal, placental, and fetal inflammation; and it elevates the risk for offspring obesity. Changes in the development of the hypothalamus, a brain region that regulates body weight and energy balance, are emerging as important determinants of offspring risk, but such changes are only beginning to be defined. Here we focused on the hypothesis that the pathological exposure of developing hypothalamic astrocytes to cytokines would alter their development. A maternal high-fat diet (mHFD) mouse model was used to investigate changes in hypothalamic astrocytes in the fetus during late gestation and in early neonates by using immunochemistry, confocal microscopy, and qPCR. The number of astrocytes and the proportion of proliferating astrocytes was significantly higher in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) and the supraoptic nucleus (SON) of the hypothalamus at both ages compared to control offspring from normal weight pregnancies. Supplemental to this we found that cultured fetal hypothalamic astrocytes proliferated significantly in response to IL6 (10ng/ml), one of the cytokines significantly elevated in fetuses of obese dams, via the JAK/STAT3 signaling pathway. Thus, maternal obesity during pregnancy stimulated the proliferation and thereby increased numbers of astrocytes in the fetal as well as early neonatal hypothalamus, which may be driven, during fetal life, by IL6. PMID:27326907

  7. Hazardous apoptotic effects of 2-bromopropane on maturation of mouse oocytes, fertilization, and fetal development.

    PubMed

    Chan, Wen-Hsiung

    2010-01-01

    2-Bromopropane (2-BP) is used as an alternative to ozone-depleting cleaning solvents. Previously, we reported that 2-BP has cytotoxic effects on mouse blastocysts and is associated with defects in subsequent development. Here, we further investigate the effects of 2-BP on oocyte maturation and subsequent pre- and post-implantation development, both in vitro and in vivo. Notably, 2-BP induced a significant reduction in the rates of oocyte maturation, fertilization, and in vitro embryonic development. Treatment of oocytes with 2-BP during in vitro maturation (IVM) resulted in increased resorption of postimplantation embryos and decreased fetal weights. Experiments with a mouse model disclosed that consumption of drinking water containing 20 μM 2-BP led to decreased oocyte maturation in vivo and fertilization in vitro, as well as impairment of early embryonic development. Interestingly, pretreatment with a caspase-3-specific inhibitor effectively prevented 2-BP-triggered hazardous effects, suggesting that embryonic impairment by 2-BP occurs via a caspase-dependent apoptotic process. A study using embryonic stem cells as the assay model conclusively demonstrated that 2-BP induces cell death processes through apoptosis and not necrosis, and inhibits early embryo development in mouse embryonic stem cells. These results collectively confirm the hazardous effects of 2-BP on embryos derived from pretreated oocytes. PMID:21151443

  8. Hazardous Apoptotic Effects of 2-Bromopropane on Maturation of Mouse Oocytes, Fertilization, and Fetal Development

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Wen-Hsiung

    2010-01-01

    2-Bromopropane (2-BP) is used as an alternative to ozone-depleting cleaning solvents. Previously, we reported that 2-BP has cytotoxic effects on mouse blastocysts and is associated with defects in subsequent development. Here, we further investigate the effects of 2-BP on oocyte maturation and subsequent pre- and post-implantation development, both in vitro and in vivo. Notably, 2-BP induced a significant reduction in the rates of oocyte maturation, fertilization, and in vitro embryonic development. Treatment of oocytes with 2-BP during in vitro maturation (IVM) resulted in increased resorption of postimplantation embryos and decreased fetal weights. Experiments with a mouse model disclosed that consumption of drinking water containing 20 μM 2-BP led to decreased oocyte maturation in vivo and fertilization in vitro, as well as impairment of early embryonic development. Interestingly, pretreatment with a caspase-3-specific inhibitor effectively prevented 2-BP-triggered hazardous effects, suggesting that embryonic impairment by 2-BP occurs via a caspase-dependent apoptotic process. A study using embryonic stem cells as the assay model conclusively demonstrated that 2-BP induces cell death processes through apoptosis and not necrosis, and inhibits early embryo development in mouse embryonic stem cells. These results collectively confirm the hazardous effects of 2-BP on embryos derived from pretreated oocytes. PMID:21151443

  9. Injurious Effects of Emodin on Maturation of Mouse Oocytes, Fertilization and Fetal Development via Apoptosis

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Mei-Hui; Chang, Shao-Chung; Chan, Wen-Hsiung

    2012-01-01

    Emodin (1,3,8-trihydroxy-6-methylanthraquinone), a major constituent of rhubarb, has a wide range of therapeutic applications. Previous studies have established that emodin induces apoptosis in the inner cell mass and trophectoderm of mouse blastocysts and leads to decreased embryonic development and viability, indicating a role as an injury risk factor for normal embryonic development. However, the mechanisms underlying its hazardous effects have yet to be characterized. In the current study, we further investigated the effects of emodin on oocyte maturation and subsequent pre- and post-implantation development, both in vitro and in vivo. Notably, emodin induced a significant reduction in the rates of oocyte maturation, fertilization, and in vitro embryonic development. Treatment of oocytes with emodin during in vitro maturation (IVM) led to increased resorption of postimplantation embryos and decreased fetal weight. Experiments using an in vivo mouse model disclosed that consumption of drinking water containing 20–40 μM emodin led to decreased oocyte maturation and in vitro fertilization, as well as early embryonic developmental injury. Notably, pretreatment with a caspase-3-specific inhibitor effectively prevented emodin-triggered injury effects, suggesting that impairment of embryo development occurs via a caspase-dependent apoptotic process. PMID:23203041

  10. The genotype-dependent influence of functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotubes on fetal development.

    PubMed

    Huang, Xinglu; Zhang, Fan; Sun, Xiaolian; Choi, Ki-Young; Niu, Gang; Zhang, Guofeng; Guo, Jinxia; Lee, Seulki; Chen, Xiaoyuan

    2014-01-01

    In many cases cancer is caused by gene deficiency that is being passed along from generation to generation. Soluble carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have shown promising applications in the diagnosis and therapy of cancer, however, the potential relationship between cancer-prone individuals and response to CNT exposure as a prerequisite for development of personalized nanomedicine, is still poorly understood. Here we report that intravenous injections of multi-walled carbon nanotubes into p53 (a well-known cancer-susceptible gene) heterozygous pregnant mice can induce p53- dependent responses in fetal development. Larger sized multi-walled carbon nanotubes moved across the blood-placenta barrier (BPB), restricted the development of fetuses, and induced brain deformity, whereas single-walled and smaller sized multi-walled carbon nanotubes showed no or less fetotoxicity. A molecular mechanism study found that multi-walled carbon nanotubes directly triggered p53-dependent apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in response to DNA damage. Based on the molecular mechanism, we also incorporated N-acetylcysteine (NAC), an FDA approved antioxidant, to prevent CNTs induced nuclear DNA damage and reduce brain development abnormalities. Our findings suggest that CNTs might have genetic background-dependent toxic effect on the normal development of the embryo, and provide new insights into protection against nanoparticle-induced toxicity in potential clinical applications.

  11. The genotype-dependent influence of functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotubes on fetal development.

    PubMed

    Huang, Xinglu; Zhang, Fan; Sun, Xiaolian; Choi, Ki-Young; Niu, Gang; Zhang, Guofeng; Guo, Jinxia; Lee, Seulki; Chen, Xiaoyuan

    2014-01-01

    In many cases cancer is caused by gene deficiency that is being passed along from generation to generation. Soluble carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have shown promising applications in the diagnosis and therapy of cancer, however, the potential relationship between cancer-prone individuals and response to CNT exposure as a prerequisite for development of personalized nanomedicine, is still poorly understood. Here we report that intravenous injections of multi-walled carbon nanotubes into p53 (a well-known cancer-susceptible gene) heterozygous pregnant mice can induce p53- dependent responses in fetal development. Larger sized multi-walled carbon nanotubes moved across the blood-placenta barrier (BPB), restricted the development of fetuses, and induced brain deformity, whereas single-walled and smaller sized multi-walled carbon nanotubes showed no or less fetotoxicity. A molecular mechanism study found that multi-walled carbon nanotubes directly triggered p53-dependent apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in response to DNA damage. Based on the molecular mechanism, we also incorporated N-acetylcysteine (NAC), an FDA approved antioxidant, to prevent CNTs induced nuclear DNA damage and reduce brain development abnormalities. Our findings suggest that CNTs might have genetic background-dependent toxic effect on the normal development of the embryo, and provide new insights into protection against nanoparticle-induced toxicity in potential clinical applications. PMID:24344357

  12. Toward Affective Development: A Program to Stimulate Psychological and Affective Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pearl, Linda F.

    1987-01-01

    Toward Affective Development (TAD), a 191-lesson program designed to stimulate psychological and affective development for third- through sixth-graders, can be used in special education, resource rooms, and remedial settings. TAD's five sections encompass: openness to experience, effects of emotions, group dynamics, individuality, and conflict…

  13. Recent developments in affective recommender systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katarya, Rahul; Verma, Om Prakash

    2016-11-01

    Recommender systems (RSs) are playing a significant role since 1990s as they provide relevant, personalized information to the users over the internet. Lots of work have been done in information filtering, utilization, and application related to RS. However, an important area recently draws our attention which is affective recommender system. Affective recommender system (ARS) is latest trending area of research, as publication in this domain are few and recently published. ARS is associated with human behaviour, human factors, mood, senses, emotions, facial expressions, body gesture and physiological with human-computer interaction (HCI). Due to this assortment and various interests, more explanation is required, as it is in premature phase and growing as compared to other fields. So we have done literature review (LR) in the affective recommender systems by doing classification, incorporate reputed articles published from the year 2003 to February 2016. We include articles which highlight, analyse, and perform a study on affective recommender systems. This article categorizes, synthesizes, and discusses the research and development in ARS. We have classified and managed ARS papers according to different perspectives: research gaps, nature, algorithm or method adopted, datasets, the platform on executed, types of information and evaluation techniques applied. The researchers and professionals will positively support this survey article for understanding the current position, research in affective recommender systems and will guide future trends, opportunity and research focus in ARS.

  14. The development of fetal dosimetry and its application to A-bomb survivors exposed in utero.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jing

    2012-03-01

    The cohort of the atomic bomb survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki comprises the major basis for investigations of health effects induced by ionising radiation in humans. To study the health effects associated with radiation exposure before birth, fetal dosimetry is needed if significant differences exist between the fetal absorbed dose and the mother's uterine dose. Combining total neutron and gamma ray free-in-air fluences at 1 m above ground with fluence-to-absorbed dose conversion coefficients, fetal doses were calculated for various exposure orientations at the ground distance of 1500 m from the hypocentres in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The results showed that the mother's uterine dose can serve as a good surrogate for the dose of the embryo and fetus in the first trimester. However, significant differences exist between doses of the fetus of different ages. If the mother's uterine dose were used as a surrogate, doses to the fetus in the last two trimesters could be overestimated by more than 20 % for exposure orientations facing towards and away from the hypocentre while significantly underestimated for lateral positions relative to the hypocentre. In newer fetal models, the brain is modelled for all fetal ages. Brain doses to the 3-month fetus are generally higher than those to an embryo and fetus of other ages. In most cases, brain absorbed doses differ significantly from the doses to the entire fetal body. In order to accurately assess radiation effects to the fetal brain, it is necessary to determine brain doses separately.

  15. The development of fetal dosimetry and its application to A-bomb survivors exposed in utero.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jing

    2012-03-01

    The cohort of the atomic bomb survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki comprises the major basis for investigations of health effects induced by ionising radiation in humans. To study the health effects associated with radiation exposure before birth, fetal dosimetry is needed if significant differences exist between the fetal absorbed dose and the mother's uterine dose. Combining total neutron and gamma ray free-in-air fluences at 1 m above ground with fluence-to-absorbed dose conversion coefficients, fetal doses were calculated for various exposure orientations at the ground distance of 1500 m from the hypocentres in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The results showed that the mother's uterine dose can serve as a good surrogate for the dose of the embryo and fetus in the first trimester. However, significant differences exist between doses of the fetus of different ages. If the mother's uterine dose were used as a surrogate, doses to the fetus in the last two trimesters could be overestimated by more than 20 % for exposure orientations facing towards and away from the hypocentre while significantly underestimated for lateral positions relative to the hypocentre. In newer fetal models, the brain is modelled for all fetal ages. Brain doses to the 3-month fetus are generally higher than those to an embryo and fetus of other ages. In most cases, brain absorbed doses differ significantly from the doses to the entire fetal body. In order to accurately assess radiation effects to the fetal brain, it is necessary to determine brain doses separately. PMID:21816724

  16. Photon migration through fetal head in utero using continuous wave, near infrared spectroscopy: development and evaluation of experimental and numerical models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vishnoi, Gargi; Hielscher, Andreas H.; Ramanujam, Nirmala; Chance, Britton

    2000-04-01

    In this work experimental tissue phantoms and numerical models were developed to estimate photon migration through the fetal head in utero. The tissue phantoms incorporate a fetal head within an amniotic fluid sac surrounded by a maternal tissue layer. A continuous wave, dual-wavelength ((lambda) equals 760 and 850 nm) spectrometer was employed to make near-infrared measurements on the tissue phantoms for various source-detector separations, fetal-head positions, and fetal-head optical properties. In addition, numerical simulations of photon propagation were performed with finite-difference algorithms that provide solutions to the equation of radiative transfer as well as the diffusion equation. The simulations were compared with measurements on tissue phantoms to determine the best numerical model to describe photon migration through the fetal head in utero. Evaluation of the results indicates that tissue phantoms in which the contact between fetal head and uterine wall is uniform best simulates the fetal head in utero for near-term pregnancies. Furthermore, we found that maximum sensitivity to the head can be achieved if the source of the probe is positioned directly above the fetal head. By optimizing the source-detector separation, this signal originating from photons that have traveled through the fetal head can drastically be increased.

  17. Prenatal alcohol exposure retards the migration and development of serotonin neurons in fetal C57BL mice.

    PubMed

    Zhou, F C; Sari, Y; Zhang, J K; Goodlett, C R; Li, T

    2001-02-28

    Incomplete neural tube fusion (iNTF), induced by alcohol, in midline floor and roof plates was found in our recent study. In this study, serotonin (5-HT) neurons, known to be born entirely in the midline raphe at brainstem, were examined during their development with fetal alcohol exposure. Weight-matched C57BL mice pregnant dams were divided into three groups on E8: one received ethanol via a chocolate Sustacal liquid diet providing 20% ethanol-derived calories as the sole source of nutrients (ALC); the second received an isocaloric Sustacal liquid diet and was pair-fed to individual dams in the ethanol-fed group (PF); the third was fed ad lib rat chow (Chow). Fetal brains were obtained on E15 and were processed for immunostaining of 5-HT and its trophic factor, S100 beta. The ascending 5-HT neurons, in normal development, appear bilaterally near midline on E12, and by E15, as seen in chow and PF groups, migrate from the midline germinal zone laterally and dorsally to their final position with rich fibers. In contrast, in the E15 ALC group, many 5-HT-im neurons were found remaining in the midline germinal region or had migrated, but with under-differentiated, sparse fibers. There were 20--30% fewer 5-HT-im neurons in ALC as compared to PF and Chow. In addition, the number of S100 beta cells was less in ALC as compared with PF and Chow groups. No difference was found between PF and Chow in number of 5-HT-im or S100 beta-im cells. The 5-HT neurons found compromised in migration and differentiation may, in part, stem from failure of access to floor plate or midline tissue induction and the insufficient support by S100 beta. As 5-HT neurons have been implicated for signaling brain maturation, fewer 5-HT neurons may have lasting effects on the development of brain or, if persistent in the adult, profoundly affect adult brain function.

  18. Fetal programming in meat production.

    PubMed

    Du, Min; Wang, Bo; Fu, Xing; Yang, Qiyuan; Zhu, Mei-Jun

    2015-11-01

    Nutrient fluctuations during the fetal stage affects fetal development, which has long-term impacts on the production efficiency and quality of meat. During the early development, a pool of mesenchymal progenitor cells proliferate and then diverge into either myogenic or adipogenic/fibrogenic lineages. Myogenic progenitor cells further develop into muscle fibers and satellite cells, while adipogenic/fibrogenic lineage cells develop into adipocytes, fibroblasts and resident fibro-adipogenic progenitor cells. Enhancing the proliferation and myogenic commitment of progenitor cells during fetal development enhances muscle growth and lean production in offspring. On the other hand, promoting the adipogenic differentiation of adipogenic/fibrogenic progenitor cells inside the muscle increases intramuscular adipocytes and reduces connective tissue, which improves meat marbling and tenderness. Available studies in mammalian livestock, including cattle, sheep and pigs, clearly show the link between maternal nutrition and the quantity and quality of meat production. Similarly, chicken muscle fibers develop before hatching and, thus, egg and yolk sizes and hatching temperature affect long-term growth performance and meat production of chicken. On the contrary, because fishes are able to generate new muscle fibers lifelong, the impact of early nutrition on fish growth performance is expected to be minor, which requires further studies.

  19. Development of Fetal Yawn Compared with Non-Yawn Mouth Openings from 24–36 Weeks Gestation

    PubMed Central

    Reissland, Nadja; Francis, Brian; Mason, James

    2012-01-01

    Background Although some research suggests that fetuses yawn, others disagree arguing that is it simple mouth opening. Furthermore there is no developmental account of fetal yawning compared with simple mouth opening. The aim of the present study was to establish in a repeated measures design the development of fetal yawning compared with simple mouth opening. Methodology/Findings Video recordings were made of the fetal face and upper torso visualized by means of 4D full frontal or facial profile ultrasound recordings. Fifteen healthy fetuses were scanned four times at 24, 28, 32 and 36 weeks gestation. Yawning was distinguished from non-yawning in terms of the length of time it took to reach the apex of the mouth stretch, with yawns being defined as more than 50% of the total time observed. To assess changes in frequency, a Poisson mixed effects model was fitted to the count of number of yawn and simple mouth opening events with age and gender as fixed effects, and person as a random effect. For both yawns and simple mouth openings a smooth varying age effect was significant. The number of yawns observed declined with age from 28 weeks gestation, whereas simple mouth openings were less frequent and the decline was observed from 24 weeks. Gender was not significant either for yawn and simple mouth openings. Conclusions/Significance Yawning can be reliably distinguished from other forms of mouth opening with the potential of using yawning as an index of fetal healthy development. PMID:23185638

  20. [The influence of hyperleptinemia during pregnancy on fetal weight and obesity development in progeny mice with agouti yellow mutation].

    PubMed

    Makarova, E N; Syracheva, M S; Bazhan, N M

    2014-03-01

    Maternal obesity increases the risk of obesity in the offspring, and obesity is accompanied by an increase in blood leptin levels. Leptin can influence the progeny metabolism via its influence on fetal growth and, possibly, via its action on AgRP expression in placenta. The "yellow" mutation at the mouse agouti locus (A(y)) evokes obesity and increases blood leptin levels in pregnant mice. The aim was to examine the influence of A(y) mutation in pregnant mice on fetal weight, placental expression of AgRP gene and food intake and obesity development in progeny. A(y) pregnant females as compared to control ones had increased circulating leptin levels on days 13 and 18 of pregnancy. Both fetal weight and placental expression of AgRP gene were increased on day 13 of pregnancy and decreased on day 18 of pregnancy in A(y) females as compared to control ones. Both control (a/a) and obesity prone (A(y)/a) male young born to A(y) mothers had lowered body weight and enhanced food intake between 5 and 11 weeks of age as compared to male progeny of control mothers. The enhanced leptin levels during pregnancy in mice are associated with retardation of obesity development in obesity prone male offspring and with changes in fetal weight and AgRP gene expression in placenta.

  1. Fetal Membrane Ultrastructure and Development in the Oviparous Milksnake Lampropeltis triangulum (Colubridae) with Reference to Function and Evolution in Snakes.

    PubMed

    Kim, Young K; Blackburn, Daniel G

    2016-07-01

    In eggs of oviparous reptiles, fetal membranes maintain developing embryos through the exchange of respiratory gases and provision of water and calcium. As part of a survey of reptilian fetal membranes, we used scanning electron microscopy to study fetal membrane morphology in the oviparous Pueblan milksnake, Lampropeltis triangulum campbelli. The chorioallantois initially is an avascular structure lined by enlarged chorionic and allantoic epithelia. Upon vascularization, the chorionic epithelium becomes greatly attenuated, enhancing the potential for gas exchange; the allantoic epithelium also flattens. The bilaminar omphalopleure of the yolk sac lacks blood vessels, but it becomes vascularized by allantoic capillaries and transformed into an omphalallantois. Upon regression of the isolated yolk mass, this membrane is converted to chorioallantois, equipping it for gas exchange. Allantoic fluid serves as a water reservoir, and we postulate that it facilitates water uptake by establishing an osmotic gradient. Early in development, epithelia of both the chorion and the omphalopleure show apical microvilli that greatly increase the cell surface area available for water uptake. However, these features are incompatible with gas exchange and are lost as oxygen needs take precedence. A comparison of the fetal membranes to those of other squamate species (both oviparous and viviparous) reveals characteristics that are probably ancestral for snakes, some of which are plesiomorphic for Squamata. The widespread phylogenetic distribution of these features reflects their utility as adaptations that serve functional requirements of squamate embryos. PMID:27373551

  2. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

    PubMed

    Dörrie, Nora; Föcker, Manuel; Freunscht, Inga; Hebebrand, Johannes

    2014-10-01

    Prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) is one of the most prevalent and modifiable risk factors for somatic, behavioral, and neurological abnormalities. Affected individuals exhibit a wide range of such features referred to as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). These are characterized by a more or less specific pattern of minor facial dysmorphic features, growth deficiency and central nervous system symptoms. Nevertheless, whereas the diagnosis of the full-blown fetal alcohol syndrome does not pose a major challenge, only a tentative diagnosis of FASD can be reached if only mild features are present and/or maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy cannot be verified. The respective disorders have lifelong implications. The teratogenic mechanisms induced by PAE can lead to various additional somatic findings and structural abnormalities of cerebrum and cerebellum. At the functional level, cognition, motor coordination, attention, language development, executive functions, memory, social perception and emotion processing are impaired to a variable extent. The long-term development is characterized by disruption and failure in many domains; an age-adequate independency is frequently not achieved. In addition to primary prevention, individual therapeutic interventions and tertiary prevention are warranted; provision of extensive education to affected subjects and their caregivers is crucial. Protective environments are often required to prevent negative consequences such as delinquency, indebtedness or experience of physical/sexual abuse.

  3. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

    PubMed

    Dörrie, Nora; Föcker, Manuel; Freunscht, Inga; Hebebrand, Johannes

    2014-10-01

    Prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) is one of the most prevalent and modifiable risk factors for somatic, behavioral, and neurological abnormalities. Affected individuals exhibit a wide range of such features referred to as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). These are characterized by a more or less specific pattern of minor facial dysmorphic features, growth deficiency and central nervous system symptoms. Nevertheless, whereas the diagnosis of the full-blown fetal alcohol syndrome does not pose a major challenge, only a tentative diagnosis of FASD can be reached if only mild features are present and/or maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy cannot be verified. The respective disorders have lifelong implications. The teratogenic mechanisms induced by PAE can lead to various additional somatic findings and structural abnormalities of cerebrum and cerebellum. At the functional level, cognition, motor coordination, attention, language development, executive functions, memory, social perception and emotion processing are impaired to a variable extent. The long-term development is characterized by disruption and failure in many domains; an age-adequate independency is frequently not achieved. In addition to primary prevention, individual therapeutic interventions and tertiary prevention are warranted; provision of extensive education to affected subjects and their caregivers is crucial. Protective environments are often required to prevent negative consequences such as delinquency, indebtedness or experience of physical/sexual abuse. PMID:24965796

  4. The shared pathoetiological effects of particulate air pollution and the social environment on fetal-placental development.

    PubMed

    Erickson, Anders C; Arbour, Laura

    2014-01-01

    Exposure to particulate air pollution and socioeconomic risk factors are shown to be independently associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes; however, their confounding relationship is an epidemiological challenge that requires understanding of their shared etiologic pathways affecting fetal-placental development. The purpose of this paper is to explore the etiological mechanisms associated with exposure to particulate air pollution in contributing to adverse pregnancy outcomes and how these mechanisms intersect with those related to socioeconomic status. Here we review the role of oxidative stress, inflammation and endocrine modification in the pathoetiology of deficient deep placentation and detail how the physical and social environments can act alone and collectively to mediate the established pathology linked to a spectrum of adverse pregnancy outcomes. We review the experimental and epidemiological literature showing that diet/nutrition, smoking, and psychosocial stress share similar pathways with that of particulate air pollution exposure to potentially exasperate the negative effects of either insult alone. Therefore, socially patterned risk factors often treated as nuisance parameters should be explored as potential effect modifiers that may operate at multiple levels of social geography. The degree to which deleterious exposures can be ameliorated or exacerbated via community-level social and environmental characteristics needs further exploration.

  5. The Shared Pathoetiological Effects of Particulate Air Pollution and the Social Environment on Fetal-Placental Development

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Exposure to particulate air pollution and socioeconomic risk factors are shown to be independently associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes; however, their confounding relationship is an epidemiological challenge that requires understanding of their shared etiologic pathways affecting fetal-placental development. The purpose of this paper is to explore the etiological mechanisms associated with exposure to particulate air pollution in contributing to adverse pregnancy outcomes and how these mechanisms intersect with those related to socioeconomic status. Here we review the role of oxidative stress, inflammation and endocrine modification in the pathoetiology of deficient deep placentation and detail how the physical and social environments can act alone and collectively to mediate the established pathology linked to a spectrum of adverse pregnancy outcomes. We review the experimental and epidemiological literature showing that diet/nutrition, smoking, and psychosocial stress share similar pathways with that of particulate air pollution exposure to potentially exasperate the negative effects of either insult alone. Therefore, socially patterned risk factors often treated as nuisance parameters should be explored as potential effect modifiers that may operate at multiple levels of social geography. The degree to which deleterious exposures can be ameliorated or exacerbated via community-level social and environmental characteristics needs further exploration. PMID:25574176

  6. Thyroid hormones in fetal growth and prepartum maturation.

    PubMed

    Forhead, A J; Fowden, A L

    2014-06-01

    The thyroid hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), are essential for normal growth and development of the fetus. Their bioavailability in utero depends on development of the fetal hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid gland axis and the abundance of thyroid hormone transporters and deiodinases that influence tissue levels of bioactive hormone. Fetal T4 and T3 concentrations are also affected by gestational age, nutritional and endocrine conditions in utero, and placental permeability to maternal thyroid hormones, which varies among species with placental morphology. Thyroid hormones are required for the general accretion of fetal mass and to trigger discrete developmental events in the fetal brain and somatic tissues from early in gestation. They also promote terminal differentiation of fetal tissues closer to term and are important in mediating the prepartum maturational effects of the glucocorticoids that ensure neonatal viability. Thyroid hormones act directly through anabolic effects on fetal metabolism and the stimulation of fetal oxygen consumption. They also act indirectly by controlling the bioavailability and effectiveness of other hormones and growth factors that influence fetal development such as the catecholamines and insulin-like growth factors (IGFs). By regulating tissue accretion and differentiation near term, fetal thyroid hormones ensure activation of physiological processes essential for survival at birth such as pulmonary gas exchange, thermogenesis, hepatic glucogenesis, and cardiac adaptations. This review examines the developmental control of fetal T4 and T3 bioavailability and discusses the role of these hormones in fetal growth and development with particular emphasis on maturation of somatic tissues critical for survival immediately at birth.

  7. Ultrasonographic monitoring of fetal development in unrestrained bonobos (Pan paniscus) at the Milwaukee County Zoo.

    PubMed

    Drews, Barbara; Harmann, Leanne M; Beehler, Leann L; Bell, Barbara; Drews, Reinhard F; Hildebrandt, Thomas B

    2011-01-01

    The bonobo, Pan paniscus, is one of the most endangered primate species. In the context of the Bonobo Species Survival Plan(®), the Milwaukee County Zoo established a successful breeding group. Although the bonobo serves as a model species for human evolution, no prenatal growth curves are available. To develop growth graphs, the animals at the Milwaukee County Zoo were trained by positive reinforcement to allow for ultrasound exams without restraint. With this method, the well being of mother and fetus were maintained and ultrasound exams could be performed frequently. The ovulation date of the four animals in the study was determined exactly so that gestational age was known for each examination. Measurements of biparietal diameter (BPD), head circumference (HC), abdominal circumference (AC), and femur length (FL) were used to create growth curves. Prenatal growth of P. paniscus was compared with the data of humans and the common chimpanzee, P. troglodytes. With respect to cranial structures, such as BPD and HC, humans have significant acceleration of growth compared with P. paniscus and P. troglodytes. In P. paniscus, growth of AC was similar to HC throughout pregnancy, whereas in humans AC only reaches the level of HC close to term. Growth rate of FL was similar in humans and the two Pan species until near day 180 post-ovulation. After that, the Pan species FL growth slowed compared with human FL. The newly developed fetal growth curves of P. paniscus will assist in monitoring prenatal development and predicting birth dates of this highly endangered species.

  8. Non-imprinted epigenetics in fetal and postnatal development and growth.

    PubMed

    Godfrey, Keith M; Lillycrop, Karen A; Burdge, Graham C; Gluckman, Peter D; Hanson, Mark A

    2013-01-01

    Recent evidence demonstrates that the environment in early life can have important effects on fetal and postnatal growth, on development and on risk of developing common non-communicable diseases in later life. In animals, the environment during early life induces altered phenotypes in ways which are influenced or mediated by epigenetic mechanisms. The latter include DNA methylation, covalent modifications of histones and non-coding RNAs. Most is known about DNA methylation changes, which are gene specific, include effects on non-imprinted genes and function at the level of individual CpG dinucleotides to alter gene expression. Preliminary evidence from human studies suggests a similar important role for epigenetic processes. Tuning of phenotype by the developmental environment has adaptive value because it attempts to match an individual's responses to the environment predicted to be experienced later; hence, such processes have been selected during evolution as conferring fitness advantage. When the phenotype is mismatched, e.g. from inaccurate nutritional cues from the mother or placenta before birth, or from rapid environmental change through improved socioeconomic conditions, risk of non-communicable diseases increases. Evidence is accruing that endocrine or nutritional interventions during early postnatal life can reverse epigenetic and phenotypic changes induced, for example, by unbalanced maternal diet during pregnancy. Elucidation of epigenetic processes may enable early intervention strategies to improve early development and growth.

  9. Cardiac-specific activation of Cre expression at late fetal development

    SciTech Connect

    Opherk, Jan P.; Yampolsky, Peter; Hardt, Stefan E.; Schoels, Wolfgang; Katus, Hugo A.; Koenen, Michael . E-mail: koenen@mpimf-heidelberg.mpg.de; Zehelein, Joerg

    2007-07-27

    In a first step towards dissecting molecular mechanisms that contribute to the development of cardiac diseases, we have generated transgenic mice that express a Cre-GFP fusion protein under the transcriptional control of a 4.3 kb murine cardiac Troponin I gene (cTnI) promoter. Cre-GFP expression, similar in three transgenic lines, is described in one line. In mouse embryos, transgenic for the Cre-GFP and ROSA lacZ reporter allele, first Cre-mediated recombination appeared at 16.5 dpc selectively at the heart. Like the endogenous cTnI gene, transgenic Cre expression showed a slow rise through fetal development that increased neonatally. Bitransgenic hearts, stained at 30 days of age, showed intense signals in ventricular and atrial myocytes while no recombination occurred in other tissues. The delayed onset of Cre activity in cTnI-Cre mice could provide a useful genetic tool to evaluate the function of loxP targeted cardiac genes without interference of recombination during early heart development.

  10. Effect of fetal undernutrition and postnatal overfeeding on rat adipose tissue and organ growth at early stages of postnatal development.

    PubMed

    Munoz-Valverde, D; Rodríguez-Rodríguez, P; Gutierrez-Arzapalo, P Y; López de Pablo, A L; Carmen González, M; López-Giménez, R; Somoza, B; Arribas, S M

    2015-01-01

    Intrauterine and perinatal life are critical periods for programming of cardiometabolic diseases. However, their relative role remains controversial. We aimed to assess, at weaning, sex-dependent alterations induced by fetal or postnatal nutritional interventions on key organs for metabolic and cardiovascular control. Fetal undernutrition was induced by dam food restriction (50 % from mid-gestation to delivery) returning to ad libitum throughout lactation (Maternal Undernutrition, MUN, 12 pups/litter). Postnatal overfeeding (POF) was induced by litter size reduction from normally fed dams (4 pups/litter). Compared to control, female and male MUN offspring exhibited: 1) low birth weight and accelerated growth, reaching similar weight and tibial length by weaning, 2) increased glycemia, liver and white fat weights; 3) increased ventricular weight and tendency to reduced kidney weight (males only). Female and male POF offspring showed: 1) accelerated growth; 2) increased glycemia, liver and white fat weights; 3) unchanged heart and kidney weights. In conclusion, postnatal accelerated growth, with or without fetal undernutrition, induces early alterations relevant for metabolic disease programming, while fetal undernutrition is required for heart abnormalities. The progression of cardiac alterations and their role on hypertension development needs to be evaluated. The similarities between sexes in pre-pubertal rats suggest a role of sex-hormones in female protection against programming.

  11. Improvement of maternal vitamin D status with 25-hydroxycholecalciferol positively impacts porcine fetal skeletal muscle development and myoblast activity.

    PubMed

    Hines, E A; Coffey, J D; Starkey, C W; Chung, T K; Starkey, J D

    2013-09-01

    There is little information available regarding the influence of maternal vitamin D status on fetal skeletal muscle development. Therefore, we investigated the effect of improved vitamin D status resulting from 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25OHD3) supplementation of dams on fetal skeletal muscle developmental characteristics and myoblast activity using Camborough 22 gilts (n = 40) randomly assigned to 1 of 2 corn-soybean meal-based diets. The control diet (CTL) contained 2,500 IU cholecalciferol (D3)/kg diet, whereas the experimental diet contained 500 IU D3/kg diet plus 50 µg 25OHD3/kg diet. Gilts were fed 2.7 kg of their assigned diet once daily beginning 43 d before breeding through d 90 of gestation. On gestational d 90 (± 1), fetal LM and semitendinosus muscle samples were collected for analysis of developmental characteristics and myoblast activity, respectively. No treatment difference was observed in fetal LM cross-sectional area (P = 0.25). Fetuses from 25OHD3-supplemented gilts had more LM fibers (P = 0.04) that tended to be smaller in cross-sectional area compared with CTL fetuses (P = 0.11). A numerical increase in the total number of Pax7+ myoblasts was also observed in fetuses from 25OHD3-supplemented gilts (P = 0.12). Myoblasts derived from the muscles of fetuses from 25OHD3-fed dams displayed an extended proliferative phase in culture compared with those from fetuses of dams fed only D3 (P < 0.0001). The combination of additional muscle fibers and Pax7+ myoblasts with prolonged proliferative capacity could enhance the postnatal skeletal muscle growth potential of fetuses from 25OHD3-supplemented gilts. These data highlight the importance of maternal vitamin D status on the development of fetal skeletal muscle.

  12. Comparative Characterization of Cardiac Development Specific microRNAs: Fetal Regulators for Future.

    PubMed

    Rustagi, Yashika; Jaiswal, Hitesh K; Rawal, Kamal; Kundu, Gopal C; Rani, Vibha

    2015-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, conserved RNAs known to regulate several biological processes by influencing gene expression in eukaryotes. The implication of miRNAs as another player of regulatory layers during heart development and diseases has recently been explored. However, there is no study which elucidates the profiling of miRNAs during development of heart till date. Very limited miRNAs have been reported to date in cardiac context. In addition, integration of large scale experimental data with computational and comparative approaches remains an unsolved challenge.The present study was designed to identify the microRNAs implicated in heart development using next generation sequencing, bioinformatics and experimental approaches. We sequenced six small RNA libraries prepared from different developmental stages of the heart using chicken as a model system to produce millions of short sequence reads. We detected 353 known and 703 novel miRNAs involved in heart development. Out of total 1056 microRNAs identified, 32.7% of total dataset of known microRNAs displayed differential expression whereas seven well studied microRNAs namely let-7, miR-140, miR-181, miR-30, miR-205, miR-103 and miR-22 were found to be conserved throughout the heart development. The 3'UTR sequences of genes were screened from Gallus gallus genome for potential microRNA targets. The target mRNAs were appeared to be enriched with genes related to cell cycle, apoptosis, signaling pathways, extracellular remodeling, metabolism, chromatin remodeling and transcriptional regulators. Our study presents the first comprehensive overview of microRNA profiling during heart development and prediction of possible cardiac specific targets and has a big potential in future to develop microRNA based therapeutics against cardiac pathologies where fetal gene re-expression is witnessed in adult heart. PMID:26465880

  13. Comparative Characterization of Cardiac Development Specific microRNAs: Fetal Regulators for Future.

    PubMed

    Rustagi, Yashika; Jaiswal, Hitesh K; Rawal, Kamal; Kundu, Gopal C; Rani, Vibha

    2015-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, conserved RNAs known to regulate several biological processes by influencing gene expression in eukaryotes. The implication of miRNAs as another player of regulatory layers during heart development and diseases has recently been explored. However, there is no study which elucidates the profiling of miRNAs during development of heart till date. Very limited miRNAs have been reported to date in cardiac context. In addition, integration of large scale experimental data with computational and comparative approaches remains an unsolved challenge.The present study was designed to identify the microRNAs implicated in heart development using next generation sequencing, bioinformatics and experimental approaches. We sequenced six small RNA libraries prepared from different developmental stages of the heart using chicken as a model system to produce millions of short sequence reads. We detected 353 known and 703 novel miRNAs involved in heart development. Out of total 1056 microRNAs identified, 32.7% of total dataset of known microRNAs displayed differential expression whereas seven well studied microRNAs namely let-7, miR-140, miR-181, miR-30, miR-205, miR-103 and miR-22 were found to be conserved throughout the heart development. The 3'UTR sequences of genes were screened from Gallus gallus genome for potential microRNA targets. The target mRNAs were appeared to be enriched with genes related to cell cycle, apoptosis, signaling pathways, extracellular remodeling, metabolism, chromatin remodeling and transcriptional regulators. Our study presents the first comprehensive overview of microRNA profiling during heart development and prediction of possible cardiac specific targets and has a big potential in future to develop microRNA based therapeutics against cardiac pathologies where fetal gene re-expression is witnessed in adult heart.

  14. Comparative Characterization of Cardiac Development Specific microRNAs: Fetal Regulators for Future

    PubMed Central

    Rustagi, Yashika; Jaiswal, Hitesh K.; Rawal, Kamal; Kundu, Gopal C.; Rani, Vibha

    2015-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, conserved RNAs known to regulate several biological processes by influencing gene expression in eukaryotes. The implication of miRNAs as another player of regulatory layers during heart development and diseases has recently been explored. However, there is no study which elucidates the profiling of miRNAs during development of heart till date. Very limited miRNAs have been reported to date in cardiac context. In addition, integration of large scale experimental data with computational and comparative approaches remains an unsolved challenge.The present study was designed to identify the microRNAs implicated in heart development using next generation sequencing, bioinformatics and experimental approaches. We sequenced six small RNA libraries prepared from different developmental stages of the heart using chicken as a model system to produce millions of short sequence reads. We detected 353 known and 703 novel miRNAs involved in heart development. Out of total 1056 microRNAs identified, 32.7% of total dataset of known microRNAs displayed differential expression whereas seven well studied microRNAs namely let–7, miR–140, miR–181, miR–30, miR–205, miR–103 and miR–22 were found to be conserved throughout the heart development. The 3’UTR sequences of genes were screened from Gallus gallus genome for potential microRNA targets. The target mRNAs were appeared to be enriched with genes related to cell cycle, apoptosis, signaling pathways, extracellular remodeling, metabolism, chromatin remodeling and transcriptional regulators. Our study presents the first comprehensive overview of microRNA profiling during heart development and prediction of possible cardiac specific targets and has a big potential in future to develop microRNA based therapeutics against cardiac pathologies where fetal gene re-expression is witnessed in adult heart. PMID:26465880

  15. Studies of the development of brain barrier systems to lipid insoluble molecules in fetal sheep.

    PubMed Central

    Dziegielewska, K M; Evans, C A; Malinowska, D H; Møllgård, K; Reynolds, J M; Reynolds, M L; Saunders, N R

    1979-01-01

    1. The development of the blood-brain and blood-c.s.f barriers to lipid insoluble substances of different molecular radii has been studied in fetal sheep, early (60 days) and late (125 days) in gestation, using labelled erythritol (C14), sucrose (3H or 14C), inulin (3H or 14C) and albumin (125I), or albumin and IgG detected by immunoassay. 2. Morphological studies of fetal brain and choroid plexus at the same gestational stages were carried out using thin section electron microscopy and the freeze fracture techniques. 3. Penetration of markers into c.s.f. was substantially greater at 60 days than at 125 days, but at both ages the steady-state level achieved appeared to be related to molecular size. 4. A simple model describing penetration from blood into c.s.f. at 60 days is proposed. It involves the assumption that c.s.f. and brain extracellular fluid are effectively separate compartments; morphological and permeability data which supports this assumption is presented. The data for c.s.f. at 60 days are consistent with the suggestion that the markers penetrate into c.s.f. by diffusion and are not restricted by small pores in the interface between blood and c.s.f. 5. The reduction in penetration which occurred by 125 days for all markers except erythritol appears to be accounted for by an increase in the sink effect and a decrease in the effective surface area for exchange between blood and c.s.f. 6. Intercellular tight junctions of both cerebral endothelial cells and choroid plexus epithelial cells were well formed at 60 days gestation. There was no change in junctional characteristics previously thought to correlate with transepithelial permeability (tight junction depth and strand number) between the two ages studied, although there were marked changes in permeability. 7. Evidence is advanced in support of the hypothesis that in the fetus much of the penetration of lipid insoluble non-polar substances across the blood-c.s.f. barrier and perhaps across the blood

  16. Ontogenic development of brown adipose tissue in Angus and Brahman fetal calves.

    PubMed

    Landis, M D; Carstens, G E; McPhail, E G; Randel, R D; Green, K K; Slay, L; Smith, S B

    2002-03-01

    Brahman calves experience greater neonatal mortality than Angus calves if cold-stressed. To establish a developmental basis for this, three fetuses of each breed type were taken at 96, 48, 24, 14, and 6 d before expected parturition, and at parturition. Overall fetal BW tended (P = 0.08) to be greater for Angus than for Brahman fetuses. There was no difference between breed types in total brown adipose tissue (BAT) mass or grams of BAT/kg BW. Brown adipocyte density decreased 56%, whereas lipogenesis from acetate and glucose in vitro decreased 97% during the last 96 d of gestation in both breed types. Glycerolipid synthesis from palmitate declined by 85% during the last trimester but still contributed 98% to total lipid synthesis at birth. The fetal age x breed interaction was significant for lipogenesis from glucose (P = 0.05) and palmitate (P = 0.005); rates were higher at 96 d before birth in Brahman BAT but declined to similar rates by birth. Uncoupling protein-1 (UCP1) mRNA tripled during gestation in both breed types (P = 0.002), whereas mitochondrial cross-sectional area did not change (P = 0.14) during gestation. Neither the breed nor the age x breed effect was significant (P > or = 0.24) for UCP1 mRNA concentration or mitochondrial cross-sectional area. In both breed types, a marked decrease in BAT UCP1 mRNA between 24 and 14 d prepartum was associated with a similar reduction in lipogenesis from palmitate and a noticeable change in BAT mitochondrial morphology, as the mitochondria became more elongated and the cristae became more elaborate. Uncoupling protein-1 mRNA initially was elevated in Angus tailhead s.c. adipose tissue, but was barely detectable by birth, and tended to be greater overall (P = 0.09) in Angus than in Brahman BAT. If uncoupling protein activity in s.c. adipose tissue persists after birth, then s.c. adipose tissue may contribute more to thermogenesis in Angus newborn calves than in Brahman calves. In contrast, we did not observe

  17. Fetal thyroid function: diagnosis and management of fetal thyroid disorders.

    PubMed

    Fisher, D A

    1997-03-01

    The fetal hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis develops independently of the maternal axis, but it is dependent on the maternal-placental system for adequate supply of iodide substrate. This iodide is supplied by direct transfer of maternal plasma iodide and by placental deiodination of T4. In addition, although placental transport of iodothyronines is limited, significant maternal-fetal transfer of T4 occurs, accounting for approximately 30% of the average 10 ug/dL serum-T4 concentration in fetal-cord blood at term. Current information suggests that this maternal contribution to the fetal-T4 levels is important for normal fetal maturation, particularly of the central nervous system. Combined maternal-fetal hypothyroxinemia can lead to irreversible fetal central nervous system damage. The timing of this fetal T4 dependency is not clear. It may be important in the first half of gestation, before the fetal thyroid gland is capable of T4 production, as well as the latter half of gestation when thyroid hormone effects on multiple organ systems are developing. Management of fetal thyroid dysfunction requires normalization of maternal serum T4 concentrations, avoidance or careful monitoring of potentially goitrogenic drug effects in the fetus, and in some instances, direct or indirect fetal therapy. In most cases fetal hypothyroidism is sporadic and undetected, and prognosis for normal growth and development is excellent if the mother is euthyroid and the hypothyroid state is detected and adequately treated at birth. Fetal treatment by intraamniotic thyroxine injection has been provided in cases of inadvertent maternal radioiodine treatment of Graves' disease between 10 and 20 weeks gestation and for fetal goiter detected by ultrasound. Effective treatment of fetal hyperthyroidism in pregnant women with high titers of thyroid stimulating autoantibody is possible by judicious administration of antithyroid drugs to the mother. Management of the hyperthyroid state in the

  18. Low and high dietary protein:carbohydrate ratios during pregnancy affect materno-fetal glucose metabolism in pigs.

    PubMed

    Metges, Cornelia C; Görs, Solvig; Lang, Iris S; Hammon, Harald M; Brüssow, Klaus-Peter; Weitzel, Joachim M; Nürnberg, Gerd; Rehfeldt, Charlotte; Otten, Winfried

    2014-02-01

    Inadequate dietary protein during pregnancy causes intrauterine growth retardation. Whether this is related to altered maternal and fetal glucose metabolism was examined in pregnant sows comparing a high-protein:low-carbohydrate diet (HP-LC; 30% protein, 39% carbohydrates) with a moderately low-protein:high-carbohydrate diet (LP-HC; 6.5% protein, 68% carbohydrates) and the isoenergetic standard diet (ST; 12.1% protein, 60% carbohydrates). During late pregnancy, maternal and umbilical glucose metabolism and fetal hepatic mRNA expression of gluconeogenic enzymes were examined. During an i.v. glucose tolerance test (IVGTT), the LP-HC-fed sows had lower insulin concentrations and area under the curve (AUC), and higher glucose:insulin ratios than the ST- and the HP-LC-fed sows (P < 0.05). Insulin sensitivity and glucose clearance were higher in the LP-HC sows compared with ST sows (P < 0.05). Glucagon concentrations during postabsorptive conditions and IVGTT, and glucose AUC during IVGTT, were higher in the HP-LC group compared with the other groups (P < 0.001). (13)C glucose oxidation was lower in the HP-LC sows than in the ST and LP-HC sows (P < 0.05). The HP-LC fetuses were lighter and had a higher brain:liver ratio than the ST group (P < 0.05). The umbilical arterial inositol concentration was greater in the HP-LC group (P < 0.05) and overall small fetuses (230-572 g) had higher values than medium and heavy fetuses (≥573 g) (P < 0.05). Placental lactate release was lower in the LP-HC group than in the ST group (P < 0.05). Fetal glucose extraction tended to be lower in the LP-HC group than in the ST group (P = 0.07). In the HP-LC and LP-HC fetuses, hepatic mRNA expression of cytosolic phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PCK1) and glucose-6-phosphatase (G6PC) was higher than in the ST fetuses (P < 0.05). In conclusion, the HP-LC and LP-HC sows adapted by reducing glucose turnover and oxidation and having higher glucose utilization, respectively. The HP-LC and LP

  19. Ozone treatment prevents the toxicity of an environmental mixture of estrogens on rat fetal testicular development.

    PubMed

    Lassonde, Guylaine; Nasuhoglu, Deniz; Pan, Jun Feng; Gaye, Bintou; Yargeau, Viviane; Delbes, Geraldine

    2015-12-01

    Effluents from wastewater treatment plants contain a mixture of estrogens (MIX: 17β-estradiol: E2, estrone: E1, estriol: E3 and 17α-ethinylestradiol EE2). High doses of estrogens have been shown to negatively impact fetal testicular development, but the impact of low doses of estrogens in mixture have yet to be elucidated. Using an organ culture system in which embryonic 15.5 day-old rat testes were grown ex vivo, we showed that exposure to the MIX at environmentally relevant concentrations reduces testis growth. No effect was observed on testosterone secretion, but we quantified a significant decrease in the number of Sertoli cells and gonocytes because of higher rates of apoptosis. As ozone (O3) can be used as a disinfectant during wastewater treatment, we confirmed by HPLC-MS analysis that it removes the four parent compounds. Interestingly, the negative effects of the MIX were not observed when testes were exposed to the MIX treated with O3. PMID:26370920

  20. Sensory hypo-excitability in a rat model of fetal development in Fragile X Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Berzhanskaya, Julia; Phillips, Marnie A.; Shen, Jing; Colonnese, Matthew T.

    2016-01-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is characterized by sensory hyper-sensitivity, and animal models suggest that neuronal hyper-excitability contributes to this phenotype. To understand how sensory dysfunction develops in FXS, we used the rat model (FMR-KO) to quantify the maturation of cortical visual responses from the onset of responsiveness prior to eye-opening, through age equivalents of human juveniles. Rather than hyper-excitability, visual responses before eye-opening had reduced spike rates and an absence of early gamma oscillations, a marker for normal thalamic function at this age. Despite early hypo-excitability, the developmental trajectory of visual responses in FMR-KO rats was normal, and showed the expected loss of visually evoked bursting at the same age as wild-type, two days before eye-opening. At later ages, during the third and fourth post-natal weeks, signs of mild hyper-excitability emerged. These included an increase in the visually-evoked firing of regular spiking, presumptive excitatory, neurons, and a reduced firing of fast-spiking, presumptive inhibitory, neurons. Our results show that early network changes in the FMR-KO rat arise at ages equivalent to fetal humans and have consequences for excitability that are opposite those found in adults. This suggests identification and treatment should begin early, and be tailored in an age-appropriate manner. PMID:27465362

  1. Advances in the development of novel antioxidant therapies as an approach for fetal alcohol syndrome prevention.

    PubMed

    Joya, Xavier; Garcia-Algar, Oscar; Salat-Batlle, Judith; Pujades, Cristina; Vall, Oriol

    2015-03-01

    Ethanol is the most common human teratogen, and its consumption during pregnancy can produce a wide range of abnormalities in infants known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). The major characteristics of FASD can be divided into: (i) growth retardation, (ii) craniofacial abnormalities, and (iii) central nervous system (CNS) dysfunction. FASD is the most common cause of nongenetic mental retardation in Western countries. Although the underlying molecular mechanisms of ethanol neurotoxicity are not completely determined, the induction of oxidative stress is believed to be one central process linked to the development of the disease. Currently, there is no known effective strategy for prevention (other than alcohol avoidance) or treatment. In the present review we will provide the state of art in the evidence for the use of antioxidants as a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment using whole-embryo and culture cells models of FASD. We conclude that the imbalance of the intracellular redox state contributes to the pathogenesis observed in FASD models, and we suggest that antioxidant therapy can be considered a new efficient strategy to mitigate the effects of prenatal ethanol exposure.

  2. Maternal-fetal unit interactions and eutherian neocortical development and evolution

    PubMed Central

    Montiel, Juan F.; Kaune, Heidy; Maliqueo, Manuel

    2013-01-01

    The conserved brain design that primates inherited from early mammals differs from the variable adult brain size and species-specific brain dominances observed across mammals. This variability relies on the emergence of specialized cerebral cortical regions and sub-compartments, triggering an increase in brain size, areal interconnectivity and histological complexity that ultimately lies on the activation of developmental programs. Structural placental features are not well correlated with brain enlargement; however, several endocrine pathways could be tuned with the activation of neuronal progenitors in the proliferative neocortical compartments. In this article, we reviewed some mechanisms of eutherians maternal–fetal unit interactions associated with brain development and evolution. We propose a hypothesis of brain evolution where proliferative compartments in primates become activated by “non-classical” endocrine placental signals participating in different steps of corticogenesis. Changes in the inner placental structure, along with placenta endocrine stimuli over the cortical proliferative activity would allow mammalian brain enlargement with a concomitant shorter gestation span, as an evolutionary strategy to escape from parent-offspring conflict. PMID:23882189

  3. BRPF1 is essential for development of fetal hematopoietic stem cells.

    PubMed

    You, Linya; Li, Lin; Zou, Jinfeng; Yan, Kezhi; Belle, Jad; Nijnik, Anastasia; Wang, Edwin; Yang, Xiang-Jiao

    2016-09-01

    Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) serve as a life-long reservoir for all blood cell types and are clinically useful for a variety of HSC transplantation-based therapies. Understanding the role of chromatin organization and regulation in HSC homeostasis may provide important insights into HSC development. Bromodomain- and PHD finger-containing protein 1 (BRPF1) is a multivalent chromatin regulator that possesses 4 nucleosome-binding domains and activates 3 lysine acetyltransferases (KAT6A, KAT6B, and KAT7), suggesting that this protein has the potential to stimulate crosstalk between different chromatin modifications. Here, we investigated the function of BRPF1 in hematopoiesis by selectively deleting its gene in murine blood cells. Brpf1-deficient pups experienced early lethality due to acute bone marrow failure and aplastic anemia. The mutant bone marrow and fetal liver exhibited severe deficiency in HSCs and hematopoietic progenitors, along with elevated reactive oxygen species, senescence, and apoptosis. BRPF1 deficiency also reduced the expression of multipotency genes, including Slamf1, Mecom, Hoxa9, Hlf, Gfi1, Egr, and Gata3. Furthermore, BRPF1 was required for acetylation of histone H3 at lysine 23, a highly abundant but not well-characterized epigenetic mark. These results identify an essential role of the multivalent chromatin regulator BRPF1 in definitive hematopoiesis and illuminate a potentially new avenue for studying epigenetic networks that govern HSC ontogeny. PMID:27500495

  4. Advances in the development of novel antioxidant therapies as an approach for fetal alcohol syndrome prevention.

    PubMed

    Joya, Xavier; Garcia-Algar, Oscar; Salat-Batlle, Judith; Pujades, Cristina; Vall, Oriol

    2015-03-01

    Ethanol is the most common human teratogen, and its consumption during pregnancy can produce a wide range of abnormalities in infants known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). The major characteristics of FASD can be divided into: (i) growth retardation, (ii) craniofacial abnormalities, and (iii) central nervous system (CNS) dysfunction. FASD is the most common cause of nongenetic mental retardation in Western countries. Although the underlying molecular mechanisms of ethanol neurotoxicity are not completely determined, the induction of oxidative stress is believed to be one central process linked to the development of the disease. Currently, there is no known effective strategy for prevention (other than alcohol avoidance) or treatment. In the present review we will provide the state of art in the evidence for the use of antioxidants as a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment using whole-embryo and culture cells models of FASD. We conclude that the imbalance of the intracellular redox state contributes to the pathogenesis observed in FASD models, and we suggest that antioxidant therapy can be considered a new efficient strategy to mitigate the effects of prenatal ethanol exposure. PMID:25131946

  5. Fetal and postnatal lung defects reveal a novel and required role for Fgf8 in lung development.

    PubMed

    Yu, Shibin; Poe, Bryan; Schwarz, Margaret; Elliot, Sarah A; Albertine, Kurt H; Fenton, Stephen; Garg, Vidu; Moon, Anne M

    2010-11-01

    The fibroblast growth factor, FGF8, has been shown to be essential for vertebrate cardiovascular, craniofacial, brain and limb development. Here we report that Fgf8 function is required for normal progression through the late fetal stages of lung development that culminate in alveolar formation. Budding, lobation and branching morphogenesis are unaffected in early stage Fgf8 hypomorphic and conditional mutant lungs. Excess proliferation during fetal development disrupts distal airspace formation, mesenchymal and vascular remodeling, and Type I epithelial cell differentiation resulting in postnatal respiratory failure and death. Our findings reveal a previously unknown, critical role for Fgf8 function in fetal lung development and suggest that this factor may also contribute to postnatal alveologenesis. Given the high number of premature infants with alveolar dysgenesis and lung dysplasia, and the accumulating evidence that short-term benefits of available therapies may be outweighed by long-term detrimental effects on postnatal alveologenesis, the therapeutic implications of identifying a factor or pathway that can be targeted to stimulate normal alveolar development are profound.

  6. Gene expression profiles of estrogen receptors α and β in the fetal bovine hypothalamus and immunohistochemical characterization during development.

    PubMed

    Panin, M; Corain, L; Montelli, S; Cozzi, B; Peruffo, A

    2015-02-01

    Steroid hormones intervene in the structural and functional regulation of neuronal processes during development and thus determine brain differentiation. The effects of estrogens are mediated by two transcription factors, namely estrogen receptor α (ER-α) and estrogen receptor β (ER-β), that regulate the expression of target genes through their binding to specific DNA target sequences. We describe the mRNA expression of ER-α and ER-β in the hypothalamus of developing male and female bovines as revealed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, and the distribution of the two ERs in hypothalamic sections of all fetal stages as shown by immunohistochemistry. The expression profiles of the mRNAs of both ERs are mutually correlated throughout the gestation period, and their levels increase significantly in the last stages of gestation. No sexual differences in the mRNA expression of either ER-α or ER-β have been found in our fetal specimens. The use of specific antisera against ER-α and ER-β has allowed us to characterize and confirm the distribution of these receptors in the hypothalami of all fetal stages considered. Our results offer detailed information concerning the distribution of ER-α and ER-β in the developing bovine hypothalamus and provide additional insights into the processes involved in the hypothalamic development of a mammal with a long gestation and a highly gyrencephalic brain.

  7. 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

  8. Developing Hierarchical Structures Integrating Cognition and Affect.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hurst, Barbara Martin

    Several categories of the affective domain are important to the schooling process. Schools are delegated the responsibility of helping students to clarify their esthetic, instrumental, and moral values. Three areas of affect are related to student achievement: subject-related affect, school-related affect, and academic self concept. In addition,…

  9. Development of an assay for a biomarker of pregnancy and early fetal loss

    SciTech Connect

    Canfield, R.E.; O'Connor, J.F.; Birken, S.; Krichevsky, A.; Wilcox, A.J.

    1987-10-01

    Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a glycoprotein hormone, secreted by the syncytiotrophoblast cells of the fertilized ovum, that enters the maternal circulation at the time of endometrial implantation. It is composed of two nonidentical subunits; ..cap alpha.. and ..beta.., with molecular weights of 14 kD and 23 kD, respectively. Human chorionic gonadotropin binds to the same receptor as hLH and displays the same biological response, namely, to stimulate the declining function of the corpus luteum to produce progestins and estrogen late in the menstrual cycle. The differences in the structures of hCG and hLH have been exploited to develop antibodies that can measure hCG specifically in the presence of hLH. Two-site antibody binding assays have been developed, based on a surface immunological concept of hCG epitopes, that involve four distinct regions to which antibodies against hCG can bind simultaneously. Antibody cooperative effects, in conjunction with kinetic advantages derived from the concentration factors by use of the sandwich assay technique (immunoradiometric assay, IRMA), have enabled development of extremely sensitive and specific measurement protocols for urinary hCG. The assay described herein permits the detection of pregnancy on an average 25.4 days after the first day of the preceding menses, as opposed to 29.5 days for conventional radioimmunoassay techniques. In addition, the greater sensitivity and specificity of this assay method has permitted the detection of episodes of fetal loss not detected by radioimmunoassay of urine specimens. A large scale epidemiological study is in progress using this assay technique as a way to identify pregnancies that are lost before becoming clinically apparent.

  10. Early Detection of Fetal Malformation, a Long Distance Yet to Cover! Present Status and Potential of First Trimester Ultrasonography in Detection of Fetal Congenital Malformation in a Developing Country: Experience at a Tertiary Care Centre in India

    PubMed Central

    Kashyap, Namrata; Pradhan, Mandakini; Singh, Neeta; Yadav, Sangeeta

    2015-01-01

    Background. Early detection of malformation is tremendously improved with improvement in imaging technology. Yet in a developing country like India majority of pregnant women are not privileged to get timely diagnosis. Aims and Objectives. To assess the present status and potential of first trimester ultrasonography in detection of fetal congenital structural malformations. Methodology. This was a retrospective observational study conducted at Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences. All pregnant women had anomaly scan and women with fetal structural malformations were included. Results. Out of 4080 pregnant women undergoing ultrasound, 312 (7.6%) had fetal structural malformation. Out of 139 patients who were diagnosed after 20 weeks, 47 (33.8%) had fetal structural anomalies which could have been diagnosed before 12 weeks and 92 (66.1%) had fetal malformations which could have been diagnosed between 12 and 20 weeks. Conclusion. The first trimester ultrasonography could have identified 50% of major structural defects compared to 1.6% in the present scenario. This focuses on the immense need of the hour to gear up for early diagnosis and timely intervention in the field of prenatal detection of congenital malformation. PMID:26759727

  11. Asymmetry of Radial and Symmetry of Tangential Neuronal Migration Pathways in Developing Human Fetal Brains

    PubMed Central

    Miyazaki, Yuta; Song, Jae W.; Takahashi, Emi

    2016-01-01

    The radial and tangential neural migration pathways are two major neuronal migration streams in humans that are critical during corticogenesis. Corticogenesis is a complex process of neuronal proliferation that is followed by neuronal migration and the formation of axonal connections. Existing histological assessments of these two neuronal migration pathways have limitations inherent to microscopic studies and are confined to small anatomic regions of interest (ROIs). Thus, little evidence is available about their three-dimensional (3-D) fiber pathways and development throughout the entire brain. In this study, we imaged and analyzed radial and tangential migration pathways in the whole human brain using high-angular resolution diffusion MR imaging (HARDI) tractography. We imaged ten fixed, postmortem fetal (17 gestational weeks (GW), 18 GW, 19 GW, three 20 GW, three 21 GW and 22 GW) and eight in vivo newborn (two 30 GW, 34 GW, 35 GW and four 40 GW) brains with no neurological/pathological conditions. We statistically compared the volume of the left and right radial and tangential migration pathways, and the volume of the radial migration pathways of the anterior and posterior regions of the brain. In specimens 22 GW or younger, the volume of radial migration pathways of the left hemisphere was significantly larger than that of the right hemisphere. The volume of posterior radial migration pathways was also larger when compared to the anterior pathways in specimens 22 GW or younger. In contrast, no significant differences were observed in the radial migration pathways of brains older than 22 GW. Moreover, our study did not identify any significant differences in volumetric laterality in the tangential migration pathways. These results suggest that these two neuronal migration pathways develop and regress differently, and radial neuronal migration varies regionally based on hemispheric and anterior-posterior laterality, potentially explaining regional differences in

  12. Mature Surfactant Protein-B Expression by Immunohistochemistry as a Marker for Surfactant System Development in the Fetal Sheep Lung.

    PubMed

    Lock, Mitchell C; McGillick, Erin V; Orgeig, Sandra; Zhang, Song; McMillen, I Caroline; Morrison, Janna L

    2015-11-01

    Evaluation of the number of type II alveolar epithelial cells (AECs) is an important measure of the lung's ability to produce surfactant. Immunohistochemical staining of these cells in lung tissue commonly uses antibodies directed against mature surfactant protein (SP)-C, which is regarded as a reliable SP marker of type II AECs in rodents. There has been no study demonstrating reliable markers for surfactant system maturation by immunohistochemistry in the fetal sheep lung despite being widely used as a model to study lung development. Here we examine staining of a panel of surfactant pro-proteins (pro-SP-B and pro-SP-C) and mature proteins (SP-B and SP-C) in the fetal sheep lung during late gestation in the saccular/alveolar phase of development (120, 130, and 140 days), with term being 150 ± 3 days, to identify the most reliable marker of surfactant producing cells in this species. Results from this study indicate that during late gestation, use of anti-SP-B antibodies in the sheep lung yields significantly higher cell counts in the alveolar epithelium than SP-C antibodies. Furthermore, this study highlights that mature SP-B antibodies are more reliable markers than SP-C antibodies to evaluate surfactant maturation in the fetal sheep lung by immunohistochemistry.

  13. Ketamine affects the neurogenesis of rat fetal neural stem progenitor cells via the PI3K/Akt-p27 signaling pathway

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Chaoxuan; Rovnaghi, Cynthia R.; Anand, KJS

    2014-01-01

    Ketamine is widely used as an anesthetic, analgesic, or sedative in pediatric patients. We reported that ketamine alters the normal neurogenesis of rat fetal neural stem progenitor cells (NSPCs) in the developing brain, but the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. The PI3K-PKB/Akt (Phosphatidylinositide 3-kinases/protein kinase B) signaling pathway plays many important roles in cell survival, apoptosis, and proliferation. We hypothesized that PI3K-PKB/Akt signaling may be involved in ketamine-altered neurogenesis of cultured NSPCs in vitro. NSPCs were isolated from Sprague-Dawley rat fetuses on gestational day 17. BrdU (bromodeoxyuridine) incorporation, Ki67 staining, and differentiation tests were utilized to identify primary cultured NSPCs. Immunofluorescent staining was used to detect Akt expression, whereas, Western blots measured phosphorylated Akt and p27 expression in NSPCs exposed to different treatments. We report that cultured NSPCs had properties of neurogenesis: proliferation and neural differentiation. PKB/Akt was expressed in cultured rat fetal cortical NSPCs. Ketamine inhibited the phosphorylation of Akt and further enhanced p27 expression in cultured NSPCs. All ketamine-induced PI3K/Akt signaling changes could be recovered by NMDA (N-Methyl-D-aspartate) receptor agonist, NMDA. These data suggest that inhibition of PI3K/Akt-p27 signaling may be involved in ketamine-induced neurotoxicity in the developing brain, whereas excitatory NMDA receptor activation may reverse these effects. PMID:25231110

  14. Fetal development of the elastic-fiber-mediated enthesis in the human middle ear.

    PubMed

    Takanashi, Yoshitaka; Shibata, Shunichi; Katori, Yukio; Murakami, Gen; Abe, Shinichi; Rodríguez-Vázquez, Jose Francisco; Kawase, Tetsuaki

    2013-10-01

    In the human middle ear, the annular ligament of the incudostapedial joint and the insertions of the tensor tympani and stapedius muscles contain abundant elastic fibers; i.e., the elastic-fiber-mediated entheses. Hyaluronan also coexists with the elastic fibers. In the present study using immunohistochemistry, we demonstrated the distribution of elastin not only in the incudostapedial joint but also in the other two joints of the middle ear in adults and fetuses. In adults, the expression of elastin did not extend out of the annular ligament composed of mature elastic fibers but clearly overlapped with it. Electron microscopic observations of the annular ligament demonstrated a few microfibrils along the elastic fibers. Thus, in contrast to the vocal cord, the middle ear entheses seemed not to contain elaunin and oxytalan fibers. In mid-term fetuses (at approximately 15-16 weeks of gestation) before opening of the external acoustic meatus, the incudostapedial joint showed abundant elastic fibers, but the incudomalleolar and stapediovestibular joints did not. At this stage, hyaluronan was not colocalized, but distributed diffusely in loose mesenchymal tissues surrounding the ear ossicles. Therefore, fetal development of elastin and elastic fibers in the middle ear entheses is unlikely to require acoustic oscillation. In late-stage fetuses (25-30 weeks), whose ear ossicles were almost the same size as those in adults, we observed bundling and branching of elastic fibers. However, hyaluronan expression was not as strong as in adults. Colocalization between elastic fibers and hyaluronan appeared to be a result of postnatal maturation of the entheses.

  15. Development and morphogenesis of human wrist joint during embryonic and early fetal period.

    PubMed

    Hita-Contreras, Fidel; Martínez-Amat, Antonio; Ortiz, Raúl; Caba, Octavio; Alvarez, Pablo; Prados, José C; Lomas-Vega, Rafael; Aránega, Antonia; Sánchez-Montesinos, Indalecio; Mérida-Velasco, Juan A

    2012-06-01

    The development of the human wrist joint has been studied widely, with the main focus on carpal chondrogenesis, ligaments and triangular fibrocartilage. However, there are some discrepancies concerning the origin and morphogenetic time-table of these structures, including nerves, muscles and vascular elements. For this study we used serial sections of 57 human embryonic (n = 30) and fetal (n = 27) specimens from O'Rahilly stages 17-23 and 9-14 weeks, respectively. The following phases in carpal morphogenesis have been established: undifferentiated mesenchyme (stage 17), condensated mesenchyme (stages 18 and 19), pre-chondrogenic (stages 19 and 20) and chondrogenic (stages 21 and over). Carpal chondrification and osteogenic processes are similar, starting with capitate and hamate (stage 19) and ending with pisiform (stage 22). In week 14, a vascular bud penetrates into the lunate cartilaginous mold, early sign of the osteogenic process that will be completed after birth. In stage 18, median, ulnar and radial nerves and thenar eminence appear in the hand plate. In stage 21, there are indications of the interosseous muscles, and in stage 22 flexor digitorum superficialis, flexor digitorum profundus and lumbrical muscles, transverse carpal ligament and collateral ligaments emerge. In stage 23, the articular disc, radiocarpal and ulnocarpal ligaments and deep palmar arterial arch become visible. Radiate carpal and interosseous ligaments appear in week 9, and in week 10, dorsal radiocarpal ligament and articular capsule are evident. Finally, synovial membrane is observed in week 13. We have performed a complete analysis of the morphogenesis of the structures of the human wrist joint. Our results present new data on nervous and arterial elements and provide the basis for further investigations on anatomical pathology, comparative morphology and evolutionary anthropology.

  16. Embryo development, fetal growth and postnatal phenotype of eGFP lambs generated by lentiviral transgenesis.

    PubMed

    Crispo, M; Vilariño, M; dos Santos-Neto, P C; Núñez-Olivera, R; Cuadro, F; Barrera, N; Mulet, A P; Nguyen, T H; Anegón, I; Menchaca, A

    2015-02-01

    Lentiviral technology has been recently proposed to generate transgenic farm animals more efficiently and easier than traditional techniques. The objective was to evaluate several parameters of lambs obtained by lentiviral transgenesis in comparison with non-transgenic counterparts. In vitro produced embryos were microinjected (TG group) at two-cell stage with a lentiviral construct containing enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) gene, while embryos produced by in vitro fertilization (IVF group) or intrauterine insemination (IUI group) were not microinjected. Microinjection technique efficiently generated eight-cell transgenic embryos (97.4%; 114/117). Development rate on day 5 after fertilization was similar for TG (39.3%, 46/117) and IVF embryos (39.6%, 44/111). Pregnancy rate was detected in 50.0% (6/12) of recipient ewes with TG embryos, in 46.7% (7/15) with IVF embryos, and in 65.0% (13/20) of IUI ewes (P = NS). Nine lambs were born in TG group, six lambs in IVF group, and 16 lambs in IUI group. All TG lambs (9/9) were GFP positive to real-time PCR and eight (88.9%) showed a strong and evident GFP expression in mucosae, eyes and keratin tissues. Fetal growth monitored every 15 day by ultrasonography did not show significant differences. Transgenic lambs neither differ in morphometric variables in comparison with non transgenic IVF lambs within 3 months after birth. Transmission of the transgene to the progeny was observed in green fluorescent embryos produced by IVF using semen from the TG founder lambs. In conclusion, this study demonstrates the high efficiency of lentiviral technology to produce transgenic sheep, with no clinic differences in comparison with non transgenic lambs.

  17. Fetal Abuse.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kent, Lindsey; And Others

    1997-01-01

    Five cases of fetal abuse by mothers suffering from depression are discussed. Four of the women had unplanned pregnancies and had considered termination of the pregnancy. Other factors associated with fetal abuse include pregnancy denial, pregnancy ambivalence, previous postpartum depression, and difficulties in relationships. Vigilance for…

  18. Sex Moderates Associations between Prenatal Glucocorticoid Exposure and Human Fetal Neurological Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Glynn, Laura M.; Sandman, Curt A.

    2012-01-01

    Maternal cortisol levels (at 15, 19, 25, 31 and 37 weeks' gestation) and fetal movement response to vibroacoustic stimulation (VAS; at 25, 31 and 37 weeks) were assessed in 190 mother-fetus pairs. Fetuses showed a response to the VAS at 25 weeks and there was evidence of increasing maturation in the response at 31 and 37 weeks. Early elevations in…

  19. In utero physiology: role in nutrient delivery and fetal development for calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Only limited aspects of the transfer of calcium across the placenta to the fetus are known. Clinical outcome studies suggest that bone mineral mass in newborn infants is related to maternal size and dairy intake. Available data indicate that vitamin D deficiency may also limit in utero fetal bone mi...

  20. Fetal biomodelling.

    PubMed

    D'Urso, P S; Thompson, R G

    1998-05-01

    A study has been performed to determine if a stereolithographic (SL) biomodel of a fetal face could be created from 3 dimensional (3D) ultrasound (US). 3D ultrasound images were acquired by Diasonics Gateway 2D Array ultrasound systems (Diasonics Ultrasound, San Jose, CA, USA) using an electromagnetic localizer (Tomtec Free Hand Scanning Device, Tomtec Imaging Systems, Middle Cove, Australia). 3D volumetric reconstruction of the fetal face was performed and the data was prepared to guide the construction of an exact solid biomodel by stereolithography (SLA 250 3D Systems, Valencia, CA, USA). A faithful solid representation of the fetal face was produced within 12 hours of the US scan. The fetal biomodel seemed to improve the display of the 3D data. The user-friendly nature of biomodelling may have clinical utility for fetal morphological assessment and as an aid when counselling parents.

  1. Differential proteomic expression of human placenta and fetal development following e-waste lead and cadmium exposure in utero.

    PubMed

    Xu, Long; Ge, Jingjing; Huo, Xia; Zhang, Yuling; Lau, Andy T Y; Xu, Xijin

    2016-04-15

    Prenatal exposure to lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) has been associated with a series of physiological problems resulting in fetal growth restriction. We aimed to investigate the effects of Pb and Cd exposure on placental function and the potential mechanisms involved in fetal development. Placental specimens and questionnaires were collected from an e-waste area and a reference area in China. Two-dimensional electrophoresis combined with MALDI-TOF-MS/MS and molecular network relationship were performed to analyze differentially expressed proteins using a compositing sample pool. Compared with the reference group, the exposed group exhibited significantly higher levels of placental Pb and Cd (p<0.01), shorter body length and higher gestational age (p<0.01). After bivariate adjustment in a linear regression model, decreases of 205.05g in weight and 0.44cm in body length were associated with a 10ng/g wt increase in placental Cd. Pb showed a negative trend but lacked statistical significance. Proteomic analysis showed 32 differentially-expressed proteins and were predominantly involved in protein translocation, cytoskeletal structure, and energy metabolism. Fumarate hydratase was down-regulated in the exposed placenta tissues and validated by ELISA. Alterations in placental proteome suggest that imbalances in placental mitochondria respiration might be a vital pathway targeting fetal growth restriction induced by exposure to Cd.

  2. Acquisition of innate-like microbial reactivity in mucosal tissues during human fetal MAIT-cell development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leeansyah, Edwin; Loh, Liyen; Nixon, Douglas F.; Sandberg, Johan K.

    2014-01-01

    Innate-like, evolutionarily conserved MR1-restricted mucosa-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells represent a large antimicrobial T-cell subset in humans. Here, we investigate the development of these cells in second trimester human fetal tissues. MAIT cells are rare and immature in the fetal thymus, spleen and mesenteric lymph nodes. In contrast, mature IL-18Rα+ CD8αα MAIT cells are enriched in the fetal small intestine, liver and lung. Independently of localization, MAIT cells express CD127 and Ki67 in vivo and readily proliferate in response to Escherichia coli in vitro. Maturation is accompanied by the gradual post-thymic acquisition of the PLZF transcription factor and the ability to produce IFNγ and IL-22 in response to bacteria in mucosa. Thus, MAIT cells acquire innate-like antimicrobial responsiveness in mucosa before exposure to environmental microbes and the commensal microflora. Establishment of this arm of immunity before birth may help protect the newborn from a range of pathogenic microbes.

  3. Differential proteomic expression of human placenta and fetal development following e-waste lead and cadmium exposure in utero.

    PubMed

    Xu, Long; Ge, Jingjing; Huo, Xia; Zhang, Yuling; Lau, Andy T Y; Xu, Xijin

    2016-04-15

    Prenatal exposure to lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) has been associated with a series of physiological problems resulting in fetal growth restriction. We aimed to investigate the effects of Pb and Cd exposure on placental function and the potential mechanisms involved in fetal development. Placental specimens and questionnaires were collected from an e-waste area and a reference area in China. Two-dimensional electrophoresis combined with MALDI-TOF-MS/MS and molecular network relationship were performed to analyze differentially expressed proteins using a compositing sample pool. Compared with the reference group, the exposed group exhibited significantly higher levels of placental Pb and Cd (p<0.01), shorter body length and higher gestational age (p<0.01). After bivariate adjustment in a linear regression model, decreases of 205.05g in weight and 0.44cm in body length were associated with a 10ng/g wt increase in placental Cd. Pb showed a negative trend but lacked statistical significance. Proteomic analysis showed 32 differentially-expressed proteins and were predominantly involved in protein translocation, cytoskeletal structure, and energy metabolism. Fumarate hydratase was down-regulated in the exposed placenta tissues and validated by ELISA. Alterations in placental proteome suggest that imbalances in placental mitochondria respiration might be a vital pathway targeting fetal growth restriction induced by exposure to Cd. PMID:26895036

  4. Development of the vitamin A-storing cell in mouse liver during late fetal and neonatal periods.

    PubMed

    Matsumoto, E; Hirosawa, K; Abe, K; Naka, S

    1984-01-01

    Vitamin A-storing cells in perinatal mouse liver were studied by chemical and autoradiographic analyses of exogenous vitamin A. The amount of retinyl palmitate in the fetal liver increased significantly following oral administration of retinyl acetate to the mother, suggesting the existence of storage sites of the vitamin in fetal liver. Light microscope semi-serial autoradiography of the fetal liver on the 15th day of gestation showed that 3H-vitamin A administered to the mother was incorporated into cells distributed exclusively along the hepatic blood vessels and the blood islands. Mitotic figures of the labeled cells were frequently observed. Electron microscope autoradiography revealed that the vitamin was incorporated into lipid droplets, rough endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus of the fibroblast-like cells in close apposition to the endothelial cells. The labeled cells differed in their ultrastructure from the vitamin A-storing cells (Ito cells) of the adult liver. In the later gestational period, silver grains tended to be more concentrated in lipid droplets, and the cytological features of the labeled cells became similar to those of the vitamin A-storing cells. Both retinyl palmitate content and the labeling of lipid droplets increased rapidly in the liver of neonates after commencement of suckling. The labeled cells had the same appearance as the vitamin A-storing cells (Ito cells). It is concluded that vitamin A transported across the placenta is taken up in the fetal liver by the cells distributed along the blood vessels, and that these cells proliferate in accordance with vascular development and gradually take on the characteristics of vitamin A-storing cells during the perinatal period. A defensive role of the vitamin A-storing cell against the toxic effects of vitamin A is also suggested. PMID:6476398

  5. ErbB4 is an upstream regulator of TTF-1 fetal mouse lung type II cell development in vitro.

    PubMed

    Zscheppang, Katja; Giese, Ulrike; Hoenzke, Stefan; Wiegel, Dorothea; Dammann, Christiane E L

    2013-12-01

    TTF-1 is an important transcription factor in lung development and lung disease and is essential for lung cell differentiation, specifically surfactant protein (Sftp) expression. The molecular mechanisms that drive the expression and transcriptional control of TTF-1 are not fully understood. In the fetal lung, ErbB4 functions as a transcriptional co-factor and regulates the timely onset of fetal Sftp expression. We speculate that ErbB4 is an upstream regulator of TTF-1 and regulates Sftpb expression via this pathway in alveolar type II cells. Neuregulin-induced ErbB4 and TTF-1 signaling interactions were studied by co-immunoprecipitation and confocal microscopy. Overexpression of ErbB4 and TTF-1 was analyzed in its effect on cell viability, Sftpb expression, TTF-1 expression, and Sftpb and TTF-1 promoter activity. The effect of ErbB4 deletion and ErbB4 nuclear translocation on TTF-1 expression was studied in primary fetal type II epithelial cells, isolated from transgenic HER4(heart(-/-)) mice. ErbB4 ligand neuregulin induces ErbB4 and TTF-1 co-precipitation and nuclear colocalization. Combined ErbB4 and TTF-1 overexpression inhibits cell viability, while promoting Sftpb expression more than single overexpression of each protein. NRG stimulates TTF-1 expression in ErbB4-overexpressing epithelial cells, while this effect is absent in ErbB4-depleted cells. In primary fetal type II cells, ErbB4 nuclear translocation is critical for its regulation of TTF-1-induced Sftpb upregulation. TTF-1 overexpression did not overcome this important requirement. We conclude that ErbB4 is a critical upstream regulator of TTF-1 in type II epithelial cells and that this interaction is important for Sftpb regulation.

  6. Spontaneous pre-existing hypoxia does not affect brain damage after global cerebral ischaemia in late-gestation fetal sheep.

    PubMed

    Davidson, Joanne O; Yuill, Caroline A; Wassink, Guido; Bennet, Laura; Gunn, Alistair J

    2015-01-01

    There is considerable evidence that a mild, non-injurious insult can protect (precondition) against a subsequent injurious insult. Typically, protection is seen when the gap between insults is several days to a week. However, the effect of mild but persistent hypoxia is unknown. In this study we examined the hypothesis that mild pre-existing hypoxia (PaO2<17 mm Hg) would reduce neural injury in chronically instrumented late-gestation (0.85 gestation) fetal sheep exposed to 30 min of global cerebral ischaemia induced by bilateral carotid artery occlusion (normoxia: n=9 vs. pre-existing hypoxia: n=9) or normoxia plus sham ischaemia (sham controls: n=9). Histopathology was assessed after 7 days of recovery. Fetuses with pre-existing hypoxia had lower PaO2 values (16.1±0.6 vs. 26.0±1.1 mm Hg) and were lighter at post-mortem (4,033±412 vs. 5,261±238 g) compared to normoxic fetuses. Cerebral ischaemia was associated with secondary cortical oedema and seizures, reduced final EEG power, loss of sleep state cycling, and significant loss of neurons and oligodendrocytes, with no significant effect of pre-existing hypoxia. Pre-existing hypoxia was associated with a significantly attenuated rise in mean arterial pressure between 18 and 36 h and slower resolution of cortical oedema between 96 and 150 h after ischaemia. These data suggest that chronic hypoxia is not associated with a significant preconditioning effect.

  7. Prenatal Intestinal Obstruction Affects the Myenteric Plexus and Causes Functional Bowel Impairment in Fetal Rat Experimental Model of Intestinal Atresia

    PubMed Central

    Khen-Dunlop, Naziha; Sarnacki, Sabine; Victor, Anais; Grosos, Celine; Menard, Sandrine; Soret, Rodolphe; Goudin, Nicolas; Pousset, Maud; Sauvat, Frederique; Revillon, Yann; Cerf-Bensussan, Nadine; Neunlist, Michel

    2013-01-01

    Background Intestinal atresia is a rare congenital disorder with an incidence of 3/10 000 birth. About one-third of patients have severe intestinal dysfunction after surgical repair. We examined whether prenatal gastrointestinal obstruction might effect on the myenteric plexus and account for subsequent functional disorders. Methodology/Principal Findings We studied a rat model of surgically induced antenatal atresia, comparing intestinal samples from both sides of the obstruction and with healthy rat pups controls. Whole-mount preparations of the myenteric plexus were stained for choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) and nitric oxide synthase (nNOS). Quantitative reverse transcription PCR was used to analyze mRNAs for inflammatory markers. Functional motility and permeability analyses were performed in vitro. Phenotypic studies were also performed in 8 newborns with intestinal atresia. In the experimental model, the proportion of nNOS-immunoreactive neurons was similar in proximal and distal segments (6.7±4.6% vs 5.6±4.2%, p = 0.25), but proximal segments contained a higher proportion of ChAT-immunoreactive neurons (13.2±6.2% vs 7.5±4.3%, p = 0.005). Phenotypic changes were associated with a 100-fold lower concentration-dependent contractile response to carbachol and a 1.6-fold higher EFS-induced contractile response in proximal compared to distal segments. Transcellular (p = 0.002) but not paracellular permeability was increased. Comparison with controls showed that modifications involved not only proximal but also distal segments. Phenotypic studies in human atresia confirmed the changes in ChAT expression. Conclusion Experimental atresia in fetal rat induces differential myenteric plexus phenotypical as well as functional changes (motility and permeability) between the two sides of the obstruction. Delineating these changes might help to identify markers predictive of motility dysfunction and to define guidelines for post-surgical care. PMID:23667464

  8. Cadmium affects retinogenesis during zebrafish embryonic development

    SciTech Connect

    Hen Chow, Elly Suk; Yu Hui, Michelle Nga; Cheng, Chi Wa; Cheng, Shuk Han

    2009-02-15

    Ocular malformations are commonly observed in embryos of aquatic species after exposure to toxicants. Using zebrafish embryos as the model organism, we showed that cadmium exposure from sphere stage (4 hpf) to end of segmentation stage (24 hpf) induced microphthalmia in cadmium-treated embryos. Embryos with eye defects were then assessed for visual abilities. Cadmium-exposed embryos were behaviorally blind, showing hyperpigmentation and loss of camouflage response to light. We investigated the cellular basis of the formation of the small eyes phenotype and the induction of blindness by studying retina development and retinotectal projections. Retinal progenitors were found in cadmium-treated embryos albeit in smaller numbers. The number of retinal ganglion cells (RGC), the first class of retinal cells to differentiate during retinogenesis, was reduced, while photoreceptor cells, the last batch of retinal neurons to differentiate, were absent. Cadmium also affected the propagation of neurons in neurogenic waves. The neurons remained in the ventronasal area and failed to spread across the retina. Drastically reduced RGC axons and disrupted optic stalk showed that the optic nerves did not extend from the retina beyond the chiasm into the tectum. Our data suggested that impairment in neuronal differentiation of the retina, disruption in RGC axon formation and absence of cone photoreceptors were the causes of microphthalmia and visual impairment in cadmium-treated embryos.

  9. Development of peptide-containing nerves in the human fetal prostate gland.

    PubMed Central

    Jen, P Y; Dixon, J S

    1995-01-01

    Immunohistochemical methods were used to study the developing peptidergic innervation of the human fetal prostate gland in a series of specimens ranging in gestational age from 13 to 30 wk. The overall innervation of each specimen was visualised using protein gene product 9.5 (PGP), a general nerve marker. The onset and development of specific neuropeptide-containing subpopulations were investigated using antisera to neuropeptide Y (NPY), vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), substance P (SP), calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), bombesin (BOM), somatostatin (SOM), leu-enkephalin (l-ENK) and met-enkephalin (m-ENK). In addition the occurrence and distribution of presumptive noradrenergic nerves was studied using antisera to dopamine-beta-hydroxylase (D beta H) and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH). At 13 wk numerous branching PGP-immunoreactive (-IR) nerves were observed in the capsule of the developing prostate gland and surrounding the preprostatic urethra but the remainder of the gland was devoid of nerves. The majority of nerves in the capsule contained D beta H and TH and were presumed to be noradrenergic in type while other nerves (in decreasing numbers) contained NPY, l-ENK, SP and CGRP. Nerves associated with the preprostatic urethra did not contain any of the neuropeptides under investigation. At 17 wk the density of nerves in the capsule had increased and occasional m-ENK-, VIP- and BOM-IR nerve fibres were also observed. In addition PGP, D beta H-, TH-, NPY- and l-ENK-IR nerves occurred in association with smooth muscle bundles which at 17 wk were present in the outer part of the gland. Occasional PGP-IR nerves were also present at the base of the epithelium forming some of the prostatic glands. At 23 wk some of the subepithelial nerves showed immunoreactivity for NPY, VIP or l-ENK. At 26 wk smooth muscle bundles occurred throughout the gland and were richly innervated by PGP, D beta H and TH-IR nerves while a less dense plexus was formed by NPY- and l

  10. Effect of maternal obesity on fetal bone development in the rat

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Epidemiological studies show that quality of nutrition during intrauterine and postnatal early life impact the risk of low bone mass and fracture later in life. Maternal consumption of high-fat diets has been demonstrated to affect health outcomes, such as: brain development; obesity; insulin resist...

  11. Epigenetic control of fetal bone development through HoxA10 in the rat

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Epidemiological studies show that quality of nutrition during intrauterine and early postnatal life impact the risk of low bone mass and fracture later in life. Maternal consumption of high-fat diets has been demonstrated to affect health outcomes, such as: brain development; obesity; insulin resist...

  12. Relationship between fetal growth and the development of asthma and atopy in childhood

    PubMed Central

    Leadbitter, P.; Pearce, N.; Cheng, S.; Sears, M.; Holdaway, M; Flannery, E.; Herbison, G; Beasley, R.

    1999-01-01

    BACKGROUND—A study was undertaken to investigate the relationship between birth anthropometric measures and the subsequent development of asthma, airway hyperresponsiveness, and atopy in later childhood.
METHODS—A longitudinal study was performed on 734 subjects (71%) from a cohort of children born in Dunedin, New Zealand in 1972-73. The birth anthropometric measures were available from hospital records and the main outcome measures of reported asthma, skin prick tests, and methacholine hyperresponsiveness were measured at the age of 13 years, while the serum total IgE was measured at 11years.
RESULTS—After adjustment for other factors, infants with a larger head circumference at birth tended to have higher serum total IgE at 11 years of age (p = 0.02) but IgE was not associated significantly with birth length or birth weight. The adjusted odds ratio for raised serum IgE (>150 IU/ml) in infants with a head circumference of 37 cm or more was 3.4 (95% CI 1.4 to 7.9). In contrast, recent asthma symptoms were positively associated with birth length (p= 0.04) but not with head circumference. The adjusted odds ratio for asthma in the previous two years in infants with a birth length of 56 cm or more was 6.4 (95% CI 2.0 to 19.8). Infants with a birth weight of less than 3.0 kg had an odds ratio for reported asthma of 0.2 (95% CI 0.0-0.6). There were no significant associations of any of the birth parameters with skin prick positivity, reported hay fever, or eczema.
CONCLUSIONS—These results suggest that increased fetal growth is related to an increased risk of asthma and atopy in childhood. The precision of the findings is limited by the small numbers in the extreme categories of each birth parameter, but the results are consistent with intrauterine programming of the developing respiratory and immune systems.

 PMID:10491453

  13. The International society for developmental psychobiology 39th annual meeting symposium: Alcohol and development: beyond fetal alcohol syndrome.

    PubMed

    Molina, Juan Carlos; Spear, Norman E; Spear, Linda P; Mennella, Julie A; Lewis, Michael J

    2007-04-01

    As has been repeatedly demonstrated, alcohol can exert deleterious morphological and physiological effects during early stages in development. The present review examines nonteratological links existing between alcohol and ontogeny. Human and animal studies are taken into consideration for the analysis of fetal, neonatal, infantile, adolescent, and adult responsiveness to the drug. Sensitivity to alcohol's chemosensory and postabsorptive properties, as well as learning and memory processes mediated by such properties, are examined from this developmental perspective. The studies under discussion indicate that, within each stage in development, we can trace alcohol-related experiences capable of determining or modulating alcohol seeking and intake patterns.

  14. Factors affecting spontaneous reduction of corpora lutea and twin embryos during the late embryonic/early fetal period in multiple-ovulating dairy cows.

    PubMed

    López-Gatius, F; García-Ispierto, I; Hunter, R H F

    2010-02-01

    Spontaneous reduction of advanced twin embryos has been described in high-producing, Holstein-Fresian (Bos taurus) dairy herds. The first objective of the current study was to determine whether management and cow factors could have an effect on such a reduction in twin pregnancies during the early fetal period. Because loss of a corpus luteum was noted in cows suffering twin reduction, we expanded our study to include multiple-ovulating cows carrying singletons. Pregnancy was diagnosed and confirmed from Days 28 to 34 and 56 to 62 postinsemination. Sixty-nine (23.5%) of 293 pregnant cows with two corpora lutea carrying singletons and 132 (28.4%) of 464 twin pregnancies recorded on first pregnancy diagnosis subsequently lost one of the corpora lutea or one of the embryos, respectively. Thirty-four (25.8%) of the 132 twin pregnancies suffering embryo reduction lost one corpus luteum along with the embryo. Corpus luteum reduction always occurred in the ovary ipsilateral to the gravid horn suffering embryo reduction. Binary logistic regressions were performed considering corpus luteum and embryo reduction as dependent variables in single and twin pregnancies, respectively, and several management- and cow-related factors as independent variables. In cows carrying singletons, the risk of corpus luteum reduction was 14.3 (1/0.07) times lower for a given herd, whereas the interaction season by laterality significantly affected corpus luteum reduction such that in cows with two corpora lutea ipsilateral to the horn of pregnancy, the risk of reduction decreased during the winter period. In cows carrying twins, ipsilateral twin pregnancies were 3.45 (1/0.29) times more likely to undergo the loss of one embryo than bilateral twin pregnancies. As an overall conclusion, both corpora lutea and embryos were vulnerable to the effects of stress factors during the early fetal period in cows maintaining their pregnancies. A strong unilateral relationship between the corpus luteum and

  15. Biomonitoring of human fetal exposure to environmental chemicals in early pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Cooke, Gerard M

    2014-01-01

    The first trimester of human fetal life, a period of extremely rapid development of physiological systems, represents the most rapid growth phase in human life. Interference in the establishment of organ systems may result in abnormal development that may be manifest immediately or programmed for later abnormal function. Exposure to environmental chemicals may be affecting development at these early stages, and yet there is limited knowledge of the quantities and identities of the chemicals to which the fetus is exposed during early pregnancy. Clearly, opportunities for assessing fetal chemical exposure directly are extremely limited. Hence, this review describes indirect means of assessing fetal exposure in early pregnancy to chemicals that are considered disrupters of development. Consideration is given to such matrices as maternal hair, fingernails, urine, saliva, sweat, breast milk, amniotic fluid and blood, and fetal matrices such as cord blood, cord tissue, meconium, placenta, and fetal liver. More than 150 articles that presented data from chemical analysis of human maternal and fetal tissues and fluids were reviewed. Priority was given to articles where chemical analysis was conducted in more than one matrix. Where correlations between maternal and fetal matrices were determined, these articles were included and are highlighted, as these may provide the basis for future investigations of early fetal exposure. The determination of fetal chemical exposure, at the time of rapid human growth and development, will greatly assist regulatory agencies in risk assessments and establishment of advisories for risk management concerning environmental chemicals.

  16. Distribution and Development of Peripheral Glial Cells in the Human Fetal Cochlea

    PubMed Central

    Locher, Heiko; de Groot, John C. M. J.; van Iperen, Liesbeth; Huisman, Margriet A.; Frijns, Johan H. M.; Chuva de Sousa Lopes, Susana M.

    2014-01-01

    The adult human cochlea contains various types of peripheral glial cells that envelop or myelinate the three different domains of the spiral ganglion neurons: the central processes in the cochlear nerve, the cell bodies in the spiral ganglia, and the peripheral processes in the osseous spiral lamina. Little is known about the distribution, lineage separation and maturation of these peripheral glial cells in the human fetal cochlea. In the current study, we observed peripheral glial cells expressing SOX10, SOX9 and S100B as early as 9 weeks of gestation (W9) in all three neuronal domains. We propose that these cells are the common precursor to both mature Schwann cells and satellite glial cells. Additionally, the peripheral glial cells located along the peripheral processes expressed NGFR, indicating a phenotype distinct from the peripheral glial cells located along the central processes. From W12, the spiral ganglion was gradually populated by satellite glial cells in a spatiotemporal gradient. In the cochlear nerve, radial sorting was accomplished by W22 and myelination started prior to myelination of the peripheral processes. The developmental dynamics of the peripheral glial cells in the human fetal cochlea is in support of a neural crest origin. Our study provides the first overview of the distribution and maturation of peripheral glial cells in the human fetal cochlea from W9 to W22. PMID:24498246

  17. N-acetylcysteine attenuates lipopolysaccharide-induced impairment in lamination of Ctip2-and Tbr1- expressing cortical neurons in the developing rat fetal brain

    PubMed Central

    Chao, Ming-Wei; Chen, Chie-Pein; Yang, Yu-Hsiu; Chuang, Yu-Chen; Chu, Tzu-Yun; Tseng, Chia-Yi

    2016-01-01

    Oxidative stress and inflammatory insults are the major instigating events of bacterial intrauterine infection that lead to fetal brain injury. The purpose of this study is to investigate the remedial effects of N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) for inflammation-caused deficits in brain development. We found that lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) production by RAW264.7 cells. Macrophage-conditioned medium caused noticeable cortical cell damage, specifically in cortical neurons. LPS at 25 μg/kg caused more than 75% fetal loss in rats. An increase in fetal cortical thickness was noted in the LPS-treated group. In the enlarged fetal cortex, laminar positioning of the early born cortical cells expressing Tbr1 and Ctip2 was disrupted, with a scattered distribution. The effect was similar, but minor, in later born Satb2-expressing cortical cells. NAC protected against LPS-induced neuron toxicity in vitro and counteracted pregnancy loss and alterations in thickness and lamination of the neocortex in vivo. Fetal loss and abnormal fetal brain development were due to LPS-induced ROS production. NAC is an effective protective agent against LPS-induced damage. This finding highlights the key therapeutic impact of NAC in LPS-caused abnormal neuronal laminar distribution during brain development. PMID:27577752

  18. N-acetylcysteine attenuates lipopolysaccharide-induced impairment in lamination of Ctip2-and Tbr1- expressing cortical neurons in the developing rat fetal brain.

    PubMed

    Chao, Ming-Wei; Chen, Chie-Pein; Yang, Yu-Hsiu; Chuang, Yu-Chen; Chu, Tzu-Yun; Tseng, Chia-Yi

    2016-01-01

    Oxidative stress and inflammatory insults are the major instigating events of bacterial intrauterine infection that lead to fetal brain injury. The purpose of this study is to investigate the remedial effects of N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) for inflammation-caused deficits in brain development. We found that lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) production by RAW264.7 cells. Macrophage-conditioned medium caused noticeable cortical cell damage, specifically in cortical neurons. LPS at 25 μg/kg caused more than 75% fetal loss in rats. An increase in fetal cortical thickness was noted in the LPS-treated group. In the enlarged fetal cortex, laminar positioning of the early born cortical cells expressing Tbr1 and Ctip2 was disrupted, with a scattered distribution. The effect was similar, but minor, in later born Satb2-expressing cortical cells. NAC protected against LPS-induced neuron toxicity in vitro and counteracted pregnancy loss and alterations in thickness and lamination of the neocortex in vivo. Fetal loss and abnormal fetal brain development were due to LPS-induced ROS production. NAC is an effective protective agent against LPS-induced damage. This finding highlights the key therapeutic impact of NAC in LPS-caused abnormal neuronal laminar distribution during brain development. PMID:27577752

  19. Cytomegalovirus Infection during Pregnancy and Its Impact on the Intrauterine Fetal Development – Case Report

    PubMed Central

    Angelova, Mariya; Kovachev, Emil; Todorov, Nikolai

    2016-01-01

    AIM: The aim of this publication is to present a case of CMV infection during pregnancy, with clinical manifestations of the development of microcephaly and simultaneous dilatation of the 3rd and 4th brain ventricle at 23 weeks gestation. This article discusses the role of ultrasound screening in the second trimester of pregnancy. CASE PRESENTATION: We present the case of a 25-year-old woman with the initials S.K. in her second pregnancy that came to our antenatal Consulting Centre. The first screening for blood count, blood group, biochemistry and serology showed results within the reference range. The patient came for a second comprehensive biochemical screening at 17 – 18 weeks gestation. The results showed the low genetic risk of congenital anomalies. Fetal morphology of the fetus was normal. S.K. came again for consultation at 22 weeks gestation in connection with the admittance of her first 3-year-old child to the hospital because of pneumonia. Serological tests of the child had shown elevated CMV titer - specific IgM. Then we made new serological tests of the patient and the results have shown that the patient was most likely infected by CMV primarily in the first trimester of pregnancy. After consulting about the risk of transmission of CMV to the fetus, the woman chose monthly ultrasound scans and refused amniocentesis. At 36 weeks gestation, in addition to the microcephaly already established, enlargement of the IV brain ventricle at the expense of underdevelopment of the cerebellum was noticed. Also, 2nd to 3rd stage of placenta maturity and low quantity of amniotic fluid was established. A male fetus of weight 2,890 g and height 50 cm was delivered. The fetus was with skin petechiae and hepatosplenomegaly. Neurological examination showed no abnormalities. CONCLUSIONS: In the described case the time interval between infection and ultrasonic manifestations is more than 17 weeks. The long interval between infection and occurrence of ultrasound markers

  20. Evidence for Maternal-Fetal Genotype Incompatibility as a Risk Factor for Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Palmer, Christina G. S.

    2010-01-01

    Prenatal/obstetric complications are implicated in schizophrenia susceptibility. Some complications may arise from maternal-fetal genotype incompatibility, a term used to describe maternal-fetal genotype combinations that produce an adverse prenatal environment. A review of maternal-fetal genotype incompatibility studies suggests that schizophrenia susceptibility is increased by maternal-fetal genotype combinations at the RHD and HLA-B loci. Maternal-fetal genotype combinations at these loci are hypothesized to have an effect on the maternal immune system during pregnancy which can affect fetal neurodevelopment and increase schizophrenia susceptibility. This article reviews maternal-fetal genotype incompatibility studies and schizophrenia and discusses the hypothesized biological role of these ‘‘incompatibility genes”. It concludes that research is needed to further elucidate the role of RHD and HLA-B maternal-fetal genotype incompatibility in schizophrenia and to identify other genes that produce an adverse prenatal environment through a maternal-fetal genotype incompatibility mechanism. Efforts to develop more sophisticated study designs and data analysis techniques for modeling maternal-fetal genotype incompatibility effects are warranted. PMID:20379378

  1. microRNA Profiling of Amniotic Fluid: Evidence of Synergy of microRNAs in Fetal Development

    PubMed Central

    Li, Tianpeng; Ling, Shucai

    2016-01-01

    Amniotic fluid (AF) continuously exchanges molecules with the fetus, playing critical roles in fetal development especially via its complex components. Among these components, microRNAs are thought to be transferred between cells loaded in microvesicles. However, the functions of AF microRNAs remain unknown. To date, few studies have examined microRNAs in amniotic fluid. In this study, we employed miRCURY Locked Nucleotide Acid arrays to profile the dynamic expression of microRNAs in AF from mice on embryonic days E13, E15, and E17. At these times, 233 microRNAs were differentially expressed (p< 0.01), accounting for 23% of the total Mus musculus microRNAs. These differentially-expressed microRNAs were divided into two distinct groups based on their expression patterns. Gene ontology analysis showed that the intersectional target genes of these differentially-expressed microRNAs were mainly distributed in synapse, synaptosome, cell projection, and cytoskeleton. Pathway analysis revealed that the target genes of the two groups of microRNAs were synergistically enriched in axon guidance, focal adhesion, and MAPK signaling pathways. MicroRNA-mRNA network analysis and gene- mapping showed that these microRNAs synergistically regulated cell motility, cell proliferation and differentiation, and especially the axon guidance process. Cancer pathways associated with growth and proliferation were also enriched in AF. Taken together, the results of this study are the first to show the functions of microRNAs in AF during fetal development, providing novel insights into interpreting the roles of AF microRNAs in fetal development. PMID:27166676

  2. [Maternal nutrition during pregnancy conditions the fetal pancreas development, hormonal status and diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome biomarkers at birth].

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Muniz, F J; Gesteiro, E; Espárrago Rodilla, M; Rodríguez Bernal, B; Bastida, S

    2013-01-01

    Pregnancy is a vital period where several hyperplasic, hypertrophic processes together with metabolic adaptation and preparation for extra-uterine life take place. Present review accounts for central aspects of nutrition throughout gestation on the embryonic and fetal periods. It is centered in the major changes occurring in fetal pancreas, with special mention to the susceptibility of this main glucose homeostasis organ to support nutritional changes during maturation and development. Studies performed in animal models as human are commented considering the role of maternal nutrition on β-cell mass size, insulin and other pancreatic hormones production, and insulin sensitivity. Details of both the thrifty genotype and phenotype hypothesis are given, indicating that hypo/subnutrition causes metabolic adaptations that permit the future body to grow and develop itself in limited environmental and energetic conditions. The Barker hypothesis is considered suggesting that this metabolic hypothesis is a double-edged sword in the actual abundance World. Lastly the review, taking into account our own research and other papers, analyses less known aspects that relate maternal diet with insulin resistance/sensitivity markers at delivery. Particularly the role of the saturated fatty acid/carbohydrate and omega-6/omega-3 ratios in the frame of maternal diet is reviewed considering the quality of those diets under the Healthy Eating Index and the Adherence to Mediterranean Diet scores and the relationship with insulin resistance profile at birth. Present review ends indicating that nutritional habits should be strongly stated before gestation in order to assure a proper nutrition since the first moment of pregnancy. This will support an adequate fetal and pancreatic growth and development, and in turn, adequate glucose homeostasis during pregnancy and later in life, slowing down or preventing from degenerative diseases related with metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes

  3. microRNA Profiling of Amniotic Fluid: Evidence of Synergy of microRNAs in Fetal Development.

    PubMed

    Sun, Tingting; Li, Weiyun; Li, Tianpeng; Ling, Shucai

    2016-01-01

    Amniotic fluid (AF) continuously exchanges molecules with the fetus, playing critical roles in fetal development especially via its complex components. Among these components, microRNAs are thought to be transferred between cells loaded in microvesicles. However, the functions of AF microRNAs remain unknown. To date, few studies have examined microRNAs in amniotic fluid. In this study, we employed miRCURY Locked Nucleotide Acid arrays to profile the dynamic expression of microRNAs in AF from mice on embryonic days E13, E15, and E17. At these times, 233 microRNAs were differentially expressed (p< 0.01), accounting for 23% of the total Mus musculus microRNAs. These differentially-expressed microRNAs were divided into two distinct groups based on their expression patterns. Gene ontology analysis showed that the intersectional target genes of these differentially-expressed microRNAs were mainly distributed in synapse, synaptosome, cell projection, and cytoskeleton. Pathway analysis revealed that the target genes of the two groups of microRNAs were synergistically enriched in axon guidance, focal adhesion, and MAPK signaling pathways. MicroRNA-mRNA network analysis and gene- mapping showed that these microRNAs synergistically regulated cell motility, cell proliferation and differentiation, and especially the axon guidance process. Cancer pathways associated with growth and proliferation were also enriched in AF. Taken together, the results of this study are the first to show the functions of microRNAs in AF during fetal development, providing novel insights into interpreting the roles of AF microRNAs in fetal development. PMID:27166676

  4. Effects of early- and late-gestational maternal stress and synthetic glucocorticoid on development of the fetal hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis in sheep.

    PubMed

    Rakers, Florian; Frauendorf, Vilmar; Rupprecht, Sven; Schiffner, Rene; Bischoff, Sabine J; Kiehntopf, Michael; Reinhold, Petra; Witte, Otto W; Schubert, Harald; Schwab, Matthias

    2013-01-01

    Prenatal maternal stress (PMS) programs dysregulation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPAA) in postnatal life, though time periods vulnerable to PMS, are still unclear. We evaluated in pregnant sheep the effect of PMS during early gestation [30-100 days of gestation (dGA); term is 150 dGA] or late gestation (100-120 dGA) on development of fetal HPAA function. We compared the effects of endogenous cortisol with synthetic glucocorticoid (GC) exposure, as used clinically to enhance fetal lung maturation. Pregnant sheep were exposed to repeated isolation stress twice per week for 3 h in a separate box with no visual, tactile, or auditory contact with their flock-mates either during early (n = 7) or late (n = 7) gestation. Additional groups received two courses of betamethasone (BM; n = 7; 2 × 110 μg kg(- 1) body weight, 24 h apart) during late gestation (106/107 and 112/113 dGA, n = 7) or acted as controls (n = 7). Fetal cortisol responses to hypotensive challenge, a physiological fetal stressor, were measured at 112 and 129 dGA, i.e. before and during maturation of the HPAA. Hypotension was induced by fetal infusion of sodium nitroprusside, a potent vasodilator. At 112 dGA, neither PMS nor BM altered fetal cortisol responses. PMS, during early or late gestation, and BM treatment increased fetal cortisol responses at 129 dGA with the greatest increase achieved in stressed early pregnant sheep. Thus, development of the HPAA is vulnerable to inappropriate levels of GCs during long periods of fetal life, whereas early gestation is most vulnerable to PMS.

  5. [The fetal development curves of newborn infants in the Hospital de Cruces (Vizcaya). II. Length, head circumference and ponderal index].

    PubMed

    Delgado Beltrán, P; Melchor Marcos, J C; Rodríguez-Alarcón Gómez, J; Linares Uribe, A; Fernández-Llebrez del Rey, L; Barbazán Cortés, M J; Ocerin Bengoa, I; Aranguren Dúo, G

    1996-01-01

    Taking a 27,641 live birth sample, without congenital or genetical malformations and from single pregnancies, delivered at Cruces Hospital (Vizcaya) from February 17 1987 to December 31st 1992, fetal growth curves of length, head circumference and ponderal index, have been developed. For every variable and in every gestational week, percentile distribution, mean and standard deviation and 95% confidence interval of the mean have been calculated. Charts of intrauterine growth in length, head circumference and weight-length ratio must be use in conjunction with intrauterine weight charts allowing the identification of infants with unusual prenatal growth patterns. PMID:8849062

  6. Effect of lead on fetal development in rats fed with 8% casein diet

    SciTech Connect

    Saxena, D.K.; Lal, B.; Chandra, S.V.

    1987-10-01

    Nutritional status is known to affect the susceptibility of humans and animals to chemical insult. Prevalence of protein malnutrition in developing countries and increasing reports of exposure to lead through environmental pollution have led us to investigate the embryotoxic and teratogenic effects of lead in pregnant rats maintained on low protein diet so as to asses the developmental toxicity of lead in protein malnourished state.

  7. Expression of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), TrkA, and p75(NTR) in Developing Human Fetal Teeth.

    PubMed

    Mitsiadis, Thimios A; Pagella, Pierfrancesco

    2016-01-01

    Nerve growth factor (NGF) is important for the development and the differentiation of neuronal and non-neuronal cells. NGF binds to specific low- and high-affinity cell surface receptors, respectively, p75(NTR) and TrkA. In the present study, we examined by immunohistochemistry the expression patterns of the NGF, p75(NTR), and TrkA proteins during human fetal tooth development, in order to better understand the mode of NGF signaling action in dental tissues. The results obtained show that these molecules are expressed in a wide range of dental cells of both epithelial and mesenchymal origin during early stages of odontogenesis, as well as in nerve fibers that surround the developing tooth germs. At more advanced developmental stages, NGF and TrkA are localized in differentiated cells with secretory capacities such as preameloblasts/ameloblasts secreting enamel matrix and odontoblasts secreting dentine matrix. In contrast, p75(NTR) expression is absent from these secretory cells and restricted in proliferating cells of the dental epithelium. The temporospatial distribution of NGF and p75(NTR) in fetal human teeth is similar, but not identical, with that observed previously in the developing rodent teeth, thus indicating that the genetic information is well-conserved during evolution. The expression patterns of NGF, p75(NTR), and TrkA during odontogenesis suggest regulatory roles for NGF signaling in proliferation and differentiation of epithelial and mesenchymal cells, as well as in attraction and sprouting of nerve fibers within dental tissues. PMID:27536251

  8. Expression of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), TrkA, and p75(NTR) in Developing Human Fetal Teeth.

    PubMed

    Mitsiadis, Thimios A; Pagella, Pierfrancesco

    2016-01-01

    Nerve growth factor (NGF) is important for the development and the differentiation of neuronal and non-neuronal cells. NGF binds to specific low- and high-affinity cell surface receptors, respectively, p75(NTR) and TrkA. In the present study, we examined by immunohistochemistry the expression patterns of the NGF, p75(NTR), and TrkA proteins during human fetal tooth development, in order to better understand the mode of NGF signaling action in dental tissues. The results obtained show that these molecules are expressed in a wide range of dental cells of both epithelial and mesenchymal origin during early stages of odontogenesis, as well as in nerve fibers that surround the developing tooth germs. At more advanced developmental stages, NGF and TrkA are localized in differentiated cells with secretory capacities such as preameloblasts/ameloblasts secreting enamel matrix and odontoblasts secreting dentine matrix. In contrast, p75(NTR) expression is absent from these secretory cells and restricted in proliferating cells of the dental epithelium. The temporospatial distribution of NGF and p75(NTR) in fetal human teeth is similar, but not identical, with that observed previously in the developing rodent teeth, thus indicating that the genetic information is well-conserved during evolution. The expression patterns of NGF, p75(NTR), and TrkA during odontogenesis suggest regulatory roles for NGF signaling in proliferation and differentiation of epithelial and mesenchymal cells, as well as in attraction and sprouting of nerve fibers within dental tissues.

  9. Expression of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), TrkA, and p75NTR in Developing Human Fetal Teeth

    PubMed Central

    Mitsiadis, Thimios A.; Pagella, Pierfrancesco

    2016-01-01

    Nerve growth factor (NGF) is important for the development and the differentiation of neuronal and non-neuronal cells. NGF binds to specific low- and high-affinity cell surface receptors, respectively, p75NTR and TrkA. In the present study, we examined by immunohistochemistry the expression patterns of the NGF, p75NTR, and TrkA proteins during human fetal tooth development, in order to better understand the mode of NGF signaling action in dental tissues. The results obtained show that these molecules are expressed in a wide range of dental cells of both epithelial and mesenchymal origin during early stages of odontogenesis, as well as in nerve fibers that surround the developing tooth germs. At more advanced developmental stages, NGF and TrkA are localized in differentiated cells with secretory capacities such as preameloblasts/ameloblasts secreting enamel matrix and odontoblasts secreting dentine matrix. In contrast, p75NTR expression is absent from these secretory cells and restricted in proliferating cells of the dental epithelium. The temporospatial distribution of NGF and p75NTR in fetal human teeth is similar, but not identical, with that observed previously in the developing rodent teeth, thus indicating that the genetic information is well-conserved during evolution. The expression patterns of NGF, p75NTR, and TrkA during odontogenesis suggest regulatory roles for NGF signaling in proliferation and differentiation of epithelial and mesenchymal cells, as well as in attraction and sprouting of nerve fibers within dental tissues. PMID:27536251

  10. [Fetal-neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia].

    PubMed

    Muñiz-Díaz, E; Ginovart Galiana, G

    2003-06-01

    Fetal-neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia is the commonest cause of severe thrombocytopenia in the newborn. This disorder is due to the destruction of fetal platelets by a maternal platelet-specific antibody caused by fetal-maternal incompatibility. The most serious complication is intracranial hemorrhage (10-30 % of newborns), which may cause death (10 % of the reported cases) or irreversible neurological sequelae (20 %). The diagnosis is usually made after birth when most affected neonates have petechiae, purpura or overt bleeding. The degree of severity varies according to platelet count. Current methods allow detection of maternal platelet alloantibodies (usually HPA-1a). Clinical grounds and the exclusion of other causes of neonatal thrombocytopenia are required to establish an accurate diagnosis. Recurrence of this disease is very high and has prompted clinicians to develop antenatal prophylactic programs in subsequent pregnancies. However, the optimal treatment of at-risk pregnancies remains controversial. The early diagnosis of this process allows effective therapy based on the infusion of compatible platelets and IgG immunoglobulins when hemorrhage is not obvious. Antenatal management of subsequent pregnancies can prevent recurrence of thrombocytopenia and intracranial hemorrhage. The aim of this review is to draw pediatricians' attention to the importance of this probably under-diagnosed disease in which early diagnosis can prevent potentially severe complications.

  11. Grafts of fetal locus coeruleus neurons in rat amygdala-piriform cortex suppress seizure development in hippocampal kindling.

    PubMed

    Barry, D I; Wanscher, B; Kragh, J; Bolwig, T G; Kokaia, M; Brundin, P; Björklund, A; Lindvall, O

    1989-11-01

    Hippocampal kindling was investigated in rats with a 6-hydroxydopamine-induced lesion of the forebrain catecholamine system after implantation of neural tissue from the fetal locus coeruleus region either bilaterally into the amygdala-piriform cortex (i.e., distant to the kindling site) or unilaterally into the hippocampus (close to the kindling site). Lesioned animals with either sham grafts or control grafts consisting of fetal striatal tissue showed a kindling rate much faster than that of normal controls. In contrast, in rats with bilateral locus coeruleus grafts in the amygdala-piriform cortex (implanted at three sites) the development of seizures was similar to that of controls and significantly slower than that in lesioned animals with sham grafts. All these animals had bilateral surviving grafts with a mean of 125 noradrenergic cells per implantation site. In the animals with locus coeruleus grafts in the stimulated hippocampus the kindling rate did not differ from that in the lesioned animals with control grafts. Most of these animals had large surviving grafts and showed a dense noradrenergic reinnervation of the implanted hippocampus. The present findings indicate that grafting of fetal pontine tissue (rich in noradrenergic neurons) to a site distant to the stimulation focus, but important for the generalization and spread of seizures, can retard the development of seizures in hippocampal kindling. Together with the data of our previous report this study also indicates that noradrenergic reinnervation of both hippocampi is important for the seizure-suppressant action in hippocampal kindling of locus coeruleus grafts implanted in the hippocampus.

  12. Placental adaptations to the maternal-fetal environment: implications for fetal growth and developmental programming.

    PubMed

    Sandovici, Ionel; Hoelle, Katharina; Angiolini, Emily; Constância, Miguel

    2012-07-01

    The placenta is a transient organ found in eutherian mammals that evolved primarily to provide nutrients for the developing fetus. The placenta exchanges a wide array of nutrients, endocrine signals, cytokines and growth factors with the mother and the fetus, thereby regulating intrauterine development. Recent studies show that the placenta is not just a passive organ mediating maternal-fetal exchange. It can adapt its capacity to supply nutrients in response to intrinsic and extrinsic variations in the maternal-fetal environment. These dynamic adaptations are thought to occur to maximize fetal growth and viability at birth in the prevailing conditions in utero. However, some of these adaptations may also affect the development of individual fetal tissues, with patho-physiological consequences long after birth. Here, this review summarizes current knowledge on the causes, possible mechanisms and consequences of placental adaptive responses, with a focus on the regulation of transporter-mediated processes for nutrients. This review also highlights the emerging roles that imprinted genes and epigenetic mechanisms of gene regulation may play in placental adaptations to the maternal-fetal environment.

  13. The fine structure of the human fetal urinary bladder. Development and maturation. A light, transmission and scanning electron microscopic study.

    PubMed Central

    Newman, J; Antonakopoulos, G N

    1989-01-01

    The urinary bladders of 27 human fetuses, aged 7 weeks to full term, were studied by light, transmission and scanning electron microscopy to establish the sequence of events in the development and maturation of the organ during fetal life. In the early specimens, 7-12 weeks old, the urinary bladder was lined by a bilayered, cuboidal and glycogen-rich epithelium. During the 13-17th weeks the epithelium thickened, a third layer developed and by light microscopy it now resembled urothelium. By 21 weeks this had evolved into a 3-4 layer thick epithelium with typical ultrastructural urothelial characteristics. Smooth muscle cells emerged from the condensed mesenchyme of the bladder wall by the 12th week of gestation, initially in the cephalic part of the organ but spreading within a week into the caudal end. Our findings indicate that the human fetal bladder undergoes a series of vital developmental changes during 13-21 weeks of gestation finally acquiring the typical urothelial lining and a well-developed muscular coat. Images Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 6 Fig. 7 Fig. 8 Fig. 9 Fig. 10 Fig. 11 Fig. 12 Fig. 13 Fig. 14 Fig. 15 Fig. 16 Fig. 17 PMID:2621133

  14. Variables Affecting Economic Development of Wind Energy

    SciTech Connect

    Lantz, E.; Tegen, S.

    2008-07-01

    NREL's JEDI Wind model performed an analysis of wind-power-related economic development drivers. Economic development benefits for wind and coal were estimated using NREL's JEDI Wind and JEDI Coal models.

  15. Even Low Levels of Alcohol during Pregnancy Can Affect Fetal Brain Development. Science Briefs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, 2008

    2008-01-01

    "Science Briefs" summarize the findings and implications of a recent study in basic science or clinical research. This brief reports on the study "Effects of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure on GABAergic Neurons" (V. C. Cuzone; P. W. L. Yeh; Y. Yanagawa; K. Obata; and H. H. Yeh). Study results indicate that even exposure to low levels of alcohol during…

  16. Developing fetal motor-cardiovascular coordination analyzed from multi-channel magnetocardiography.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, A; Schneider, U; Witte, O W; Schleußner, E; Hoyer, D

    2014-10-01

    Fetal movements (FM) related heart rate accelerations (AC) are an important maturation criterion. Since Doppler-based time resolution is not sufficient for accompanying heart rate variability analysis, the work is aimed at a comprehensive FM-AC analysis using magnetocardiographic recordings from fetuses during sleep.We identify FM and AC by independent component analysis and automatic recognition algorithms. We investigate associations between FM and AC of different magnitude by means of event coincidence and time series cross-correlation over the maturation period of 21-40 weeks of gestation (WGA).FM related AC appear with increasing AC magnitude and WGA. Vice versa, AC related FM appear independent of WGA, but more frequently with increasing AC amplitude. The FM-AC correlation exists already at 21 WGA and further increases with WGA while the variability of its time delay decreases. Hence, FM and AC are clearly associated over the whole investigated maturation period. The increase of FM related AC runs parallel to the increasing AC magnitude.The MCG methodology was confirmed and results from previous Doppler-based analyses reproduced. Hence, MCG recordings allow the collective analysis of heart rate variability based maturation indices and FM related AC. This synergism may improve the diagnosis of fetal developmental disorders.

  17. Effect of nebivolol treatment during pregnancy on the genital circulation, fetal growth and postnatal development in the Wistar rat.

    PubMed

    Altoama, Kassem; Yassine Mallem, Mohamed; Thorin, Chantal; Betti, Eric; Desfontis, Jean-Claude

    2015-07-01

    The aim of study was to evaluate the effects of nebivolol, a cardioselective beta-1 adrenergic receptor blocker of the third generation with vasodilatory properties, vs. bisoprolol on the genital circulation, uterine vasculature, fetal growth and postnatal development in pregnant Wistar rats. Non invasive measurements of systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP and DBP) and heart rate (HR), and invasive measurement of genital blood flow (GBF) were taken in pregnant rats, by tail cuff and transonic probe methods respectively, after an oral treatment by gastric gavage with nebivolol (8mg/kg/day) or bisoprolol (10mg/kg/day) from day 11 to day 18 of pregnancy. Other morphometrical and histological measurements were performed on the ovarian and uterine arteries to evaluate the effect of nebivolol on the uterine vasculature. Furthermore, postnatal mortality and pup growth were recorded. The data demonstrated that nebivolol (compared with bisoprolol) induced a significant decrease in SBP, HR and GBF while DBP remained unchanged. Moreover, nebivolol increased the diameter and the length of ovarian and uterine arteries and the number of uterine artery segmental branches. The results also showed that the body weight gain of newborns in the nebivolol group was significantly lower vs. bisoprolol and vs. control with a higher mortality rate. The nebivolol action is not only limited to its favorable hemodynamic effects represented by a decrease in blood pressure, but it also produces adverse effects on fetal growth and postnatal development that may limit its therapeutic use in females during pregnancy.

  18. Effects of L-glutamine supplementation on maternal and fetal hemodynamics in gestating ewes exposed to alcohol.

    PubMed

    Sawant, Onkar B; Ramadoss, Jayanth; Hankins, Gary D; Wu, Guoyao; Washburn, Shannon E

    2014-08-01

    Not much is known about effects of gestational alcohol exposure on maternal and fetal cardiovascular adaptations. This study determined whether maternal binge alcohol exposure and L-glutamine supplementation could affect maternal-fetal hemodynamics and fetal regional brain blood flow during the brain growth spurt period. Pregnant sheep were randomly assigned to one of four groups: saline control, alcohol (1.75-2.5 g/kg body weight), glutamine (100 mg/kg body weight) or alcohol + glutamine. A chronic weekend binge drinking paradigm between gestational days (GD) 99 and 115 was utilized. Fetuses were surgically instrumented on GD 117 ± 1 and studied on GD 120 ± 1. Binge alcohol exposure caused maternal acidemia, hypercapnea, and hypoxemia. Fetuses were acidemic and hypercapnic, but not hypoxemic. Alcohol exposure increased fetal mean arterial pressure, whereas fetal heart rate was unaltered. Alcohol exposure resulted in ~40 % reduction in maternal uterine artery blood flow. Labeled microsphere analyses showed that alcohol induced >2-fold increases in fetal whole brain blood flow. The elevation in fetal brain blood flow was region-specific, particularly affecting the developing cerebellum, brain stem, and olfactory bulb. Maternal L-glutamine supplementation attenuated alcohol-induced maternal hypercapnea, fetal acidemia and increases in fetal brain blood flow. L-Glutamine supplementation did not affect uterine blood flow. Collectively, alcohol exposure alters maternal and fetal acid-base balance, decreases uterine blood flow, and alters fetal regional brain blood flow. Importantly, L-glutamine supplementation mitigates alcohol-induced acid-base imbalances and alterations in fetal regional brain blood flow. Further studies are warranted to elucidate mechanisms responsible for alcohol-induced programming of maternal uterine artery and fetal circulation adaptations in pregnancy.

  19. Chronic ethanol exposure and folic acid supplementation: fetal growth and folate status in the maternal and fetal guinea pig.

    PubMed

    Hewitt, Amy J; Knuff, Amber L; Jefkins, Matthew J; Collier, Christine P; Reynolds, James N; Brien, James F

    2011-05-01

    Chronic ethanol exposure (CEE) can produce developmental abnormalities in the CNS of the embryo and developing fetus. Folic acid (FA) is an important nutrient during pregnancy and low folate status exacerbates ethanol-induced teratogenicity. This study tested the hypotheses that (1) CEE depletes folate stores in the mother and fetus; and (2) maternal FA supplementation maintains folate stores. CEE decreased fetal body, brain, hippocampus weights, and brain to body weight ratio but not hippocampus to body weight ratio. These effects of CEE were not mitigated by maternal FA administration. The FA regimen prevented the CEE-induced decrease of term fetal liver folate. However, it did not affect maternal liver folate or fetal RBC folate at term, and did not mitigate the nutritional deficit-induced decrease of term fetal hippocampus folate. This study suggests that maternal FA supplementation may have differential effects on folate status in the mother and the fetus. PMID:21315145

  20. Chronic ethanol exposure and folic acid supplementation: fetal growth and folate status in the maternal and fetal guinea pig.

    PubMed

    Hewitt, Amy J; Knuff, Amber L; Jefkins, Matthew J; Collier, Christine P; Reynolds, James N; Brien, James F

    2011-05-01

    Chronic ethanol exposure (CEE) can produce developmental abnormalities in the CNS of the embryo and developing fetus. Folic acid (FA) is an important nutrient during pregnancy and low folate status exacerbates ethanol-induced teratogenicity. This study tested the hypotheses that (1) CEE depletes folate stores in the mother and fetus; and (2) maternal FA supplementation maintains folate stores. CEE decreased fetal body, brain, hippocampus weights, and brain to body weight ratio but not hippocampus to body weight ratio. These effects of CEE were not mitigated by maternal FA administration. The FA regimen prevented the CEE-induced decrease of term fetal liver folate. However, it did not affect maternal liver folate or fetal RBC folate at term, and did not mitigate the nutritional deficit-induced decrease of term fetal hippocampus folate. This study suggests that maternal FA supplementation may have differential effects on folate status in the mother and the fetus.

  1. Atypical Fetal Prostate Development is Associated with Ipsilateral Hypoplasia of the Wolffian Ducts in the ACI Rat

    PubMed Central

    Hofkamp, Luke E.; Bradley, Sarahann; Geliebter, Jan; Timms, Barry G.

    2011-01-01

    For over a half century the ACI (August × Copenhagen) rat has been a primary model for studying renal agenesis and ipsilateral hypoplasia (IHP) of the Wolffian derived structures (WDS). Because the ACI rat is also used as a model for prostate research it is important to examine the relationship of IHP and urogenital sinus development. The prostate is dependent on androgens for proper growth and differentiation. Alteration in androgen production and/or delivery to the urogenital sinus has the potential to perturbate normal development. In this study we investigate whether the ipsilateral loss of the WDS is associated with altered prostate development. Digital images of serial sectioned fetal ACI rat urogenital sinus (UGS) were used to create 3-dimensional surface-rendered models of the developing prostate, seminal vesicle, vas deferens and utricle on gestational day 21. The number and volume of prostate ducts developing from the UGS were calculated from the 3-D model data. Animals exhibiting IHP had a significant decrease in total fetal prostate volume (40%; p<0.005) with significant regional specific differences when compared to normal male ACI rats. Anatomical and histological differences in the utricle, abnormal histology of the ipsilateral testes, and a truncation of the ipsilateral Wolffian ductal mesenchyme were also seen in the animals with IHP. Additional research is needed to further understand the mechanisms and consequences of IHP on prostate growth and development. Alterations to normal prenatal development of the male accessory sex organs can have important consequences for the growth and morphology of the adult gland. PMID:20091891

  2. Fetal, neonatal, infant, and child international growth standards: an unprecedented opportunity for an integrated approach to assess growth and development.

    PubMed

    Garza, Cutberto

    2015-07-01

    The recent publication of fetal growth and gestational age-specific growth standards by the International Fetal and Newborn Growth Consortium for the 21st Century Project and the previous publication by the WHO of infant and young child growth standards based on the WHO Multicentre Growth Reference Study enable evaluations of growth from ∼9 wk gestation to 5 y. The most important features of these projects are the prescriptive approach used for subject selection and the rigorous testing of the assertion that growth is very similar among geographically and ethnically diverse nonisolated populations when health, nutrition, and other care needs are met and the environment imposes minimal constraints on growth. Both studies documented that with adequate controls, the principal source of variability in growth during gestation and early childhood resides among individuals. Study sites contributed much less to observed variability. The agreement between anthropometric measurements common to both studies also is noteworthy. Jointly, these studies provide for the first time, to my knowledge, a conceptually consistent basis for worldwide and localized assessments and comparisons of growth performance in early life. This is an important contribution to improving the health care of children across key periods of growth and development, especially given the appropriate interest in pursuing "optimal" health in the "first 1000 d," i.e., the period covering fertilization/implantation, gestation, and postnatal life to 2 y of age.

  3. Input and output constraints affecting irrigation development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schramm, G.

    1981-05-01

    In many of the developing countries the expansion of irrigated agriculture is used as a major development tool for bringing about increases in agricultural output, rural economic growth and income distribution. Apart from constraints imposed by water availability, the major limitations considered to any acceleration of such programs are usually thought to be those of costs and financial resources. However, as is shown on the basis of empirical data drawn from Mexico, in reality the feasibility and effectiveness of such development programs is even more constrained by the lack of specialized physical and human factors on the input and market limitations on the output side. On the input side, the limited availability of complementary factors such as, for example, truly functioning credit systems for small-scale farmers or effective agricultural extension services impose long-term constraints on development. On the output side the limited availability, high risk, and relatively slow growth of markets for high-value crops sharply reduce the usually hoped-for and projected profitable crop mix that would warrant the frequently high costs of irrigation investments. Three conclusions are drawn: (1) Factors in limited supply have to be shadow-priced to reflect their high opportunity costs in alternative uses. (2) Re-allocation of financial resources from immediate construction of projects to longer-term increase in the supply of scarce, highly-trained manpower resources are necessary in order to optimize development over time. (3) Inclusion of high-value, high-income producing crops in the benefit-cost analysis of new projects is inappropriate if these crops could potentially be grown in already existing projects.

  4. Tissue plasminogen activator is required for the development of fetal alcohol syndrome in mice.

    PubMed

    Noel, Melissa; Norris, Erin H; Strickland, Sidney

    2011-03-22

    Ethanol exposure during developmental synaptogenesis can lead to brain defects referred to as fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), which can include mental health problems such as cognitive deficits and mental retardation. In FAS, widespread neuronal death and brain mass loss precedes behavioral and cognitive impairments in adulthood. Because tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) has been implicated in neurodegeneration, we examined whether it mediates FAS. Neonatal WT and tPA-/- mice were injected with ethanol to mimic FAS in humans. In WT mice, ethanol elicited caspase-3 activation, significant forebrain neurodegeneration, and decreased contextual fear conditioning in adults. However, tPA-deficient mice were protected from these neurotoxicities, and this protection could be abrogated by exogenous tPA. Selective pharmacological modulators of NMDA and GABAA receptor pathways revealed that the effects of tPA were mediated by the NR2B subunit of the NMDA receptor. This study identifies tPA as a critical signaling component in FAS.

  5. Decreased Zinc Availability Affects Glutathione Metabolism in Neuronal Cells and in the Developing Brain

    PubMed Central

    Omata, Yo; Salvador, Gabriela A.; Oteiza, Patricia I.

    2013-01-01

    A deficit in zinc (Zn) availability can increase cell oxidant production, affect the antioxidant defense system, and trigger oxidant-sensitive signals in neuronal cells. This work tested the hypothesis that a decreased Zn availability can affect glutathione (GSH) metabolism in the developing rat brain and in neuronal cells in culture, as well as the capacity of human neuroblastoma IMR-32 cells to upregulate GSH when challenged with dopamine (DA). GSH levels were low in the brain of gestation day 19 (GD19) fetuses from dams fed marginal Zn diets throughout gestation and in Zn-deficient IMR-32 cells. γ-Glutamylcysteine synthetase (GCL), the first enzyme in the GSH synthetic pathway, was altered by Zn deficiency (ZD). The protein and mRNA levels of the GCL modifier (GCLM) and catalytic (GCLC) subunits were lower in the Zn-deficient GD19 fetal brain and in IMR-32 cells compared with controls. The nuclear translocation of transcription factor nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2, which controls GCL transcription, was impaired by ZD. Posttranslationally, the caspase-3-dependent GCLC cleavage was high in Zn-deficient IMR-32 cells. Cells challenged with DA showed an increase in GCLM and GCLC protein and mRNA levels and a consequent increase in GSH concentration. Although Zn-deficient cells partially upregulated GCL subunits after exposure to DA, GSH content remained low. In summary, results show that a low Zn availability affects the GSH synthetic pathway in neuronal cells and fetal brain both at transcriptional and posttranslational levels. This can in part underlie the GSH depletion associated with ZD and the high sensitivity of Zn-deficient neurons to pro-oxidative stressors. PMID:23377617

  6. Development and characterization of a conditionally immortalized human fetal osteoblastic cell line.

    PubMed

    Harris, S A; Enger, R J; Riggs, B L; Spelsberg, T C

    1995-02-01

    We report the establishment of a human fetal osteoblast cell line derived from biopsies obtained from a spontaneous miscarriage. Primary cultures isolated from fetal tissue were transfected with a gene coding for a temperature-sensitive mutant (tsA58) of SV40 large T antigen along with a gene coding for neomycin (G418) resistance. Individual neomycin resistant colonies were screened for alkaline phosphatase (AP)-specific staining. The clone with the highest AP level, hFOB 1.19, was examined further for other osteoblast phenotypic markers. Incubation of hFOB cells at the permissive temperature (33.5 degrees C) resulted in rapid cell division, whereas little or no cell division occurred at the restrictive temperature (39.5 degrees C). Both AP activity and osteocalcin (OC) secretion increased in a dose-dependent manner following dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25-D3) treatment when cultured at either temperature. However, AP and 1,25-D3-induced OC levels were elevated in confluent hFOB cells cultured at 39.5 degrees C compared with 33.5 degrees C. Treatment of hFOB cells with 1-34 parathyroid hormone (PTH) resulted in an increase in cAMP levels. Upon reaching confluence, hFOB cultures went through programmed differentiation and formed mineralized nodules as observed by von Kossa staining. Further, immunostaining of postconfluent, differentiated hFOB cells showed that high levels of osteopontin, osteonectin, bone sialoprotein, and type I collagen were expressed. Therefore, the clonal cell line hFOB 1.19 provides a homogeneous, rapidly proliferating model system to study certain stages of human osteoblast differentiation.

  7. 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…

  8. Factors affecting proximal tubular reabsorption during development

    SciTech Connect

    Kaskel, F.J.; Kumar, A.M.; Lockhart, E.A.; Evan, A.; Spitzer, A.

    1987-01-01

    Studies performed in several animal species have demonstrated that glomerulotubular balance is maintained throughout development despite the many changes that occur in the factors known to control it. In an attempt to understand the nature of this phenomenon the authors quantified the magnitude and described the profile of these changes in guinea pigs. The changes in physical forces were assessed from measurements of hydrostatic and oncotic pressures, whereas those in the permeability characteristics of the proximal tubule epithelium were estimated from permanence to radioactivity-labelled macromolecules of graded radii, histologic measurements of the intercellular channels, and measurements of end-proximal ratio of tubular fluid-to-plasma osmolality (TF/P/sub osm/). Between 1 and 50 days of age the net pressure for reabsorption increased from 15.0 to 30.9 mmHg with the major change occurring during the first 2-3 wk of postnatal life. The urinary recovery of (/sup 3/H)inulin, (/sup 14/C)sucrose, and (/sup 14/C)creatinine, injected in the early segment of proximal tubules did not vary with age. The urinary recovery of (/sup 14/C)mannitol increased from 92% at birth to 100% at 49 days of age. The length of the zonulae occludens and the width of the intercellular channels did not change during this period. The findings support the hypothesis that during early postnatal life glomerulotubular balance is made possible by a high permeability of the proximal tubule, which compensates for the low net reabsorptive pressure. As the animal matures and the proximal tubule epithelium becomes tighter, for glomerulotubular balance to be maintained, an increase in the number of intercellular channels and in the active transport of sodium need to be postulated.

  9. Wt1 dictates the fate of fetal and adult Leydig cells during development in the mouse testis.

    PubMed

    Wen, Qing; Zheng, Qiao-Song; Li, Xi-Xia; Hu, Zhao-Yuan; Gao, Fei; Cheng, C Yan; Liu, Yi-Xun

    2014-12-15

    Wilms' tumor 1 (Wt1) is a tumor suppressor gene encoding ∼24 zinc finger transcription factors. In the mammalian testis, Wt1 is expressed mostly by Sertoli cells (SCs) involved in testis development, spermatogenesis, and adult Leydig cell (ALC) steroidogenesis. Global knockout (KO) of Wt1 is lethal in mice due to defects in embryogenesis. Herein, we showed that Wt1 is involved in regulating fetal Leydig cell (FLC) degeneration and ALC differentiation during testicular development. Using Wt1(-/flox);Amh-Cre mice that specifically deleted Wt1 in the SC vs. age-matched wild-type (WT) controls, FLC-like-clusters were found in Wt1-deficient testes that remained mitotically active from postnatal day 1 (P1) to P56, and no ALC was detected at these ages. Leydig cells in mutant adult testes displayed morphological features of FLC. Also, FLC-like cells in adult mutant testes had reduced expression in ALC-associated genes Ptgds, Sult1e1, Vcam1, Hsd11b1, Hsd3b6, and Hsd17b3 but high expression of FLC-associated genes Thbs2 and Hsd3b1. Whereas serum LH and testosterone level in mutant mice were not different from controls, intratesticular testosterone level was significantly reduced. Deletion of Wt1 gene also perturbed the expression of steroidogenic enzymes Star, P450c17, Hsd3b6, Hsd3b1, Hsd17b1, and Hsd17b3. FLCs in adult mutant testes failed to convert androstenedione to testosterone due to a lack of Hsd17b3, and this defect was rescued by coculturing with fetal SCs. In summary, FLC-like cells in mutant testes are putative FLCs that remain mitotically active in adult mice, illustrating that Wt1 dictates the fate of FLC and ALC during postnatal testis development.

  10. Propofol-Induced Neurotoxicity in the Fetal Animal Brain and Developments in Modifying These Effects—An Updated Review of Propofol Fetal Exposure in Laboratory Animal Studies

    PubMed Central

    Xiong, Ming; Zhang, Li; Li, Jing; Eloy, Jean; Ye, Jiang Hong; Bekker, Alex

    2016-01-01

    In the past twenty years, evidence of neurotoxicity in the developing brain in animal studies from exposure to several general anesthetics has been accumulating. Propofol, a commonly used general anesthetic medication, administered during synaptogenesis, may trigger widespread apoptotic neurodegeneration in the developing brain and long-term neurobehavioral disturbances in both rodents and non-human primates. Despite the growing evidence of the potential neurotoxicity of different anesthetic agents in animal studies, there is no concrete evidence that humans may be similarly affected. However, given the growing evidence of the neurotoxic effects of anesthetics in laboratory studies, it is prudent to further investigate the mechanisms causing these effects and potential ways to mitigate them. Here, we review multiple studies that investigate the effects of in utero propofol exposure and the developmental agents that may modify these deleterious effects. PMID:27043637

  11. Progestin treatment does not affect expression of cytokines, steroid receptors, oxytocin receptor, and cyclooxygenase 2 in fetal membranes and endometrium from pony mares at parturition.

    PubMed

    Palm, F; Walter, I; Nowotny, N; Budik, S; Helmreich, M; Aurich, C

    2013-01-01

    In most mammalian species, progestins have a major function in maintaining pregnancy. In humans, the physiologic initiation of parturition bears similarities with inflammatory processes and anti-inflammatory effects of progestins have been suggested to postpone birth until term. To examine if comparable effects exist in the horse, mares were treated with the synthetic progestin altrenogest from day 280 of gestation until parturition (N = 5) or were left untreated as controls (N = 7). Tissue from the amnion (AMN), allantochorion (AC), and endometrium (EM) was collected at foaling and mRNA expression of interleukin (IL)-6 and -8, cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2), estrogen receptor (ER) α, progesterone receptor, and oxytocin receptor (OTR) was analyzed. Leukocytes, steroid receptors, COX2, and OTR were also investigated by histology and immunohistochemistry. Expression of mRNA for IL-6 was higher in AMN and EM versus AC (P < 0.01). Expression of IL-8 was higher in AMN than AC and EM (P < 0.001). Steroid receptors and OTR were highly expressed in EM but not in AMN and AC (P < 0.001). Expression of COX2 was most pronounced in AC whereas IL expression was not upregulated in AC. No differences in mRNA expression existed between altrenogest-treated and control animals. Endometrial polymorphonuclear leukocytes were increased in altrenogest-treated mares. Epithelial cells of all tissues, except AC chorionic villi stained progesterone receptor-positive. Staining for ER was more pronounced in the amnion facing epithelium of the AC in altrenogest-treated versus control animals (P < 0.01). In conclusion, COX2 is highly expressed in the AC. The fetal membranes thus might play a role in the onset of labor in the horse. Altrenogest did not affect gene expression in the AMN, AC, and EM but had localized effects on inflammatory cells and ER expression. No anti-inflammatory effects of altrenogest in healthy, late pregnant pony mares could be detected.

  12. Endocrine differentiation of fetal ovaries and testes of the spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta): timing of androgen-independent versus androgen-driven genital development.

    PubMed

    Browne, P; Place, N J; Vidal, J D; Moore, I T; Cunha, G R; Glickman, S E; Conley, A J

    2006-10-01

    Female spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) have an erectile peniform clitoris and a pseudoscrotum but no external vagina, all established by day 35 of a 110-day gestation. Recent studies indicate that these events are androgen-independent, although androgen secretion by fetal ovaries and testis was hypothesized previously to induce phallic development in both sexes. We present the first data relating to the capacity of the ovaries and testes of the spotted hyena to synthesize androgens at different stages of fetal life. Specifically, spotted hyena fetal gonads were examined by immunohistochemistry at GD 30, 45, 48, 65, and 95 for androgen-synthesizing enzymes, as related to the morphological development. Enzymes included 17alpha-hydroxylase/17,20-lyase cytochrome P450 (P450c17), cytochrome b5, 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3betaHSD), and cholesterol side-chain cleavage cytochrome P450 (P450scc). Anti-Müllerian-hormone (AMH) expression was also examined. AMH was strongly expressed in fetal Sertoli cells from GD 30 and after. P450c17 expression was detected in Leydig cells of developing testes and surprisingly in Müllerian duct epithelium. Fetal ovaries began to organize and differentiate by GD 45, and medullary cells expressed P450c17, cytochrome b5, 3betaHSD, and P450scc. The findings support the hypothesis that external genital morphology is probably androgen-independent initially, but that fetal testicular androgens modify the secondary, male-specific phallic form and accessory organs. Fetal ovaries appear to develop substantial androgen-synthesizing capacity but not until phallic differentiation is complete, i.e. after GD 45 based on circulating androstenedione concentrations. During late gestation, fetal ovaries and testes synthesize androgens, possibly organizing the neural substrates of aggressive behaviors observed at birth in spotted hyenas. These data provide an endocrine rationale for sexual dimorphisms in phallic structure and reveal a potential

  13. Development of an artificial neuronal network with post-mitotic rat fetal hippocampal cells by polyethylenimine.

    PubMed

    Liu, Bingfang; Ma, Jun; Gao, Erjing; He, Yu; Cui, Fuzhai; Xu, Qunyuan

    2008-03-14

    The selection of appropriate surface materials that promote cellular adhesion and growth is an important consideration when designing a simplified neuronal network in vitro. In the past, extracellular matrix proteins such as laminin (LN) or positively charged substances such as poly-l-lysine (PLL) have been used. In this study, we examined the ability of another positively charged polymer, polyethyleneimine (PEI), to promote neuronal adhesion, growth and the formation of a functional neuronal network in vitro. PEI, PLL and LN were used to produce grid-shape patterns on glass coverslips by micro-contact printing. Post-mitotic neurons from the rat fetal hippocampus were cultured on the different polymers and the viability and morphology of these neurons under serum-free culture conditions were observed using fluorescent microscopy and atomic force microscopy (AFM). We show that neurons cultured on the PEI- and PLL-coated surfaces adhered to and extended neurites along the grid-shape patterns, whereas neurons cultured on the LN-coated coverslips clustered into clumps of cells. In addition, we found that the neurons on the PEI and PLL-coated grids survived for more than 2 weeks in serum-free conditions, whereas most neurons cultured on the LN-coated grids died after 1 week. Using AFM, we observed some neurosynapse-like structures near the neuronal soma on PEI-coated coverslips. These findings indicate that PEI is a suitable surface for establishing a functional neuronal network in vitro.

  14. Pregnancy, obesity and insulin resistance: maternal overnutrition and the target windows of fetal development.

    PubMed

    Muhlhausler, Beverly S; Gugusheff, Jessica R; Ong, Zhi Yi; Vithayathil, Mini A

    2013-09-01

    A substantial body of literature has demonstrated that the nutritional environment an individual experiences before birth or in early infancy is a key determinant of their health outcomes across the life course. This concept, the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) hypothesis, was initially focused on the adverse consequences of exposure to a suboptimal nutrient supply and provided evidence that maternal undernutrition, fetal growth restriction, and low birth weight were associated with heightened risk of central adiposity, insulin resistance, and cardiovascular disease. More recently, the epidemic rise in the incidence of maternal obesity has seen the attention of the DOHaD field turn toward identifying the impact on the offspring of exposure to an excess nutrient supply in early life. The association between maternal obesity and increased risk of obesity in the offspring has been documented in human populations worldwide, and animal models have provided critical insights into the biological mechanisms that drive this relationship. This review will discuss the important roles that programming of the adipocyte and programming of the central neural networks which control appetite and reward play in the early life programming of metabolic disease by maternal overnutrition. It will also highlight the important research gaps and challenges that remain to be addressed and provide a personal perspective on where the field should be heading in the coming 5-10 years.

  15. Fate and Development of Human Vomeronasal Organ – A Microscopic Fetal Study

    PubMed Central

    Fenn, T.K. Aleyemma; Devi, M. Nirmala; Hebzibah, T. Deborah Joy; Jamuna, M.; Sundaram, K. Kalyana

    2016-01-01

    Introduction The existence of Vomeronasal organ in human is a controversial subject. Presence of Vomeronasal organ and its structure was not reported in standard text books. The presence of Vomeronasal organ in fetal life is doubtful. Hence identification of the organ by histological examination was planned. Materials and Methods A study was conducted on resected specimens of nasal septum obtained from 45 spontaneously aborted fetuses from Obstetrics and Gynaecology department, PSG Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Coimbatore, after ethical clearance. Results The histological structure of Vomeronasal organ was observed from 11 weeks old fetus. The epithelial lining of the organ, presence of cilia, presence of lamina propria, acini and the blood vessel and the types of cells were observed. The organ was lined by pseudostratified columnar epithelium. The organ showed Lamina propria with serous acini from 18 weeks fetus. Vomeronasal duct opening into the nasal cavity and three types of cells were observed in 28 weeks fetus. Conclusion Knowledge about the persistence of Vomeronasal organ in fetuses and its structure need to be known. The organ may be found as a putative pit posterior to anterior nasal spine. The organ may be damaged in nasal septal surgeries and nasal endoscopic procedures. The organ may not be seen on gross examination in all human fetuses and cadavers. PMID:27134849

  16. The role of ovarian surface epithelium in folliculogenesis during fetal development of the bovine ovary: a histological and immunohistochemical study.

    PubMed

    Kenngott, R A M; Vermehren, M; Ebach, K; Sinowatz, F

    2013-01-01

    Although many aspects of ovarian differentiation have been established, comparatively little is known about prenatal follicle formation and differentiation of bovine ovaries. The objective of this investigation was to study the role of the surface epithelium during the development of germ cell nests, germ cell cords and follicle formation in the fetal bovine ovary. Associated important proliferation and apoptotic features were further investigated. Additionally, the expression pattern of the S100 protein was detected. A strong increase of mitotic figures was detected in the surface epithelium, germ cell nests and germ cell cords of ovaries with a crown-rump length (CRL) of 13.0-58.0 cm. Oocytes were positively stained with S100 in bovine ovaries from fetuses with a CRL of 21.0 cm. The staining intensity enhanced parallel to increasing oocyte and follicle sizes during the ovary development. In later stages, a strong staining for S100 was observed in healthy oocytes in contradistinction to atretic oocytes where no expression of the S100 protein could be found. In conclusion, increasing mitosis index of surface epithelium cells, as well as oogonia directly beneath the surface epithelium, in combination with open surface connection during stages from a CRL of 11.0-94.0 cm of bovine fetal ovaries could play an important role in the period of time of ongoing folliculogenesis and derivation of granulosa cells. Additionally, S100-positive oocytes in primordial and later follicle stages joined by a high rate of Ki67-positive index in surrounding granulosa cells indicate that in the oocytes the S100 protein can perhaps be a useful marker for intact oocytes in bovine ovaries.

  17. Fetal transplants rescue axial muscle representations in M1 cortex of neonatally transected rats that develop weight support.

    PubMed

    Giszter, S F; Kargo, W J; Davies, M; Shibayama, M

    1998-12-01

    Fetal transplants rescue axial muscle representations in M1 cortex of neonatally transected rats that develop weight support. J. Neurophysiol. 80: 3021-3030, 1998. Intraspinal transplants of fetal spinal tissue partly alleviate motor deficits caused by spinal cord injury. How transplants modify body representation and muscle recruitment by motor cortex is currently largely unknown. We compared electromyographic responses from motor cortex stimulation in normal adult rats, adult rats that received complete spinal cord transection at the T8-T10 segmental level as neonates (TX rats), and similarly transected rats receiving transplants of embryonic spinal cord (TP rats). Rats were also compared among treatments for level of weight support and motor performance. Sixty percent of TP rats showed unassisted weight-supported locomotion as adults, whereas approximately 30% of TX rats with no intervention showed unassisted weight-supported locomotion. In the weight-supporting animals we found that the transplants enabled motor responses to be evoked by microstimulation of areas of motor cortex that normally represent the lumbar axial muscles in rats. These same regions were silent in all TX rats with transections but no transplants, even those exhibiting locomotion with weight support. In weight-supporting TX rats low axial muscles could be recruited from the rostral cortical axial representation, which normally represents the neck and upper trunk. No operated animal, even those with well-integrated transplants and good weight-supported locomotion, had a hindlimb motor representation in cortex. The data demonstrate that spinal transplants allow the development of some functional interactions between areas of motor cortex and spinal cord that are not available to the rat lacking the intervention. The data also suggest that operated rats that achieve weight support may primarily use the axial muscles to steer the pelvis and hindlimbs indirectly rather than use explicit hindlimb

  18. Metric optimized gating for fetal cardiac MRI.

    PubMed

    Jansz, Michael S; Seed, Mike; van Amerom, Joshua F P; Wong, Derek; Grosse-Wortmann, Lars; Yoo, Shi-Joon; Macgowan, Christopher K

    2010-11-01

    Phase-contrast magnetic resonance imaging can be used to complement echocardiography for the evaluation of the fetal heart. Cardiac imaging typically requires gating with peripheral hardware; however, a gating signal is not readily available in utero. No successful application of existing technologies to human fetal phase-contrast magnetic resonance imaging has been reported to date in the literature. The purpose of this work is to develop a technique for phase-contrast magnetic resonance imaging of the fetal heart that does not require measurement of a gating signal. Metric optimized gating involves acquiring data without gating and retrospectively determining the proper reconstruction by optimizing an image metric. The effects of incorrect gating on phase contrast images were investigated, and the time-entropy of the series of images was found to provide a good measure of the level of corruption. The technique was validated with a pulsatile flow phantom, experiments with adult volunteers, and in vivo application in the fetal population. Images and flow curves from these measurements are presented. Additionally, numerical simulations were used to investigate the degree to which heart rate variability affects the reconstruction process. Metric optimized gating enables imaging with conventional phase-contrast magnetic resonance imaging sequences in the absence of a gating signal, permitting flow measurements in the great vessels in utero.

  19. Affective Development in Advanced Old Age: Analyses of Terminal Change in Positive and Negative Affect

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schilling, Oliver K.; Wahl, Hans-Werner; Wiegering, Sarah

    2013-01-01

    Late-life development of affect may unfold terminal changes that are driven more by end-of-life processes and not so much by time since birth. This study aimed to explore time-to-death-related effects in measures of affect in a sample of the very old. We used longitudinal data (2 measurement occasions: 2002 and 2003) from 140 deceased…

  20. Fetal electrocardiograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rios, Heriberto; Andrade, Armando; Puente, Ernestina; Lizana, Pablo R.; Mendoza, Diego

    2002-11-01

    The high intra-uterine death rate is due to failure in appropriately diagnosing some problems in the cardiobreathing system of the fetus during pregnancy. The electrocardiograph is one apparatus which might detect problems at an early stage. With electrodes located near the womb and uterus, in a way similar to the normal technique, the detection of so-called biopotential differences, caused by concentrations of ions, can be achieved. The fetal electrocardiograph is based on an ultrasound technique aimed at detecting intrauterine problems in pregnant women, because it is a noninvasive technique due to the very low level of ultrasound power used. With this system, the following tests can be done: Heart movements from the ninth week onwards; Rapid and safe diagnosis of intrauterine fetal death; Location and size of the placenta. The construction of the fetal electrocardiograph requires instrument level components directly mounted on the printed circuit board, in order to avoid stray capacitance in the cabling which prevents the detection of the E.C.G. activity. The low cost of the system makes it affordable to low budget institutions; in contrast, available commercial systems are priced in U.S. Dollars. (To be presented in Spanish.)

  1. MALFORMATIONS IN GUBERNACULAR LIGAMENT DEVELOPMENT INDUCED BY DEHP, DBP, AND BBP ARE ASSOCIATED WITH DECREASES IN INSL3 GENE EXPRESSION IN THE FETAL RAT TESTIS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Malformations in gubernacular ligament development induced by DEHP, DBP, and BBP are associated with decreases in insl3 gene expression in the fetal rat testis.
    Vickie S.Wilson, Christy Lambright, Johnathan Furr, Carmen Wood, Gary Held, L. Earl Gray Jr. U.S. EPA, ORD, NHEER...

  2. Observation of Classroom Social Communication: Do Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Spend Their Time Differently than Their Typically Developing Peers?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olswang, Lesley B.; Svensson, Liselotte; Astley, Susan

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: In this research, the authors examined how social communication profiles during classroom activities differed between children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) and typically developing pair-matched peers. Method: Twelve pairs of children were observed in their classrooms 20 min a day for 4 days across 2 weeks. Coders…

  3. COMBINED ENDOCRINE EFFECTS OF IN UTERO EXPOSURE TO THE ANTIANDROGENS BUTYLBENZYL PHTHALATE (BBP) AND LINURON (LIN) ON FETAL TESTOSTERONE (T) SYNTHESIS AND REPRODUCTIVE TRACT DEVELOPMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    COMBINED ENDOCRINE EFFECTS OF IN UTERO EXPOSURE TO THE ANTIANDROGENS BUTYLBENZYL PHTHALATE (BBP) AND LINURON (Lin) ON FETAL TESTOSTERONE (T) SYNTHESIS AND REPRODUCTIVE TRACT DEVELOPMENT
    Parks LG , Hotchkiss AK, Ostby J, Lambright C and Gray LE, Jr.

    Lin and BBP are toxic...

  4. Rasch scaling procedures for informing development of a valid Fetal Surveillance Education Program multiple-choice assessment

    PubMed Central

    Zoanetti, Nathan; Griffin, Patrick; Beaves, Mark; Wallace, Euan M

    2009-01-01

    Background It is widely recognised that deficiencies in fetal surveillance practice continue to contribute significantly to the burden of adverse outcomes. This has prompted the development of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and an associated Fetal Surveillance Education Program to deliver the associated learning. This article describes initial steps in the validation of a corresponding multiple-choice assessment of the relevant educational outcomes through a combination of item response modelling and expert judgement. Methods The Rasch item response model was employed for item and test analysis and to empirically derive the substantive interpretation of the assessment variable. This interpretation was then compared to the hierarchy of competencies specified a priori by a team of eight subject-matter experts. Classical Test Theory analyses were also conducted. Results A high level of agreement between the hypothesised and derived variable provided evidence of construct validity. Item and test indices from Rasch analysis and Classical Test Theory analysis suggested that the current test form was of moderate quality. However, the analyses made clear the required steps for establishing a valid assessment of sufficient psychometric quality. These steps included: increasing the number of items from 40 to 50 in the first instance, reviewing ineffective items, targeting new items to specific content and difficulty gaps, and formalising the assessment blueprint in light of empirical information relating item structure to item difficulty. Conclusion The application of the Rasch model for criterion-referenced assessment validation with an expert stakeholder group is herein described. Recommendations for subsequent item and test construction are also outlined in this article. PMID:19402898

  5. Recent progress in understanding the pathogenesis of fetal and neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia.

    PubMed

    Curtis, Brian R

    2015-12-01

    Fetal and neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia (FNAIT) occurs in c. 1 in 1000 births and is caused by maternal antibodies against human platelet alloantigens that bind incompatible fetal platelets and promote their clearance from the circulation. Affected infants can experience bleeding, bruising and, in severe cases, intracranial haemorrhage and even death. As maternal screening is not routinely performed, and first pregnancies can be affected, most cases are diagnosed at delivery of a first affected pregnancy. Unlike its erythrocyte counterpart, Haemolytic Disease of the Fetus and Newborn, there is no prophylactic treatment for FNAIT. This report will review recent advances made in understanding the pathogenesis of FNAIT: the platelet alloantigens involved, maternal exposure and sensitization to fetal platelet antigens, properties of platelet Immunoglobulin G antibodies, maternal-fetal antibody transport mechanisms and efforts to develop an effective FNAIT prophylaxis. PMID:26344048

  6. Recent progress in understanding the pathogenesis of fetal and neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia.

    PubMed

    Curtis, Brian R

    2015-12-01

    Fetal and neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia (FNAIT) occurs in c. 1 in 1000 births and is caused by maternal antibodies against human platelet alloantigens that bind incompatible fetal platelets and promote their clearance from the circulation. Affected infants can experience bleeding, bruising and, in severe cases, intracranial haemorrhage and even death. As maternal screening is not routinely performed, and first pregnancies can be affected, most cases are diagnosed at delivery of a first affected pregnancy. Unlike its erythrocyte counterpart, Haemolytic Disease of the Fetus and Newborn, there is no prophylactic treatment for FNAIT. This report will review recent advances made in understanding the pathogenesis of FNAIT: the platelet alloantigens involved, maternal exposure and sensitization to fetal platelet antigens, properties of platelet Immunoglobulin G antibodies, maternal-fetal antibody transport mechanisms and efforts to develop an effective FNAIT prophylaxis.

  7. Ongoing neural development of affective theory of mind in adolescence

    PubMed Central

    Weigelt, Sarah; Döhnel, Katrin; Smolka, Michael N.; Kliegel, Matthias

    2014-01-01

    Affective Theory of Mind (ToM), an important aspect of ToM, involves the understanding of affective mental states. This ability is critical in the developmental phase of adolescence, which is often related with socio-emotional problems. Using a developmentally sensitive behavioral task in combination with functional magnetic resonance imaging, the present study investigated the neural development of affective ToM throughout adolescence. Eighteen adolescent (ages 12–14 years) and 18 young adult women (aged 19–25 years) were scanned while evaluating complex affective mental states depicted by actors in video clips. The ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) showed significantly stronger activation in adolescents in comparison to adults in the affective ToM condition. Current results indicate that the vmPFC might be involved in the development of affective ToM processing in adolescence. PMID:23716712

  8. Role of Insulinlike Growth Factor 1 in Fetal Development and in the Early Postnatal Life of Premature Infants.

    PubMed

    Hellström, Ann; Ley, David; Hansen-Pupp, Ingrid; Hallberg, Boubou; Ramenghi, Luca A; Löfqvist, Chatarina; Smith, Lois E H; Hård, Anna-Lena

    2016-09-01

    The neonatal period of very preterm infants is often characterized by a difficult adjustment to extrauterine life, with an inadequate nutrient supply and insufficient levels of growth factors, resulting in poor growth and a high morbidity rate. Long-term multisystem complications include cognitive, behavioral, and motor dysfunction as a result of brain damage as well as visual and hearing deficits and metabolic disorders that persist into adulthood. Insulinlike growth factor 1 (IGF-1) is a major regulator of fetal growth and development of most organs especially the central nervous system including the retina. Glucose metabolism in the developing brain is controlled by IGF-1 which also stimulates differentiation and prevents apoptosis. Serum concentrations of IGF-1 decrease to very low levels after very preterm birth and remain low for most of the perinatal development. Strong correlations have been found between low neonatal serum concentrations of IGF-1 and poor brain and retinal growth as well as poor general growth with multiorgan morbidities, such as intraventricular hemorrhage, retinopathy of prematurity, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, and necrotizing enterocolitis. Experimental and clinical studies indicate that early supplementation with IGF-1 can improve growth in catabolic states and reduce brain injury after hypoxic/ischemic events. A multicenter phase II study is currently underway to determine whether intravenous replacement of human recombinant IGF-1 up to normal intrauterine serum concentrations can improve growth and development and reduce prematurity-associated morbidities.

  9. Role of Insulinlike Growth Factor 1 in Fetal Development and in the Early Postnatal Life of Premature Infants.

    PubMed

    Hellström, Ann; Ley, David; Hansen-Pupp, Ingrid; Hallberg, Boubou; Ramenghi, Luca A; Löfqvist, Chatarina; Smith, Lois E H; Hård, Anna-Lena

    2016-09-01

    The neonatal period of very preterm infants is often characterized by a difficult adjustment to extrauterine life, with an inadequate nutrient supply and insufficient levels of growth factors, resulting in poor growth and a high morbidity rate. Long-term multisystem complications include cognitive, behavioral, and motor dysfunction as a result of brain damage as well as visual and hearing deficits and metabolic disorders that persist into adulthood. Insulinlike growth factor 1 (IGF-1) is a major regulator of fetal growth and development of most organs especially the central nervous system including the retina. Glucose metabolism in the developing brain is controlled by IGF-1 which also stimulates differentiation and prevents apoptosis. Serum concentrations of IGF-1 decrease to very low levels after very preterm birth and remain low for most of the perinatal development. Strong correlations have been found between low neonatal serum concentrations of IGF-1 and poor brain and retinal growth as well as poor general growth with multiorgan morbidities, such as intraventricular hemorrhage, retinopathy of prematurity, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, and necrotizing enterocolitis. Experimental and clinical studies indicate that early supplementation with IGF-1 can improve growth in catabolic states and reduce brain injury after hypoxic/ischemic events. A multicenter phase II study is currently underway to determine whether intravenous replacement of human recombinant IGF-1 up to normal intrauterine serum concentrations can improve growth and development and reduce prematurity-associated morbidities. PMID:27603537

  10. The development of a multichannel atomic magnetometer array for fetal magnetocardiography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wylie, Robert, IV

    Biomagnetic signals can provide important information about electrical processes in the human body. Because of the small signal sizes, magnetic detection is generally used where other detection methods are incomplete or insufficiently sensitive. One important example is fetal magnetocardiography (fMCG), where the detection of magnetic signals is currently the only available technique for certain clinical applications, such as the detection of cardiac arrhythmia. Until now, magnetometers based on superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs), which can operate at sensitivities down to 1 fT Hz-1/2 have been the only option. The low Tc superconductors and associated cryogenics required for the most sensitive devices has led to interest in alternative technologies. In the last decade, atomic magnetometers operating in the spin-exchange relaxation-free (SERF) regime have demonstrated a higher sensitivity than SQUIDs while operating near room temperature. Though large SERF magnetometer arrays have not yet been built, smaller arrays should be sufficient for applications such as fMCG. In this thesis, we present the design and characterization of a portable four-channel SERF atomic magnetometer array with a 5-10 fT Hz-1/2 single channel baseline sensitivity. The magnetometer array has several design features intended to maximize its suitability for biomagnetic measurement, specifically fMCG, such as a compact modular design and large, flexible channel spacing from 5-15 cm. The modular design allows for easily adding units to the array and the independent positioning and orientation of each magnetometer, in principle allowing for non-planar array geometries. Using this array in a magnetically shielded room, we acquire adult magnetocadiograms and, for the first time with a SERF magnetometer, fMCG. We also investigate the use of different operational modes of the magnetometer to extend its functionality, specifically modulation methods for additional directional

  11. Investigating the interaction between hematopoietic stem cells and their niche during embryonic development: optimizing the isolation of fetal and newborn stem cells from liver, spleen, and bone marrow.

    PubMed

    Cao, Huimin; Williams, Brenda; Nilsson, Susan K

    2014-01-01

    Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are maintained in a particular microenvironment termed a "niche." Within the niche, a number of critical molecules and supportive cell types have been identified to play key roles in modulating adult HSC quiescence, proliferation, differentiation, and reconstitution. However, unlike in the adult bone marrow (BM), the components of stem cell niches, as well as their interactions with fetal HSC during different stages of embryonic development, are poorly understood. During embryogenesis, hematopoietic development migrates through multiple organs, each with different cellular and molecular components and hence each with a potentially unique HSC niche. As a consequence, isolating fetal HSC from each organ at the time of hematopoietic colonization is fundamental for assessing and understanding both HSC function and their interactions with specific microenvironments. Herein, we describe methodologies for harvesting cells as well as the purification of stem and progenitors from fetal and newborn liver, spleen, and BM at various developmental stages following the expansion of hematopoiesis in the fetal liver at E14.5.

  12. The Development of the Meta-Affective Trait Scale

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Uzuntiryaki-Kondakci, Esen; Kirbulut, Zubeyde Demet

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to develop a Meta-Affective Trait Scale (MATS) to measure the meta-affective inclinations related to emotions that students have while they are studying for their classes. First, a pilot study was performed with 380 10th-grade students. Results of the exploratory factor analysis supported a two-factor structure of the…

  13. Glycomic profile of the human parotid gland between 18th and 26th week of fetal development.

    PubMed

    Rêgo, Moacyr J B M; Silva Filho, Antônio F; Sobral, Ana P V; Beltrão, Eduardo I C

    2016-01-01

    The formation of new and functional structural components of several organs, such as parotid glands, can be influenced by the glycocode. This study analyzed the glycobiology of parotid salivary gland tissue during fetal development using specific biochemical probes (lectins and antibodies). Eleven parotid gland samples from human fetuses were obtained from spontaneous abortions at 14-28 weeks of gestation, and tissue sections were analyzed for lectin histochemistry and immunohistochemistry. From the 18th to 26th week, Canavalia ensiformis agglutinin, wheat germ agglutinin, Ulex europaeus agglutinin-I, peanut agglutinin, Sambucus nigra agglutinin, and Vicia villosa agglutinin lectin staining were predominantly observed in the apical and/or basement membranes of the ducts and tubulo-acinar units. Moreover, the presence of galectin-1 was found in the membrane, cytoplasm, and nucleus of both structures. Conversely, Gal-3 and mucin-1 were restricted to the glandular ducts. The lectin staining pattern changed during the weeks evaluated. Nevertheless, the carbohydrate subcellular localization represented a key factor in the investigation of structural distribution profiles and possible roles of these glycans in initial parotid gland development. These findings are defined by their high biological value and provide an important base for the development of subsequent studies. (J Oral Sci 58, 353-360, 2016). PMID:27665974

  14. Character Development. Does Sport Affect Character Development in Athletes?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sage, George

    1998-01-01

    Examines the impact of sport on character development, noting that historically British and American schools have valued sports for helping develop social character and citizenship. The paper discusses research on sport as a character builder, suggesting that the effect of sport on character depends on the positive or negative social contextual…

  15. Factors Affecting the Development and Use of Learning Objects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moisey, Susan D.; Ally, Mohamed; Spencer, Bob

    2006-01-01

    This study explored barriers and facilitating factors affecting the development and use of learning objects in developing instructional materials and their use in supporting individualized learning. Over a two-month period, students in a graduate-level instructional design course developed instructional materials incorporating learning objects or…

  16. Fetal alloimmune thrombocytopenia and maternal intravenous immunoglobulin infusion

    PubMed Central

    Giers, Günther; Wenzel, Folker; Stockschläder, Markus; Riethmacher, Regina; Lorenz, Horst; Tutschek, Boris

    2010-01-01

    Background Different therapeutic approaches have been used in fetal-neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia, but many centers administer immunoglobulin G infusions to the pregnant woman. We studied the effect of maternal antenatal immunoglobulin infusions on fetal platelet counts in pregnancies with fetal alloimmune thrombocytopenia. Design and Methods We retrospectively analyzed the clinical courses of fetuses with fetal alloimmune thrombocytopenia whose mothers were treated with immunoglobulin G infusions in a single center between 1999 and 2005. In a center-specific protocol, weekly maternal immunoglobulin G infusions were given to 25 pregnant women with previously affected neonates and four women with strong platelet antibodies, but no previous history of fetal alloimmune thrombocytopenia; before each infusion diagnostic fetal blood sampling was performed to determine fetal platelet counts and immunoglobulin G levels. Results There were 30 fetuses with fetal alloimmune thrombocytopenia, confirmed by initial fetal blood sampling showing fetal platelet counts between 4×109/L and 130×109/L and antibody-coated fetal platelets using a glycoprotein specific assay. Despite weekly antenatal maternal immunoglobulin G infusions fetal platelet counts did not change significantly. Maternal and fetal immunoglobulin G levels, measured before every infusion, increased significantly with the number of maternal immunoglobulin G infusions. Conclusions In this group of fetuses with fetal alloimmune thrombocytopenia no consistent increase of fetal platelets was achieved as a result of regular maternal immunoglobulin G infusions. PMID:20534698

  17. Antenatal glucocorticoid treatment affects hippocampal development in mice.

    PubMed

    Noorlander, Cornelle W; Tijsseling, Deodata; Hessel, Ellen V S; de Vries, Willem B; Derks, Jan B; Visser, Gerard H A; de Graan, Pierre N E

    2014-01-01

    Synthetic glucocorticoids are administered to pregnant women at risk for preterm delivery, to enhance fetal lung maturation. The benefit of this treatment is well established, however caution is necessary because of possible unwanted side effects on development of different organ systems, including the brain. Actions of glucocorticoids are mediated by corticosteroid receptors, which are highly expressed in the hippocampus, a brain structure involved in cognitive functions. Therefore, we analyzed the effects of a single antenatal dexamethasone treatment on the development of the mouse hippocampus. A clinically relevant dose of dexamethasone (0.4 mg/kg) was administered to pregnant mice at embryonic day 15.5 and the hippocampus was analyzed from embryonic day 16 until adulthood. We investigated the effects of dexamethasone treatment on anatomical changes, apoptosis and proliferation in the hippocampus, hippocampal volume and on total body weight. Our results show that dexamethasone treatment reduced body weight and hippocampal volume transiently during development, but these effects were no longer detected at adulthood. Dexamethasone treatment increased the number of apoptotic cells in the hippocampus until birth, but postnatally no effects of dexamethasone treatment on apoptosis were found. During the phase with increased apoptosis, dexamethasone treatment reduced the number of proliferating cells in the subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus. The number of proliferative cells was increased at postnatal day 5 and 10, but was decreased again at the adult stage. This latter long-term and negative effect of antenatal dexamethasone treatment on the number of proliferative cells in the hippocampus may have important implications for hippocampal network function.

  18. Segmented independent component analysis for improved separation of fetal cardiac signals from nonstationary fetal magnetocardiograms

    PubMed Central

    Murta, Luiz O.; Guzo, Mauro G.; Moraes, Eder R.; Baffa, Oswaldo; Wakai, Ronald T.; Comani, Silvia

    2015-01-01

    Fetal magnetocardiograms (fMCGs) have been successfully processed with independent component analysis (ICA) to separate the fetal cardiac signals, but ICA effectiveness can be limited by signal nonstation-arities due to fetal movements. We propose an ICA-based method to improve the quality of fetal signals separated from fMCG affected by fetal movements. This technique (SegICA) includes a procedure to detect signal nonstationarities, according to which the fMCG recordings are divided in stationary segments that are then processed with ICA. The first and second statistical moments and the signal polarity reversal were used at different threshold levels to detect signal transients. SegICA effectiveness was assessed in two fMCG datasets (with and without fetal movements) by comparing the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the signals extracted with ICA and with SegICA. Results showed that the SNR of fetal signals affected by fetal movements improved with SegICA, whereas the SNR gain was negligible elsewhere. The best measure to detect signal nonstationarities of physiological origin was signal polarity reversal at threshold level 0.9. The first statistical moment also provided good results at threshold level 0.6. SegICA seems a promising method to separate fetal cardiac signals of improved quality from nonstationary fMCG recordings affected by fetal movements. PMID:25781658

  19. Fetal alcohol exposure: consequences, diagnosis, and treatment.

    PubMed

    Pruett, Dawn; Waterman, Emily Hubbard; Caughey, Aaron B

    2013-01-01

    Maternal alcohol use during pregnancy is prevalent, with as many as 12% of pregnant women consuming alcohol. Alcohol intake may vary from an occasional drink, to weekly binge drinking, to chronic alcohol use throughout pregnancy. Whereas there are certain known consequences from fetal alcohol exposure, such as fetal alcohol syndrome, other effects are less well defined. Craniofacial dysmorphologies, abnormalities of organ systems, behavioral and intellectual deficits, and fetal death have all been attributed to maternal alcohol consumption. This review article considers the theoretical mechanisms of how alcohol affects the fetus, including the variable susceptibility to fetal alcohol exposure and the implications of ethanol dose and timing of exposure. Criteria for diagnosis of fetal alcohol syndrome are discussed, as well as new methods for early detection of maternal alcohol use and fetal alcohol exposure, such as the use of fatty acid ethyl esters. Finally, current and novel treatment strategies, both in utero and post utero, are reviewed.

  20. Effects of lead exposure before pregnancy and dietary calcium during pregnancy on fetal development and lead accumulation.

    PubMed Central

    Han, S; Pfizenmaier, D H; Garcia, E; Eguez, M L; Ling, M; Kemp, F W; Bogden, J D

    2000-01-01

    Millions of women of child-bearing age have substantial bone lead stores due to lead exposure as children. Dietary calcium ingested simultaneously with lead exposure can reduce lead absorption and accumulation. However, the effects of dietary calcium on previously accumulated maternal lead stores and transfer to the fetus have not been investigated. We studied the effects of lead exposure of female rats at an early age on fetal development during a subsequent pregnancy. We gave 5-week-old female Sprague-Dawley rats lead as the acetate in their drinking water for 5 weeks; controls received equimolar sodium acetate. This was followed by a 1-month period without lead exposure before mating. We randomly assigned pregnant rats (n = 39) to diets with a deficient (0.1%) or normal (0.5%) calcium content during pregnancy. A total of 345 pups were delivered alive. Lead-exposed dams and their pups had significantly higher blood lead concentrations than controls, but the concentrations were in the range of those found in many pregnant women. Pups born to dams fed the calcium-deficient diet during pregnancy had higher blood and organ lead concentrations than pups born to dams fed the 0. 5% calcium diet. Pups born to lead-exposed dams had significantly (p<0.0001) lower mean birth weights and birth lengths than controls. There were significant inverse univariate associations between dam or pup organ lead concentrations and birth weight or length. The 0.5% calcium diet did not increase in utero growth. Stepwise regression analysis demonstrated that greater litter size and female sex were significantly associated with reduced pup birth weight and length. However, lead exposure that ended well before pregnancy was significantly (p<0.0001) associated with reduced birth weight and length, even after litter size, pup sex, and dam weight gain during pregnancy were included in the regression analysis. The data demonstrate that an increase in dietary calcium during pregnancy can reduce

  1. Diet reduction to requirements in obese/overfed ewes from early gestation prevents glucose/insulin dysregulation and returns fetal adiposity and organ development to control levels

    PubMed Central

    Tuersunjiang, Nuermaimaiti; Odhiambo, John F.; Long, Nathan M.; Shasa, Desiree R.; Nathanielsz, Peter W.

    2013-01-01

    Obesity at conception and excess gestational weight gain pose significant risks for adverse health consequences in human offspring. This study evaluated the effects of reducing dietary intake of obese/overfed ewes beginning in early gestation on fetal development. Sixty days prior to conception, ewes were assigned to a control diet [CON: 100% of National Research Council (NRC) recommendations], a diet inducing maternal obesity (MO: 150% of NRC recommendations), or a maternal obesity intervention diet (MOI: 150% of NRC recommendations to day 28 of gestation, then 100% NRC) until necropsy at midgestation (day 75) or late (day 135) gestation. Fetal size and weight, as well as fetal organ weights, were greater (P < 0.05) at midgestation in MO ewes than those of CON and MOI ewes. By late gestation, whereas fetal size and weight did not differ among dietary groups, cardiac ventricular weights and wall thicknesses as well as liver and perirenal fat weights remained elevated in fetuses from MO ewes compared with those from CON and MOI ewes. MO ewes and fetuses exhibited elevated (P < 0.05) plasma concentrations of triglycerides, cholesterol, insulin, glucose, and cortisol at midgestation compared with CON and MOI ewes and fetuses. In late gestation, whereas plasma triglycerides and cholesterol, insulin, and cortisol remained elevated in MO vs. CON and MOI ewes and fetuses, glucose concentrations were elevated in both MO and MOI fetuses compared with CON fetuses, which was associated with elevated placental GLUT3 expression in both groups. These data are consistent with the concept that reducing maternal diet of obese/overfed ewes to requirements from early gestation can prevent subsequent alterations in fetal growth, adiposity, and glucose/insulin dynamics. PMID:23921140

  2. Diet reduction to requirements in obese/overfed ewes from early gestation prevents glucose/insulin dysregulation and returns fetal adiposity and organ development to control levels.

    PubMed

    Tuersunjiang, Nuermaimaiti; Odhiambo, John F; Long, Nathan M; Shasa, Desiree R; Nathanielsz, Peter W; Ford, Stephen P

    2013-10-01

    Obesity at conception and excess gestational weight gain pose significant risks for adverse health consequences in human offspring. This study evaluated the effects of reducing dietary intake of obese/overfed ewes beginning in early gestation on fetal development. Sixty days prior to conception, ewes were assigned to a control diet [CON: 100% of National Research Council (NRC) recommendations], a diet inducing maternal obesity (MO: 150% of NRC recommendations), or a maternal obesity intervention diet (MOI: 150% of NRC recommendations to day 28 of gestation, then 100% NRC) until necropsy at midgestation (day 75) or late (day 135) gestation. Fetal size and weight, as well as fetal organ weights, were greater (P < 0.05) at midgestation in MO ewes than those of CON and MOI ewes. By late gestation, whereas fetal size and weight did not differ among dietary groups, cardiac ventricular weights and wall thicknesses as well as liver and perirenal fat weights remained elevated in fetuses from MO ewes compared with those from CON and MOI ewes. MO ewes and fetuses exhibited elevated (P < 0.05) plasma concentrations of triglycerides, cholesterol, insulin, glucose, and cortisol at midgestation compared with CON and MOI ewes and fetuses. In late gestation, whereas plasma triglycerides and cholesterol, insulin, and cortisol remained elevated in MO vs. CON and MOI ewes and fetuses, glucose concentrations were elevated in both MO and MOI fetuses compared with CON fetuses, which was associated with elevated placental GLUT3 expression in both groups. These data are consistent with the concept that reducing maternal diet of obese/overfed ewes to requirements from early gestation can prevent subsequent alterations in fetal growth, adiposity, and glucose/insulin dynamics.

  3. Physiologic assessment of fetal compromise: biomarkers of toxic exposure

    SciTech Connect

    Longo, L.D.

    1987-10-01

    Understanding the physiologic and endocrinologic basis of fetal development is a major goal of perinatal biology. During the past decade a number of technological developments have allowed more precise evaluation of the fetus in utero and diagnosis of abnormalities. Despite these methodological achievements, however, there are no specific biological markers currently available to indicate that exposure to a given xenobiotic is associated with a cellular, subcellular, or pharmacodynamic event. This paper evaluates the following issues: what are some of the unique physiologic and endocrinologic features of the fetal milieu interieur. What problems are peculiar to fetal assessment. What are some examples of validated biomarkers and their applicability. What promising biomarkers are on the horizon. How may molecular probes be of value as biological markers of fetal compromise. What are some of the major research gaps and needs, and how should research priorities be set. Some of these topics are addressed. Moreover, the more general role(s) that various diagnostic methods and biological markers can have in an understanding of the regulation of fetal growth and differentiation and the role of xenobiotics in affecting the normal course of events are discussed.

  4. Effects of benzene on erythropoiesis in the fetal mouse

    SciTech Connect

    Mizens, M.

    1981-01-01

    Benzene toxicity in humans and adult animals appears as a functional disturbance of hematopoiesis. The work presented here examined the effects of benzene on the fetal mouse and its blood forming organ, the liver. The study includes the effects on macromolecular synthesis in the fetal liver erythropoietic cells and the general effects of benzene on the development of the fetus. Although biochemical changes were noted in the liver of the fetus when the female was exposed to benzene, no histopathologic changes were found. The effects on DNA and heme synthesis in the fetal liver cell population suggest disturbances in the proliferation and maturation phases of the developing red blood cell. The biochemical perturbations observed in the erythropoietic activity of the fetal mouse liver appeared to have no long term effects on the fetus. It is suggested that the temporary effect on the fetus may be the result of inteplay between an increase in the females' rate of metabolism of benzene and the ability of the fetal liver to recover rapidly from disturbances in the erythropoietic cell cycle. Only when the dosing period was extended from day 11 of gestation to term, and the maternal health appeared to be deteriorating, was the viability of the litter affected.

  5. Experiment K-314: Fetal and neonatal rat bone and joint development following in Utero spaceflight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sabelman, E. E.; Holton, E. M.; Arnaud, C. D.

    1981-01-01

    Infant rat limb specimens from Soviet and U.S. ground-based studies were examined by radiography, macrophotography, histologic sectioning and staining and scanning electron microscopy. A comparison was conducted between vivarium and flight-type diets suggesting that nutritional obesity may adversely affect pregnancy. Data were obtained on maturation of ossification centers, orientation of collagen fibers in bone, tendon and ligaments, joint surface texture and spatial relationships of bones of the hind limb. Computer reconstructions of the knee and hip show promise as a means of investigating the etiology of congenital hip dislocation.

  6. TGFβ2 regulates hypothalamic Trh expression through the TGFβ inducible early gene-1 (TIEG1) during fetal development.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Armenta, Miriam; Díaz de León-Guerrero, Sol; Catalán, Ana; Alvarez-Arellano, Lourdes; Uribe, Rosa Maria; Subramaniam, Malayannan; Charli, Jean-Louis; Pérez-Martínez, Leonor

    2015-01-15

    The hypothalamus regulates the homeostasis of the organism by controlling hormone secretion from the pituitary. The molecular mechanisms that regulate the differentiation of the hypothalamic thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) phenotype are poorly understood. We have previously shown that Klf10 or TGFβ inducible early gene-1 (TIEG1) is enriched in fetal hypothalamic TRH neurons. Here, we show that expression of TGFβ isoforms (1-3) and both TGFβ receptors (TβRI and II) occurs in the hypothalamus concomitantly with the establishment of TRH neurons during late embryonic development. TGFβ2 induces Trh expression via a TIEG1 dependent mechanism. TIEG1 regulates Trh expression through an evolutionary conserved GC rich sequence on the Trh promoter. Finally, in mice deficient in TIEG1, Trh expression is lower than in wild type animals at embryonic day 17. These results indicate that TGFβ signaling, through the upregulation of TIEG1, plays an important role in the establishment of Trh expression in the embryonic hypothalamus.

  7. A generational study of glyphosate-tolerant soybeans on mouse fetal, postnatal, pubertal and adult testicular development.

    PubMed

    Brake, Denise G; Evenson, Donald P

    2004-01-01

    The health safety of transgenic soybeans (glyphosate-tolerant or Roundup Ready) was studied using the mammalian testis (mouse model) as a sensitive biomonitor of potential toxic effects. Pregnant mice were fed a transgenic soybean or a non-transgenic (conventional) diet through gestation and lactation. After weaning, the young male mice were maintained on the respective diets. At 8, 16, 26, 32, 63 and 87 days after birth, three male mice and an adult reference mouse were killed, the testes surgically removed, and the cell populations measured by flow cytometry. Multi-generational studies were conducted in the same manner. The results showed that the transgenic foodstuffs had no effect on macromolecular synthesis or cell growth and differentiation as evidenced by no differences in the percentages of testicular cell populations (haploid, diploid, and tetraploid) between the transgenic soybean-fed mice and those fed the conventional diet. Additionally, there were no differences in litter sizes and body weights of the two groups. It was concluded that the transgenic soybean diet had no negative effect on fetal, postnatal, pubertal or adult testicular development.

  8. [Morphology and development of the veins of the uterus in cattle during the fetal and neonatal periods].

    PubMed

    Wyrost, P; Molenda, O; Radek, J; Radek, T

    1990-03-01

    A total of 101 specimens were used; they came from 89 fetuses (4th to 40th week of gestation) and 12 neonates (1 to 14 days old). The age of the fetuses was determined according to the method of Kantorova (1960). The uterine veins were filled with latex using an automatic injection apparatus of our own construction. The study showed that blood left the uterus of the examined animals through constantly present veins (Ramus uterinus venae ovaricae, V. uterina and Ramus uterinus venae vaginalis) as well as through a number of inconstant veins to which belonged the Vv. vaginales accessoriae craniales et caudales. The constant uterine veins and their branches differed from their adult counterparts by being morphologically more differentiated, especially by having more branches of which some disappeared with time. The uterine veins developed toward the end of the fetal period. They arose either from the most caudal Vv. mesonephridicae lumbales (V. ovarica and its branches), or from the segmental, visceral veins of the pelvis (V. uterina and Vv. vaginales). PMID:2375507

  9. Heating of fetal bone by diagnostic ultrasound

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doody, Claire

    Most pregnant women in the Western world undergo an ultrasound examination and so it is important to ensure that exposure of the embryo or fetus does not produce unwanted effects. It is known that ultrasound can heat tissue, especially bone, and so this thesis explores the degree to which fetal bone might be heated during a pulsed Doppler examination. This is done both by carrying out measurements and by developing computer models. Thermal measurements on human fetal thoracic vertebrae of gestational age ranging from 14 to 39 weeks are reported. The bone samples were insonated in vitro with an ultrasound beam which had power and intensity values typical of those from a clinical scanner operating in pulsed Doppler mode. Temperature rises ranging from 0.6°C to 1.8°C were observed after five minutes, with approximately 75% of the temperature rise occurring in the first minute. Two approaches to computer modelling are described. These are the heated disc technique, which is commonly used to model the temperature rise generated by an ultrasound beam, and finite element modelling, a more general approach used to obtain solutions to differential equations. The degree to which our limited knowledge of the properties of fetal tissue affect our ability to make accurate predictions of in vivo heating is explored. It is shown that the present uncertainty in the value of the thermal conductivity and attenuation coefficient of fetal bone can lead to significant uncertainty in predictions of heating. The degree to which the simplifications inherent in the heated disc model affect the results will also be discussed. The results from the models are compared with the experimental measurements in order to estimate the attenuation coefficient of the bone.

  10. Fetal privacy and confidentiality.

    PubMed

    Botkin, J R

    1995-01-01

    With the advent of new and better contraceptive methods and the ability to facilitate and manipulate fertilization and gestation, couples will gain greater control over their fertility. Once a pregnancy has been established or an in vitro embryo created, the ability to evaluate the embryo and fetus will increase dramatically with progress in human genetic research. Preconception and preimplantation genetic testing and screening are now possible, and the technology to perform prenatal screening early in gestation is advancing rapidly. Nonsurgical methods facilitate induced abortion with a relatively lower degree of trauma upon the woman undergoing the procedure. These capabilities may all be used to enable and even encourage the genetic selection of future children. Despite the ethical concerns associated with prenatal testing and abortion, these services will continue to be an integral aspect of reproductive medicine. As technology advances, however, it will be possible to test and screen for conditions which do not produce serious defects. Genetic conditions which produce relatively mild impacts upon health will be identifiable in the embryo or fetus, while late-onset conditions and genetic factors which have only a probability of affecting health will also be located in the fetal genome. Prospective parents may therefore soon have the capability of selecting their most desirable embryo in vitro, or terminating all undesirable fetuses in vivo until the preferred child is delivered. The medical profession must take some responsibility for establishing guidelines on the use of reproductive technology. The standards of practice for the medical profession must reflect the results of a broad social debate over competing moral values. The author develops an argument for legal and ethical limitations on the application of prenatal testing and screening technology, suggesting that for some medical conditions, respect for the privacy and confidentiality of the fetus

  11. Development affects in vitro vascular tone and calcium sensitivity in ovine cerebral arteries

    PubMed Central

    Geary, Greg G; Osol, George J; Longo, Lawrence D

    2004-01-01

    We have shown recently that development from neonatal to adult life affects cerebrovascular tone of mouse cerebral arteries through endothelium-derived vasodilatory mechanisms. The current study tested the hypothesis that development from fetal to adult life affects cerebral artery vascular smooth muscle (VSM) [Ca2+]i sensitivity and tone through a mechanism partially dependent upon endothelium-dependent signalling. In pressurized resistance sized cerebral arteries (∼150 μm) from preterm (95 ± 2 days gestation (95 d)) and near-term (140 ± 2 days gestation (140 d)) fetuses, and non-pregnant adults, we measured vascular diameter (μm) and [Ca2+]i (nm) as a function of intravascular pressure. We repeated these studies in the presence of inhibition of nitric oxide synthase (NOS; with l-NAME), cyclo-oxygenase (COX; with indomethacin) and endothelium removal (E–). Cerebrovasculature tone (E+) was greater in arteries from 95 d fetuses and adults compared to 140 d sheep. Ca2+ sensitivity was similar in 95 d fetuses and adults, but much lower in 140 d fetuses. Removal of endothelium resulted in a reduction in lumen diameter as a function of pressure (greater tone) in all treatment groups. [Ca2+]i sensitivity differences among groups were magnified after E–. NOS inhibition decreased diameter as a function of pressure in each age group, with a significant increase in [Ca2+]i to pressure ratio only in the 140 d fetuses. Indomethacin increased tone and increased [Ca2+]i in the 140 d fetuses, but not the other age groups. Development from near-term to adulthood uncovered an interaction between NOS- and COX-sensitive substances that functioned to modulate artery diameter but not [Ca2+]i. This study suggests that development is associated with significant alterations in cerebral vascular smooth muscle (VSM), endothelium, NOS and COX responses to intravascular pressure. We speculate that these changes have important implications in the regulation of cerebral blood flow in

  12. Role of fetal DNA in preeclampsia (review).

    PubMed

    Konečná, Barbora; Vlková, Barbora; Celec, Peter

    2015-02-01

    Preeclampsia is an autoimmune disorder characterized by hypertension. It begins with abnormal cytotrophoblast apoptosis, which leads to inflammation and an increase in the levels of anti-angiogenic factors followed by the disruption of the angiogenic status. Increased levels of fetal DNA and RNA coming from the placenta, one of the most commonly affected organs in pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia, have been found in pregnant women with the condition. However, it remains unknown as to whether this is a cause or a consequence of preeclampsia. Few studies have been carried out on preeclampsia in which an animal model of preeclampsia was induced by an injection of different types of DNA that are mimic fetal DNA and provoke inflammation through Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) or cyclic guanosine monophosphate-adenosine monophosphate (cGAMP). The specific mechanisms involved in the development of preeclampsia are not yet fully understood. It is hypothesized that the presence of different fragments of fetal DNA in maternal plasma may cause for the development of preeclampsia. The function of DNase during preeclampsia also remains unresolved. Studies have suggested that its activity is decreased or the DNA is protected against its effects. Further research is required to uncover the pathogenesis of preeclampsia and focus more on the condition of patients with the condition.

  13. Longitudinal MRI reveals altered trajectory of brain development during childhood and adolescence in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

    PubMed

    Treit, Sarah; Lebel, Catherine; Baugh, Lauren; Rasmussen, Carmen; Andrew, Gail; Beaulieu, Christian

    2013-06-12

    Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) of brain development in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) has revealed structural abnormalities, but studies have been limited by the use of cross-sectional designs. Longitudinal scans can provide key insights into trajectories of neurodevelopment within individuals with this common developmental disorder. Here we evaluate serial DTI and T1-weighted volumetric MRI in a human sample of 17 participants with FASD and 27 controls aged 5-15 years who underwent 2-3 scans each, ∼2-4 years apart (92 scans total). Increases of fractional anisotropy and decreases of mean diffusivity (MD) were observed between scans for both groups, in keeping with changes expected of typical development, but mixed-models analysis revealed significant age-by-group interactions for three major white matter tracts: superior longitudinal fasciculus and superior and inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus. These findings indicate altered developmental progression in these frontal-association tracts, with the FASD group notably showing greater reduction of MD between scans. ΔMD is shown to correlate with reading and receptive vocabulary in the FASD group, with steeper decreases of MD in the superior fronto-occipital fasciculus and superior longitudinal fasciculus between scans correlating with greater improvement in language scores. Volumetric analysis revealed reduced total brain, white, cortical gray, and deep gray matter volumes and fewer significant age-related volume increases in the FASD group, although age-by-group interactions were not significant. Longitudinal DTI indicates delayed white matter development during childhood and adolescence in FASD, which may underlie persistent or worsening behavioral and cognitive deficits during this critical period.

  14. Examiner's finger-mounted fetal tissue oximetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kanayama, Naohiro; Niwayama, Masatsugu

    2014-06-01

    The best way to assess fetal condition is to observe the oxygen status of the fetus (as well as to assess the condition of infants, children, and adults). Previously, several fetal oximeters have been developed; however, no instrument has been utilized in clinical practice because of the low-capturing rate of the fetal oxygen saturation. To overcome the problem, we developed a doctor's finger-mounted fetal tissue oximeter, whose sensor volume is one hundredth of the conventional one. Additionally, we prepared transparent gloves. The calculation algorithm of the hemoglobin concentration was derived from the light propagation analysis based on the transport theory. We measured neonatal and fetal oxygen saturation (StO2) with the new tissue oximeter. Neonatal StO was measured at any position of the head regardless of amount of hair. Neonatal StO was found to be around 77%. Fetal StO was detected in every position of the fetal head during labor regardless of the presence of labor pain. Fetal StO without labor pain was around 70% in the first stage of labor and around 60% in the second stage of labor. We concluded that our new concept of fetal tissue oximetry would be useful for detecting fetal StO in any condition of the fetus.

  15. Genomic Effect of Triclosan on the Fetal Hypothalamus: Evidence for Altered Neuropeptide Regulation.

    PubMed

    Rabaglino, Maria Belen; Chang, Eileen I; Richards, Elaine M; James, Margaret O; Keller-Wood, Maureen; Wood, Charles E

    2016-07-01

    Triclosan (TCS), an antibacterial compound commonly added to personal care products, could be an endocrine disruptor at low doses. Although TCS has been shown to alter fetal physiology, its effects in the developing fetal brain are unknown. We hypothesize that exposure to TCS during fetal life could affect fetal hypothalamic gene expression. The objective of this study was to use transcriptomics and systems analysis to identify significantly altered biological processes in the late gestation ovine fetal hypothalamus after direct or indirect exposure to low doses of TCS. For direct TCS exposure, chronically catheterized late gestation fetal sheep were infused with vehicle (n = 4) or TCS (250 μg/d; n = 4) iv. For indirect TCS exposure, TCS (100 μg/kg · d; n = 3) or vehicle (n = 3) was infused into the maternal circulation. Fetal hypothalami were collected after 2 days of infusion, and gene expression was measured through microarray. Hierarchical clustering of all samples according to gene expression profiles showed that samples from the TCS-treated animals clustered apart from the controls. Gene set enrichment analysis revealed that fetal hypothalamic genes stimulated by maternal and fetal TCS infusion were significantly enriching for cell cycle, reproductive process, and feeding behavior, whereas the inhibited genes were significantly enriching for chromatin modification and metabolism of steroids, lipoproteins, fatty acids, and glucose (P < .05). In conclusion, short-term infusion of TCS induces vigorous changes in the fetal hypothalamic transcriptomics, which are mainly related to food intake pathways and metabolism. If these changes persist to postnatal life, they could result in adverse consequences in adulthood. PMID:27145008

  16. Impact of fetal and neonatal environment on beta cell function and development of diabetes.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Jens H; Haase, Tobias N; Jaksch, Caroline; Nalla, Amarnadh; Søstrup, Birgitte; Nalla, Anjana A; Larsen, Louise; Rasmussen, Morten; Dalgaard, Louise T; Gaarn, Louise W; Thams, Peter; Kofod, Hans; Billestrup, Nils

    2014-11-01

    The global epidemic of diabetes is a serious threat against health and healthcare expenses. Although genetics is important it does not explain the dramatic increase in incidence, which must involve environmental factors. Two decades ago the concept of the thrifty phenotype was introduced, stating that the intrauterine environment during pregnancy has an impact on the gene expression that may persist until adulthood and cause metabolic diseases like obesity and type 2 diabetes. As the pancreatic beta cells are crucial in the regulation of metabolism this article will describe the influence of normal pregnancy on the beta cells in both the mother and the fetus and how various conditions like diabetes, obesity, overnutrition and undernutrition during and after pregnancy may influence the ability of the offspring to adapt to changes in insulin demand later in life. The influence of environmental factors including nutrients and gut microbiota on appetite regulation, mitochondrial activity and the immune system that may affect beta cell growth and function directly and indirectly is discussed. The possible role of epigenetic changes in the transgenerational transmission of the adverse programming may be the most threatening aspect with regard to the global diabetes epidemics. Finally, some suggestions for intervention are presented.

  17. Assessment of placental transfer and the effect on embryo-fetal development of a humanized monoclonal antibody targeting lymphotoxin-alpha in non-human primates.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hong; Schuetz, Chris; Arima, Akihiro; Chihaya, Yutaka; Weinbauer, Gerhard F; Habermann, Gunnar; Xiao, Jim; Woods, Cynthia; Grogan, Jane; Gelzleichter, Thomas; Cain, Gary

    2016-08-01

    An enhanced embryo-fetal development study was conducted in cynomolgus monkeys using pateclizumab, a humanized IgG1 monoclonal antibody (mAb) targeting lymphotoxin-alpha. Pateclizumab administration between gestation days (GD) 20 and 132 did not induce maternal or developmental toxicities. The ratio of fetal-to-maternal serum concentration of pateclizumab was 0.73% on GD 50 and 61% by GD 139. Decreased fetal inguinal lymph node-to-body weight ratio was present in the high-dose group without microscopic abnormalities, a change attributable to inhibition of lymphocyte recruitment, which is a pharmacologic effect of pateclizumab during late lymph node development. The effect was observed in inguinal but not submandibular or mesenteric lymph nodes; this was attributed to differential susceptibility related to sequential lymph node development. Placental transfer of therapeutic IgG1 antibodies; thus, begins during the first trimester in non-human primates. Depending on the potency and dose levels administered, antibody levels in the fetus may be pharmacologically or toxicologically relevant.

  18. Assessment of placental transfer and the effect on embryo-fetal development of a humanized monoclonal antibody targeting lymphotoxin-alpha in non-human primates.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hong; Schuetz, Chris; Arima, Akihiro; Chihaya, Yutaka; Weinbauer, Gerhard F; Habermann, Gunnar; Xiao, Jim; Woods, Cynthia; Grogan, Jane; Gelzleichter, Thomas; Cain, Gary

    2016-08-01

    An enhanced embryo-fetal development study was conducted in cynomolgus monkeys using pateclizumab, a humanized IgG1 monoclonal antibody (mAb) targeting lymphotoxin-alpha. Pateclizumab administration between gestation days (GD) 20 and 132 did not induce maternal or developmental toxicities. The ratio of fetal-to-maternal serum concentration of pateclizumab was 0.73% on GD 50 and 61% by GD 139. Decreased fetal inguinal lymph node-to-body weight ratio was present in the high-dose group without microscopic abnormalities, a change attributable to inhibition of lymphocyte recruitment, which is a pharmacologic effect of pateclizumab during late lymph node development. The effect was observed in inguinal but not submandibular or mesenteric lymph nodes; this was attributed to differential susceptibility related to sequential lymph node development. Placental transfer of therapeutic IgG1 antibodies; thus, begins during the first trimester in non-human primates. Depending on the potency and dose levels administered, antibody levels in the fetus may be pharmacologically or toxicologically relevant. PMID:27211603

  19. Development and psychometric validation of the verbal affective memory test.

    PubMed

    Jensen, Christian G; Hjordt, Liv V; Stenbæk, Dea S; Andersen, Emil; Back, Silja K; Lansner, Jon; Hageman, Ida; Dam, Henrik; Nielsen, Anna P; Knudsen, Gitte M; Frokjaer, Vibe G; Hasselbalch, Steen G

    2016-10-01

    We here present the development and validation of the Verbal Affective Memory Test-24 (VAMT-24). First, we ensured face validity by selecting 24 words reliably perceived as positive, negative or neutral, respectively, according to healthy Danish adults' valence ratings of 210 common and non-taboo words. Second, we studied the test's psychometric properties in healthy adults. Finally, we investigated whether individuals diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) differed from healthy controls on seasonal changes in affective recall. Recall rates were internally consistent and reliable and converged satisfactorily with established non-affective verbal tests. Immediate recall (IMR) for positive words exceeded IMR for negative words in the healthy sample. Relatedly, individuals with SAD showed a significantly larger decrease in positive recall from summer to winter than healthy controls. Furthermore, larger seasonal decreases in positive recall significantly predicted larger increases in depressive symptoms. Retest reliability was satisfactory, rs ≥ .77. In conclusion, VAMT-24 is more thoroughly developed and validated than existing verbal affective memory tests and showed satisfactory psychometric properties. VAMT-24 seems especially sensitive to measuring positive verbal recall bias, perhaps due to the application of common, non-taboo words. Based on the psychometric and clinical results, we recommend VAMT-24 for international translations and studies of affective memory.

  20. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.

    PubMed

    Williams, Janet F; Smith, Vincent C

    2015-11-01

    Prenatal exposure to alcohol can damage the developing fetus and is the leading preventable cause of birth defects and intellectual and neurodevelopmental disabilities. In 1973, fetal alcohol syndrome was first described as a specific cluster of birth defects resulting from alcohol exposure in utero. Subsequently, research unequivocally revealed that prenatal alcohol exposure causes a broad range of adverse developmental effects. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is the general term that encompasses the range of adverse effects associated with prenatal alcohol exposure. The diagnostic criteria for fetal alcohol syndrome are specific, and comprehensive efforts are ongoing to establish definitive criteria for diagnosing the other FASDs. A large and growing body of research has led to evidence-based FASD education of professionals and the public, broader prevention initiatives, and recommended treatment approaches based on the following premises:▪ Alcohol-related birth defects and developmental disabilities are completely preventable when pregnant women abstain from alcohol use.▪ Neurocognitive and behavioral problems resulting from prenatal alcohol exposure are lifelong.▪ Early recognition, diagnosis, and therapy for any condition along the FASD continuum can result in improved outcomes.▪ During pregnancy:◦no amount of alcohol intake should be considered safe;◦there is no safe trimester to drink alcohol;◦all forms of alcohol, such as beer, wine, and liquor, pose similar risk; and◦binge drinking poses dose-related risk to the developing fetus.

  1. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.

    PubMed

    Williams, Janet F; Smith, Vincent C

    2015-11-01

    Prenatal exposure to alcohol can damage the developing fetus and is the leading preventable cause of birth defects and intellectual and neurodevelopmental disabilities. In 1973, fetal alcohol syndrome was first described as a specific cluster of birth defects resulting from alcohol exposure in utero. Subsequently, research unequivocally revealed that prenatal alcohol exposure causes a broad range of adverse developmental effects. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is the general term that encompasses the range of adverse effects associated with prenatal alcohol exposure. The diagnostic criteria for fetal alcohol syndrome are specific, and comprehensive efforts are ongoing to establish definitive criteria for diagnosing the other FASDs. A large and growing body of research has led to evidence-based FASD education of professionals and the public, broader prevention initiatives, and recommended treatment approaches based on the following premises:▪ Alcohol-related birth defects and developmental disabilities are completely preventable when pregnant women abstain from alcohol use.▪ Neurocognitive and behavioral problems resulting from prenatal alcohol exposure are lifelong.▪ Early recognition, diagnosis, and therapy for any condition along the FASD continuum can result in improved outcomes.▪ During pregnancy:◦no amount of alcohol intake should be considered safe;◦there is no safe trimester to drink alcohol;◦all forms of alcohol, such as beer, wine, and liquor, pose similar risk; and◦binge drinking poses dose-related risk to the developing fetus. PMID:26482673

  2. Role of development in reorganization of the SI forelimb-stump representation in fetally, neonatally, and adult amputated rats.

    PubMed

    Pluto, Charles P; Lane, Richard D; Chiaia, Nicolas L; Stojic, Andrey S; Rhoades, Robert W

    2003-09-01

    Rats that sustain forelimb removal on postnatal day (P) 0 exhibit numerous multi-unit recording sites in the forelimb-stump representation of primary somatosensory cortex (SI) that also respond to hindlimb stimulation when cortical GABAA+B receptors are blocked. Most of these hindlimb inputs originate in the medial SI hindlimb representation. Although many forelimb-stump sites in these animals respond to hindlimb stimulation, very few respond to stimulation of the face (vibrissae or lower jaw), which is represented in SI just lateral to the forelimb. The lateral to medial development of SI may influence the capacity of hindlimb (but not face) inputs to "invade" the forelimb-stump region in neonatal amputees. The SI forelimb-stump was mapped in adult (>60 days) rats that had sustained amputation on embryonic day (E) 16, on P0, or during adulthood. GABA receptors were blocked and subsequent mapping revealed increases in nonstump inputs in E16 and P0 amputees: fetal amputees exhibited forelimb-stump sites responsive to face (34%), hindlimb (10%), and both (22%); neonatal amputees exhibited 10% face, 39% hindlimb, and 5% both; adult amputees exhibited 10% face, 5% hindlimb, and 0% both, with approximately 80% stump-only sites. These results indicate age-dependent differences in receptive-field reorganization of the forelimb-stump representation, which may reflect the spatiotemporal development of SI. Results from cobalt chloride inactivation of the SI vibrissae region and electrolesioning of the dysgranular cortex suggest that normally suppressed vibrissae inputs to the SI forelimb-stump area originate in the SI vibrissae region and synapse in the dysgranular cortex.

  3. Minireview: The Impact of Antenatal Therapeutic Synthetic Glucocorticoids on the Developing Fetal Brain

    PubMed Central

    Peffer, Melanie E.; Zhang, Janie Y.; Umfrey, Leah; Rudine, Anthony C.; Monaghan, A. Paula

    2015-01-01

    The life-threatening, emotional, and economic burdens of premature birth have been greatly alleviated by antenatal glucocorticoid (GC) treatment. Antenatal GCs accelerate tissue development reducing respiratory distress syndrome and intraventricular hemorrhage in premature infants. However, they can also alter developmental processes in the brain and trigger adverse behavioral and metabolic outcomes later in life. This review summarizes animal model and clinical studies that examined the impact of antenatal GCs on the developing brain. In addition, we describe studies that assess glucocorticoid receptor (GR) action in neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs) in vivo and in vitro. We highlight recent work from our group on two GR pathways that impact NSPC proliferation, ie, a nongenomic GR pathway that regulates gap junction intercellular communication between coupled NSPCs through site-specific phosphorylation of connexin 43 and a genomic pathway driven by differential promoter recruitment of a specific GR phosphoisoform. PMID:25763611

  4. Development of epithelial and mesenchymal regionalization of the human fetal utero-vaginal anlagen

    PubMed Central

    Fritsch, Helga; Hoermann, Romed; Bitsche, Mario; Pechriggl, Elisabeth; Reich, Olaf

    2013-01-01

    Literature on the development of the human vagina is abundant; however, contributions concerning the prenatal development of the entire utero-vaginal anlagen (UVA) are rare or carried out in rodents. The primary epithelial characteristics in the adult vagina and uterus are determined during prenatal development and depend on epithelio-mesenchymal stroma interaction; thus an investigation summarizing the spatiotemporal distribution of relevant molecular markers in the entire human UVA will be of current interest. We phenotyped epithelial and mesenchymal characteristics in sagittal sections from 24 female fetuses of 14–34 weeks of gestation and two female newborns by immunostaining with cytokeratins 8, 13, 14 and 17, p63, bcl-2, bmp4, HOX A13, CD31, VEGF, SMA, Pax2 and vimentin. Epithelial differentiation followed a caudal-to-cranial direction in the UVA. Due to the cytokeratin profile of cytokeratins 8, 13 and 14, the characteristics of the different epithelial zones in the UVA could already be recognized in middle-age fetuses. Vaginal epithelium originated from the urogenital sinus in the lower portion and initiated the transformation of vimentin-positive Müllerian epithelium in the upper vaginal portion. During prenatal development the original squamo-columnar junction was clearly detectable from week 24 onwards and was always found in the cervical canal. Early blc-2 positivity within the surrounding mesenchyme of the entire vagina including the portio region pointed to an organ-specific mesenchymal influence. Prenatal findings in human specimens clearly show that fornix epithelium up to the squamo-columnar junction is of vaginal Müllerian origin, and the cervical epithelium cranial to the squamo-columnar junction is of uterine Müllerian origin and includes cells with enough plasticity to transform into squamous epithelium. PMID:23406280

  5. Greater rhea (Rhea americana) external morphology at different stages of embryonic and fetal development.

    PubMed

    de Almeida, Hatawa Melo; Sousa, Renata Patrícia; Bezerra, Dayseanny Oliveira; Olivindo, Rodrigo Fernando Gomes; das Neves Diniz, Anaemilia; de Oliveira, Sâmia Clara; Feitosa, Matheus Levi Tajra; de Moura Fortes, Eunice Anita; Ferraz, Maíra Soares; de Carvalho, Yulla Klinger Pereira; de Menezes, Danilo José Ayres; de Carvalho, Maria Acelina Martins

    2015-11-01

    Knowledge of wild species embryonic development is important for their maintenance in captivity or the wild. The objective of the present study was to characterize the external morphology and define the biometry of greater rhea embryos and fetuses at different stages of development. A total of 41 embryos and fetuses were analyzed to describe their external morphology using a stereoscopic microscope. The crown-rump (CR), total length (TL), cephalocaudal length (CCL), biparietal diameter (BPD), beak, humerus and tibio-tarsal lengths were measured by digital pachymeter, millimetric scale ruler and cotton thread. The weight of the embryos and fetuses was measured on digital scales. The greater rhea embryos at 5, 6 and 7 days incubation presented a "C" shape. At 9, 10 and 11 days the eyes were big and pigmented. At 11, 12 and 13 days the eyelid covered more than half the eye, resulting in an oval slit. In 14 and 15 day-old embryos, the skin was still thin and the ribs evident, but at 18 days this structure was thicker. In embryos at 21 and 27 days of development closed eyelids were observed forming an eyelid slit, and the eye ball was less pronounced at 27 days. Weight gain presented an exponential growth curve, while measurements such as TL, DBP, beak, humerus and tibio-tarsal length had linear growth over time. Thus it was possible to characterize the greater rhea embryos and fetuses at several incubation ages using their external morphology and morphometric analyses. PMID:26432389

  6. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome "Chemical Genocide."

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Asetoyer, Charon

    In the Northern Plains of the United States, 100% of Indian reservations are affected by alcohol related problems. Approximately 90% of Native American adults are currently alcohol users or abusers or are recovering from alcohol abuse. Alcohol consumption has a devastating effect on the unborn. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is an irreversible birth…

  7. Development of Blood and Lymphatic Endothelial Cells in Embryonic and Fetal Human Skin.

    PubMed

    Schuster, Christopher; Mildner, Michael; Botta, Albert; Nemec, Lucas; Rogojanu, Radu; Beer, Lucian; Fiala, Christian; Eppel, Wolfgang; Bauer, Wolfgang; Petzelbauer, Peter; Elbe-Bürger, Adelheid

    2015-09-01

    Blood and lymphatic vessels provide nutrients for the skin and fulfill important homeostatic functions, such as the regulation of immunologic processes. In this study, we investigated the development of blood and lymphatic endothelial cells in prenatal human skin in situ using multicolor immunofluorescence and analyzed angiogenic molecules by protein arrays of lysates and cell culture supernatants. We found that at 8 to 10 weeks of estimated gestational age, CD144(+) vessels predominantly express the venous endothelial cell marker PAL-E, whereas CD144(+)PAL-E(-) vessels compatible with arteries only appear at the end of the first trimester. Lymphatic progenitor cells at 8 weeks of estimated gestational age express CD31, CD144, Prox1, and temporary PAL-E. At that developmental stage not all lymphatic progenitor cells express podoplanin or Lyve-1, which are acquired with advancing gestational age in a stepwise fashion. Already in second-trimester human skin, the phenotype of blood and lymphatic vessels roughly resembles the one in adult skin. The expression pattern of angiogenic molecules in lysates and cell culture supernatants of prenatal skin did not reveal the expected bent to proangiogenic molecules, indicating a complex regulation of angiogenesis during ontogeny. In summary, this study provides enticing new insights into the development and phenotypic characteristics of the vascular system in human prenatal skin.

  8. Influence of gestational salt restriction in fetal growth and in development of diseases in adulthood.

    PubMed

    Sakuyama, Hiroe; Katoh, Minami; Wakabayashi, Honoka; Zulli, Anthony; Kruzliak, Peter; Uehara, Yoshio

    2016-01-20

    Recent studies reported the critical role of the intrauterine environment of a fetus in growth or the development of disease in adulthood. In this article we discussed the implications of salt restriction in growth of a fetus and the development of growth-related disease in adulthood. Salt restriction causes retardation of fatal growth or intrauterine death thereby leading to low birth weight or decreased birth rate. Such retardation of growth along with the upregulation of the renin angiotensin system due to salt restriction results in the underdevelopment of cardiovascular organs or decreases the number of the nephron in the kidney and is responsible for onset of hypertension in adulthood. In addition, gestational salt restriction is associated with salt craving after weaning. Moreover, salt restriction is associated with a decrease in insulin sensitivity. A series of alterations in metabolism due to salt restriction are probably mediated by the upregulation of the renin angiotensin system and an epigenetic mechanism including proinflammatory substances or histone methylation. Part of the metabolic disease in adulthood may be programmed through such epigenetic changes. The modification of gene in a fetus may be switched on through environment factors or life style after birth. The benefits of salt restriction have been assumed thus far; however, more precise investigation is required of its influence on the health of fetuses and the onset of various diseases in adulthood.

  9. [Effect of cefuroxime on embryonic and fetal development in an experiment].

    PubMed

    Skosyreva, A M; Akhtamova, Z M; Golovanova, I V; Iavorskiĭ, A N

    1986-04-01

    The direct and indirect effects of cefuroxime on the embryo and fetus were studied in vitro and in vivo at different gestation times. The placenta, liver and kidneys of the mother and fetus were investigated morphologically. It was shown that in a dose of 250 mg/kg the antibiotic did not induce disorders in the fetus development. The histological examination of the fetus placenta and liver revealed no changes as compared to the controls. However, in the renal tubules of the mother and fetus, pathological lesions in the form of the cytoplasm granular degeneration and nucleus swelling, lysis and necrosis were observed. These lesions were of a dose-dependent character. The possible nephrotoxic effect of cefuroxime prevents its use as a drug of choice in treatment of gestation pyelonephritis.

  10. Developing Worksheet Based on Science Process Skills: Factors Affecting Solubility

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karsli, Fethiye; Sahin, Cigdem

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to develop a worksheet about the factors affecting solubility, which could be useful for the prospective science teachers (PST) to remind and regain their science process skills (SPS). The pilot study of the WS was carried out with 32 first grade PST during the 2007-2008 academic year in the education department at…

  11. Gestational dexamethasone alters fetal neuroendocrine axis.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, R G

    2016-09-01

    This study tested whether the maternal transport of dexamethasone (DEXA) may affect the development of the neuroendocrine system. DEXA (0.2mg/kg b.w., subcutaneous injection) was administered to pregnant rats from gestation day (GD) 1-20. In the DEXA-treated group, a decrease in maternal serum thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3), and increase in thyrotropin (TSH) levels (hypothyroid status) were observed at GDs 15 & 20 with respect to control group. The reverse pattern (hyperthyroid status) was observed in their fetuses at embryonic days (EDs) 15 & 20. Although the maternal body weight was diminished, the weight of the thyroid gland was increased at studied GDs as compared to the control group. The fetal growth retardation, hyperleptinemia, hyperinsulinism, and cytokines distortions (transforming growth factor-beta; TGF-β, tumor necrosis factor-alpha; TNF-α, and interferon-γ; IFN-γ) were noticed at examined EDs if compared to the control group. Alternatively, the maternofetal thyroid dysfunctions due to the maternal DEXA administration attenuated the levels of fetal cerebral norepinephrine (NE) and epinephrine (E), and elevated the levels of dopamine (DA) and 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) at considered days. These alterations were age-dependent and might damage the nerve transmission. Finally, maternal DEXA might act as neuroendocrine disruptor causing dyshormonogenesis and fetal cerebral dysfunction. PMID:27220267

  12. Involving consumers and the community in the development of a diagnostic instrument for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders in Australia

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Australia’s commitment to consumer and community participation in health and medical research has grown over the past decade. Participatory research models of engagement are the most empowering for consumers. Methods As part of a project to develop a diagnostic instrument for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) in Australia (FASD Project), the Australian FASD Collaboration (Collaboration), including a consumer advocate and two consumer representatives, was established. On completion of the FASD Project an on-line survey of Collaboration members was conducted to assess their views on consumer involvement. Women in the community were also invited to participate in Community Conversations to discuss real life situations regarding communications with health professionals about alcohol and pregnancy. Community Conversation feedback was analysed qualitatively and attendees were surveyed about their views of the Community Conversation process. Results The on-line survey was completed by 12 members of the Collaboration (71%). Consumer and community participation was considered important and essential, worked well, and was integral to the success of the project. The 32 women attending the Community Conversations generated 500 statements that made reference to prevention, how information and messages are delivered, and appropriate support for women. Nearly all the attendees at the Community Conversations (93%) believed that they had an opportunity to put forward their ideas and 96% viewed the Community Conversations as a positive experience. Conclusions The successful involvement of consumers and the community in the FASD Project can be attributed to active consumer and community participation, which included continued involvement throughout the project, funding of participation activities, and an understanding of the various contributions by the Collaboration members. PMID:23898969

  13. CUMULATIVE EFFECTS OF DIBUTYL PHTHALATE AND DIETHYLHEXYL PHTHALATE ON MALE RAT REPRODUCTIVE TRACT DEVELOPMENT: ALTERED FETAL STEROID HORMONES AND GENES.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Exposure to the plasticizers diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) and di(n-butyl) phthalate (DBP) during sexual differentiation causes male reproductive tract malformations in rats and rabbits. In the fetal male rat, these two phthalate esters decrease testosterone (T) production and i...

  14. The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors under epigenetic control in placental metabolism and fetal development.

    PubMed

    Lendvai, Ágnes; Deutsch, Manuel J; Plösch, Torsten; Ensenauer, Regina

    2016-05-15

    The placental metabolism can adapt to the environment throughout pregnancy to both the demands of the fetus and the signals from the mother. Such adaption processes include epigenetic mechanisms, which alter gene expression and may influence the offspring's health. These mechanisms are linked to the diversity of prenatal environmental exposures, including maternal under- or overnutrition or gestational diabetes. The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are nuclear receptors that contribute to the developmental plasticity of the placenta by regulating lipid and glucose metabolism pathways, including lipogenesis, steroidogenesis, glucose transporters, and placental signaling pathways, thus representing a link between energy metabolism and reproduction. Among the PPAR isoforms, PPARγ appears to be the main modulator of mammalian placentation. Certain fatty acids and lipid-derived moieties are the natural activating PPAR ligands. By controlling the amounts of maternal nutrients that go across to the fetus, the PPARs play an important regulatory role in placenta metabolism, thereby adapting to the maternal nutritional status. As demonstrated in animal studies, maternal nutrition during gestation can exert long-term influences on the PPAR methylation pattern in offspring organs. This review underlines the current state of knowledge on the relationship between environmental factors and the epigenetic regulation of the PPARs in placenta metabolism and offspring development. PMID:26860983

  15. Placental Responses to Changes in the Maternal Environment Determine Fetal Growth

    PubMed Central

    Dimasuay, Kris Genelyn; Boeuf, Philippe; Powell, Theresa L.; Jansson, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Placental responses to maternal perturbations are complex and remain poorly understood. Altered maternal environment during pregnancy such as hypoxia, stress, obesity, diabetes, toxins, altered nutrition, inflammation, and reduced utero-placental blood flow may influence fetal development, which can predispose to diseases later in life. The placenta being a metabolically active tissue responds to these perturbations by regulating the fetal supply of nutrients and oxygen and secretion of hormones into the maternal and fetal circulation. We have proposed that placental nutrient sensing integrates maternal and fetal nutritional cues with information from intrinsic nutrient sensing signaling pathways to balance fetal demand with the ability of the mother to support pregnancy by regulating maternal physiology, placental growth, and placental nutrient transport. Emerging evidence suggests that the nutrient-sensing signaling pathway mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) plays a central role in this process. Thus, placental nutrient sensing plays a critical role in modulating maternal–fetal resource allocation, thereby affecting fetal growth and the life-long health of the fetus. PMID:26858656

  16. Maternal obesity and fetal metabolic programming: a fertile epigenetic soil

    PubMed Central

    Heerwagen, Margaret J. R.; Miller, Melissa R.; Barbour, Linda A.

    2010-01-01

    The incidence of obesity and overweight has reached epidemic levels in the United States and developed countries worldwide. Even more alarming is the increasing prevalence of metabolic diseases in younger children and adolescents. Infants born to obese, overweight, and diabetic mothers (even when normal weight) have increased adiposity and are at increased risk of later metabolic disease. In addition to maternal glucose, hyperlipidemia and inflammation may contribute to the childhood obesity epidemic through fetal metabolic programming, the mechanisms of which are not well understood. Pregravid obesity, when combined with normal changes in maternal metabolism, may magnify increases in inflammation and blood lipids, which can have profound effects on the developing embryo and the fetus in utero. Fetal exposure to excess blood lipids, particularly saturated fatty acids, can activate proinflammatory pathways, which could impact substrate metabolism and mitochondrial function, as well as stem cell fate, all of which affect organ development and the response to the postnatal environment. Fetal and neonatal life are characterized by tremendous plasticity and the ability to respond to environmental factors (nutrients, oxygen, hormones) by altering gene expression levels via epigenetic modifications. Given that lipids act as both transcriptional activators and signaling molecules, excess fetal lipid exposure may regulate genes involved in lipid sensing and metabolism through epigenetic mechanisms. Epigenetic regulation of gene expression is characterized by covalent modifications to DNA and chromatin that alter gene expression independent of gene sequence. Epigenetic modifications can be maintained through positive and negative feedback loops, thereby creating stable changes in the expression of metabolic genes and their main transcriptional regulators. The purpose of this article is to review current literature on maternal-fetal lipid metabolism and maternal obesity

  17. Maternal obesity and fetal metabolic programming: a fertile epigenetic soil.

    PubMed

    Heerwagen, Margaret J R; Miller, Melissa R; Barbour, Linda A; Friedman, Jacob E

    2010-09-01

    The incidence of obesity and overweight has reached epidemic levels in the United States and developed countries worldwide. Even more alarming is the increasing prevalence of metabolic diseases in younger children and adolescents. Infants born to obese, overweight, and diabetic mothers (even when normal weight) have increased adiposity and are at increased risk of later metabolic disease. In addition to maternal glucose, hyperlipidemia and inflammation may contribute to the childhood obesity epidemic through fetal metabolic programming, the mechanisms of which are not well understood. Pregravid obesity, when combined with normal changes in maternal metabolism, may magnify increases in inflammation and blood lipids, which can have profound effects on the developing embryo and the fetus in utero. Fetal exposure to excess blood lipids, particularly saturated fatty acids, can activate proinflammatory pathways, which could impact substrate metabolism and mitochondrial function, as well as stem cell fate, all of which affect organ development and the response to the postnatal environment. Fetal and neonatal life are characterized by tremendous plasticity and the ability to respond to environmental factors (nutrients, oxygen, hormones) by altering gene expression levels via epigenetic modifications. Given that lipids act as both transcriptional activators and signaling molecules, excess fetal lipid exposure may regulate genes involved in lipid sensing and metabolism through epigenetic mechanisms. Epigenetic regulation of gene expression is characterized by covalent modifications to DNA and chromatin that alter gene expression independent of gene sequence. Epigenetic modifications can be maintained through positive and negative feedback loops, thereby creating stable changes in the expression of metabolic genes and their main transcriptional regulators. The purpose of this article is to review current literature on maternal-fetal lipid metabolism and maternal obesity

  18. Effects of Low-Dose Drinking Water Arsenic on Mouse Fetal and Postnatal Growth and Development

    PubMed Central

    Kozul-Horvath, Courtney D.; Zandbergen, Fokko; Jackson, Brian P.; Enelow, Richard I.; Hamilton, Joshua W.

    2012-01-01

    Background Arsenic (As) exposure is a significant worldwide environmental health concern. Chronic exposure via contaminated drinking water has been associated with an increased incidence of a number of diseases, including reproductive and developmental effects. The goal of this study was to identify adverse outcomes in a mouse model of early life exposure to low-dose drinking water As (10 ppb, current U.S. EPA Maximum Contaminant Level). Methodology and Findings C57B6/J pups were exposed to 10 ppb As, via the dam in her drinking water, either in utero and/or during the postnatal period. Birth outcomes, the growth of the F1 offspring, and health of the dams were assessed by a variety of measurements. Birth outcomes including litter weight, number of pups, and gestational length were unaffected. However, exposure during the in utero and postnatal period resulted in significant growth deficits in the offspring after birth, which was principally a result of decreased nutrients in the dam's breast milk. Cross-fostering of the pups reversed the growth deficit. Arsenic exposed dams displayed altered liver and breast milk triglyceride levels and serum profiles during pregnancy and lactation. The growth deficits in the F1 offspring resolved following separation from the dam and cessation of exposure in male mice, but did not resolve in female mice up to six weeks of age. Conclusions/Significance Exposure to As at the current U.S. drinking water standard during critical windows of development induces a number of adverse health outcomes for both the dam and offspring. Such effects may contribute to the increased disease risks observed in human populations. PMID:22693606

  19. Morphometric study of the fetal development of the human hip joint: significance for congenital hip disease.

    PubMed Central

    Walker, J. M.; Goldsmith, C. H.

    1981-01-01

    Hip joints (280) from 140 human fetuses, obtained from abortions and deaths in the perinatal period, were studied. The fetuses ranged from 8.7 to 40 cm in crown-rump length and are believed to be between 12 and 42 weeks in age. The joints were dissected, morphology inspected, and measurements taken of the depth and diameter of the acetabulum, the diameter of the femoral head, length and width of the ligament of the head, the neck-shaft, and torsion angles of the proximal femur. Regression models were fitted to determine which would best predict the growth pattern. Multivariate analysis of variance showed no significant differences between males and females or between the right and left sides. Acetabular depth was shown to be the slowest-growing hip variable, increasing less than fourfold in the period studied. Acetabular indices less than 50 percent indicate a shallow socket at term. Femoral head and acetabular diameter demonstrated a strong relationship (r = 0.860) and in many joints the femoral head diameter exceeded that of the acetabulum. Considerable variability was demonstrated in both femoral angles. The femoral angles showed only low correlation with the other hip variables. These observations indicate that soft tissue structures about the joint must play an important role in neonatal joint stability. The explanation of greater female and left side involvement in congenital hip disease must lie in factors other than growth changes of hip dimensions. Neither angle appears to be a useful indicator of normal joint development. Images FIG. 2 FIG. 3 FIG. 4 FIG. 10 FIG. 11 FIG. 13 PMID:7342490

  20. Fetal movements as a predictor of health.

    PubMed

    Lai, Jonathan; Nowlan, Niamh C; Vaidyanathan, Ravi; Shaw, Caroline J; Lees, Christoph C

    2016-09-01

    The key determinant to a fetus maintaining its health is through adequate perfusion and oxygen transfer mediated by the functioning placenta. When this equilibrium is distorted, a number of physiological changes, including reduced fetal growth, occur to favor survival. Technologies have been developed to monitor these changes with a view to prolong intrauterine maturity while reducing the risks of stillbirth. Many of these strategies involve complex interpretation, for example Doppler ultrasound for fetal blood flow and computerized analysis of fetal heart rate changes. However, even with these modalities of fetal assessment to determine the optimal timing of delivery, fetal movements remain integral to clinical decision-making. In high-risk cohorts with fetal growth restriction, the manifestation of a reduction in perceived movements may warrant an expedited delivery. Despite this, there has been little evolution in the development of technologies to objectively evaluate fetal movement behavior for clinical application. This review explores the available literature on the value of fetal movement analysis as a method of assessing fetal wellbeing, and demonstrates how interdisciplinary developments in this area may aid in the improvement of clinical outcomes. PMID:27374723

  1. Aberrant development of post-movement beta rebound in adolescents and young adults with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders

    PubMed Central

    Vakhtin, Andrei A.; Kodituwakku, Piyadasa W.; Garcia, Christopher M.; Tesche, Claudia D.

    2015-01-01

    Dependent on maternal (e.g. genetic, age) and exposure (frequency, quantity, and timing) variables, the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on the developing fetus are known to vary widely, producing a broad range of morphological anomalies and neurocognitive deficits in offspring, referred to as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). Maternal drinking during pregnancy remains a leading risk factor for the development of intellectual disabilities in the US. While few functional findings exist today that shed light on the mechanisms responsible for the observed impairments in individuals with FASD, animal models consistently report deleterious effects of early alcohol exposure on GABA-ergic inhibitory pathways. The post-motor beta rebound (PMBR), a transient increase of 15–30 Hz beta power in the motor cortex that follows the termination of movement, has been implicated as a neural signature of GABA-ergic inhibitory activity. Further, PMBR has been shown to be a reliable predictor of age in adolescents. The present study sought to investigate any differences in the development of PMBR between FASD and control groups. Beta event-related de-synchronization (ERD) and movement-related gamma synchronization (MRGS), although not clearly linked to brain maturation, were also examined. Twenty-two participants with FASD and 22 age and sex-matched controls (12–22 years old) underwent magnetoencephalography scans while performing an auditory oddball task, which required a button press in response to select target stimuli. The data surrounding the button presses were localized to the participants' motor cortices, and the time courses from the locations of the maximally evoked PMBR were subjected to wavelet analyses. The subsequent analysis of PMBR, ERD, and MRGS revealed a significant interaction between group and age in their effects on PMBR. While age had a significant effect on PMBR in the controls, no simple effects of age were detected in the FASD group. The FASD

  2. Aberrant development of post-movement beta rebound in adolescents and young adults with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

    PubMed

    Vakhtin, Andrei A; Kodituwakku, Piyadasa W; Garcia, Christopher M; Tesche, Claudia D

    2015-01-01

    Dependent on maternal (e.g. genetic, age) and exposure (frequency, quantity, and timing) variables, the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on the developing fetus are known to vary widely, producing a broad range of morphological anomalies and neurocognitive deficits in offspring, referred to as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). Maternal drinking during pregnancy remains a leading risk factor for the development of intellectual disabilities in the US. While few functional findings exist today that shed light on the mechanisms responsible for the observed impairments in individuals with FASD, animal models consistently report deleterious effects of early alcohol exposure on GABA-ergic inhibitory pathways. The post-motor beta rebound (PMBR), a transient increase of 15-30 Hz beta power in the motor cortex that follows the termination of movement, has been implicated as a neural signature of GABA-ergic inhibitory activity. Further, PMBR has been shown to be a reliable predictor of age in adolescents. The present study sought to investigate any differences in the development of PMBR between FASD and control groups. Beta event-related de-synchronization (ERD) and movement-related gamma synchronization (MRGS), although not clearly linked to brain maturation, were also examined. Twenty-two participants with FASD and 22 age and sex-matched controls (12-22 years old) underwent magnetoencephalography scans while performing an auditory oddball task, which required a button press in response to select target stimuli. The data surrounding the button presses were localized to the participants' motor cortices, and the time courses from the locations of the maximally evoked PMBR were subjected to wavelet analyses. The subsequent analysis of PMBR, ERD, and MRGS revealed a significant interaction between group and age in their effects on PMBR. While age had a significant effect on PMBR in the controls, no simple effects of age were detected in the FASD group. The FASD group

  3. Fetal and maternal manifestations of tuberous sclerosis complex: Value of fetal MRI.

    PubMed

    Goel, Reema; Aggarwal, Nishant; Lemmon, Monica E; Bosemani, Thangamadhan

    2016-02-01

    Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a genetic disorder characterized by benign hamartomas in various organ systems of the body. Prenatal screening of fetuses of mothers affected with TSC using ultrasonography (US) may detect cardiac lesions. Fetal US is not sensitive for evaluation of the brain. We describe brain MRI findings in a fetus with cardiac rhabdomyomas identified on prenatal screening US. Postnatal brain MRI at 5 days of age demonstrated fetal MRI findings without significant added information. Fetal MRI is the imaging modality of choice for evaluation of cerebral manifestations of TSC. Maternal manifestations of TSC in the abdomen or pelvis may also be demonstrated on fetal MRI. PMID:26838171

  4. Impaired fetal thymic growth precedes clinical preeclampsia: a case-control study.

    PubMed

    Eviston, David P; Quinton, Ann E; Benzie, Ron J; Peek, Michael J; Martin, Andrew; Nanan, Ralph K

    2012-06-01

    In preeclampsia the maternal adaptive immune system undergoes specific changes, which are different from the physiological processes associated with healthy pregnancy. Whether preeclampsia also affects the fetal immune system is difficult to investigate, due to limited access to the fetus. We hypothesized that if preeclampsia affects the fetal adaptive immune system this might be associated with early changes in thymic growth. In this case-control study, 53 preeclamptic and 120 healthy control pregnancies were matched for maternal age, gestational age and smoking. Fetal thymus diameter was measured as the greatest width perpendicular to a line connecting sternum and spine based on ultrasound images taken at 17-21 weeks gestation. Independent of fetal and maternal anthropometric measures, thymuses were found to be smaller in preeclamptic pregnancies than healthy controls (16.2 mm versus 18.3 mm, respectively, mean difference=2.1 mm, 95% CI: 0.8-3.3, p<0.001), and the odds of developing preeclampsia was estimated to be 0.72 (95% CI: 0.60-0.86, p<0.001) lower for each 1 mm increase in thymus diameter. There was no correlation between the onset of preeclampsia and fetal thymus size. This is the first study to suggest that fetal thymus growth is reduced before the clinical onset of preeclampsia and precedes any described fetal anomalies or maternal immunological changes associated with preeclampsia. We propose that the fetal adaptive immune system is either passively affected by maternal processes preceding clinical preeclampsia or is actively involved in initiating preeclampsia in later pregnancy.

  5. How maternal malnutrition affects linear growth and development in the offspring.

    PubMed

    Papathakis, Peggy C; Singh, Lauren N; Manary, Mark J

    2016-11-01

    Maternal malnutrition is common in the developing world and has detrimental effects on both the mother and infant. Pre-pregnancy nutritional status and weight gain during pregnancy are positively related to fetal growth and development. Internationally, there is no agreement on the method of diagnosis or treatment of moderate or severe malnutrition during pregnancy. Establishing clear guidelines for diagnosis and treatment will be essential in elevating the problem. Possible anthropometric measurements used to detect and monitor maternal malnutrition include pre-pregnancy BMI, weight gain, and mid upper arm circumference. Food supplements have the potential to increase gestational weight gain and energy intake which are positively associated with fetal growth and development. Overall more studies are needed to conclude the impact of food/nutrient supplements on infant growth in undernourished pregnant women in developing countries. Currently, a study underway may provide much needed documentation of the benefits of treating malnutrition in pregnancy.

  6. Enalapril decreases cardiac mass and fetal gene expression without affecting the expression of endothelin-1, transforming growth factor β-1, or cardiotrophin-1 in the healthy normotensive rat.

    PubMed

    Mackovicova, Katarina; Gazova, Andrea; Kucerova, Dana; Gajdacova, Beata; Klimas, Jan; Ochodnicky, Peter; Goncalvesova, Eva; Kyselovic, Jan; Krenek, Peter

    2011-03-01

    Angiotensin II can induce cardiac hypertrophy by stimulating the release of growth factors. ACE inhibitors reduce angiotensin II levels and cardiac hypertrophy, but their effects on the healthy heart are largely unexplored. We hypothesized that ACE inhibition decreases left ventricular mass in normotensive animals and that this is associated with altered expression of cardiac fetal genes, growth factors, and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS). Wistar rats (n = 7 per group) were orally administered with enalapril twice daily for a total daily dose of 5 mg·kg(-1)·d(-1) (ENAP5) or 15 mg·kg(-1)·d(-1) (ENAP15) or vehicle. Systolic blood pressure was measured by the tail-cuff method. Left ventricular expression of cardiac myosin heavy chain-α (MYH6) and -β (MYH7), atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), endothelin-1 (ET-1), transforming growth factor β-1 (TGFβ-1), cardiotrophin-1 (CT-1), and renal renin were examined by real-time PCR, and eNOS using Western blot. Blood pressure was decreased only in ENAP15 animals (p < 0.05 vs. Control), whereas left ventricular mass decreased after both doses of enalapril (p < 0.05 vs. Control). MYH7 and ANP were reduced in ENAP15, while no changes in ET-1, TGFβ-1, CT-1, and MYH6 mRNA or eNOS protein were observed. Renal renin dose-dependently increased after enalapril treatment. Enalapril significantly decreased left ventricular mass even after 1 week treatment in the normotensive rat. This was associated with a decreased expression of the fetal genes MYH7 and ANP, but not expression of ET-1, CT-1, or TGFβ-1. PMID:21423293

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Endocrinology of the mammalian fetal testis.

    PubMed

    O'Shaughnessy, Peter J; Fowler, Paul A

    2011-01-01

    The testes are essential endocrine regulators of fetal masculinization and male development and are, themselves, subject to hormonal regulation during gestation. This review focuses, primarily, on this latter control of testicular function. Data available suggest that, in most mammalian species, the testis goes through a period of independent function before the fetal hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis develops at around 50% of gestation. This pituitary-independent phase coincides with the most critical period of fetal masculinization. Thereafter, the fetal testes appear to become pituitary hormone-dependent, concurrent with declining Leydig cell function, but increasing Sertoli cell numbers. The two orders of mammals most commonly used for these types of studies (rodents and primates) appear to represent special cases within this general hypothesis. In terms of testicular function, rodents are born 'early' before the pituitary-dependent phase of fetal development, while the primate testis is dependent upon placental gonadotropin released during the pituitary-independent phase of development.

  10. Challenge of Fetal Mortality

    MedlinePlus

    ... Death Data File and Linked Birth/Infant Death Data Set, National Vital Statistics System The magnitude of fetal ... Death Data File and Linked Birth/Infant Death Data Set, NVSS. The vital statistics Fetal Death Data File ...

  11. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

    MedlinePlus

    ... alcohol can cause a group of conditions called fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). Effects can include physical and behavioral problems such ... alcohol syndrome is the most serious type of FASD. People with fetal alcohol syndrome have facial abnormalities, ...

  12. Mouse fetal whole intestine culture system for ex vivo manipulation of signaling pathways and three-dimensional live imaging of villus development.

    PubMed

    Walton, Katherine D; Kolterud, Asa

    2014-09-04

    Most morphogenetic processes in the fetal intestine have been inferred from thin sections of fixed tissues, providing snapshots of changes over developmental stages. Three-dimensional information from thin serial sections can be challenging to interpret because of the difficulty of reconstructing serial sections perfectly and maintaining proper orientation of the tissue over serial sections. Recent findings by Grosse et al., 2011 highlight the importance of three- dimensional information in understanding morphogenesis of the developing villi of the intestine(1). Three-dimensional reconstruction of singly labeled intestinal cells demonstrated that the majority of the intestinal epithelial cells contact both the apical and basal surfaces. Furthermore, three-dimensional reconstruction of the actin cytoskeleton at the apical surface of the epithelium demonstrated that the intestinal lumen is continuous and that secondary lumens are an artifact of sectioning. Those two points, along with the demonstration of interkinetic nuclear migration in the intestinal epithelium, defined the developing intestinal epithelium as a pseudostratified epithelium and not stratified as previously thought(1). The ability to observe the epithelium three-dimensionally was seminal to demonstrating this point and redefining epithelial morphogenesis in the fetal intestine. With the evolution of multi-photon imaging technology and three-dimensional reconstruction software, the ability to visualize intact, developing organs is rapidly improving. Two-photon excitation allows less damaging penetration deeper into tissues with high resolution. Two-photon imaging and 3D reconstruction of the whole fetal mouse intestines in Walton et al., 2012 helped to define the pattern of villus outgrowth(2). Here we describe a whole organ culture system that allows ex vivo development of villi and extensions of that culture system to allow the intestines to be three-dimensionally imaged during their development.

  13. Beneficial Microbes Affect Endogenous Mechanisms Controlling Root Development.

    PubMed

    Verbon, Eline H; Liberman, Louisa M

    2016-03-01

    Plants have incredible developmental plasticity, enabling them to respond to a wide range of environmental conditions. Among these conditions is the presence of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) in the soil. Recent studies show that PGPR affect Arabidopsis thaliana root growth and development by modulating cell division and differentiation in the primary root and influencing lateral root development. These effects lead to dramatic changes in root system architecture that significantly impact aboveground plant growth. Thus, PGPR may promote shoot growth via their effect on root developmental programs. This review focuses on contextualizing root developmental changes elicited by PGPR in light of our understanding of plant-microbe interactions and root developmental biology.

  14. The impact of prenatal stress, fetal alcohol exposure, or both on development: perspectives from a primate model.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Mary L; Moore, Colleen F; Kraemer, Gary W; Roberts, Andrew D; DeJesus, Onofre T

    2002-01-01

    The question of whether psychosocial stress during pregnancy (alone or in combination with fetal alcohol exposure) has negative consequences for offspring has not been clearly established in human studies. In this article, we present an overview of three prospective longitudinal studies. Using rhesus monkeys as subjects, a noise or hormone stressor, alone or in combination with moderate level alcohol solution, was presented daily during different stages of pregnancy. Prenatal stress resulted in lighter birth weights in two of three studies, and males from the alcohol plus noise stress condition had reduced birth weights. There were no significant effects of any of the prenatal treatments on gestation duration. Both prenatal stress and moderate fetal alcohol exposure reduced attention span and neuromotor capabilities of offspring during the first month of life, while early gestation prenatal stress, during the period of neuronal migration, emerged as a period of enhanced vulnerability for these effects. Under conditions of challenge, prenatally stressed monkeys showed more disturbance behaviors and reduced locomotion and exploration as well as altered hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis reactivity to stress. Fetal alcohol exposed monkeys also showed increased HPA axis activity in response to stressful conditions. Finally, altered patterns of alcohol consumption during adolescence were associated with prenatal stress.

  15. Peri-conceptional changes in maternal exposure to sewage sludge chemicals disturbs fetal thyroid gland development in sheep.

    PubMed

    Hombach-Klonisch, Sabine; Danescu, Adrian; Begum, Farhana; Amezaga, Maria R; Rhind, Stewart M; Sharpe, Richard M; Evans, Neil P; Bellingham, Michelle; Cotinot, Corinne; Mandon-Pepin, Beatrice; Fowler, Paul A; Klonisch, Thomas

    2013-03-10

    Ewes were exposed to sewage sludge-fertilized pastures in a study designed investigate pre-conceptual and/or gestational exposure to environmental chemicals. The in utero impact on fetal thyroid morphology and function at day 110 (of 145) of pregnancy was then determined. Pre-conceptual exposure increased the relative thyroid organ weights in male fetuses. The number of thyroid follicles in thyroids of fetuses after pre-conceptual or gestational exposure was reduced. This correlated with an increase in Ki67 positive cells. Pre-conceptual exposure to sewage sludge reduced small blood vessels in fetal thyroids. Thyroid tissues of exposed fetuses contained regions where mature angio-follicular units were reduced exhibiting decreased immunostaining for sodium-iodide symporter (NIS). Fetal plasma levels of fT3 and fT4 in exposed animals, however, were not different from controls suggesting compensatory changes in the thyroid gland to maintain homeostasis in exposed fetuses. The regional aberrations in thyroid morphology may impact on the post-natal life of the exposed offspring.

  16. Liquid-diet with alcohol alters maternal, fetal and placental weights and the expression of molecules involved in integrin signaling in the fetal cerebral cortex.

    PubMed

    Rout, Ujjwal K; Dhossche, Julie M

    2010-11-01

    Maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy causes wide range of behavioral and structural deficits in children, commonly known as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). Children with FAS may suffer behavioral deficits in the absence of obvious malformations. In rodents, the exposure to alcohol during gestation changes brain structures and weights of offspring. The mechanism of FAS is not completely understood. In the present study, an established rat (Long-Evans) model of FAS was used. The litter size and the weights of mothers, fetuses and placentas were examined on gestation days 18 or 20. On gestation day 18, the effects of chronic alcohol on the expression levels of integrin receptor subunits, phospholipase-Cγ and N-cadherin were examined in the fetal cerebral cortices. Presence of alcohol in the liquid-diet reduced the consumption and decreased weights of mothers and fetuses but increased the placental weights. Expression levels of β(1) and α(3) integrin subunits and phospholipase-Cγ(2) were significantly altered in the fetal cerebral cortices of mothers on alcohol containing diet. Results show that alcohol consumption during pregnancy even with protein, mineral and vitamin enriched diet may affect maternal and fetal health, and alter integrin receptor signaling pathways in the fetal cerebral cortex disturbing the development of fetal brains.

  17. Sonography in Fetal Birth Weight Estimation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Akinola, R. A.; Akinola, O. I.; Oyekan, O. O.

    2009-01-01

    The estimation of fetal birth weight is an important factor in the management of high risk pregnancies. The information and knowledge gained through this study, comparing a combination of various fetal parameters using computer assisted analysis, will help the obstetrician to screen the high risk pregnancies, monitor the growth and development,…

  18. Maternal bisphenol a exposure impacts the fetal heart transcriptome.

    PubMed

    Chapalamadugu, Kalyan C; Vandevoort, Catherine A; Settles, Matthew L; Robison, Barrie D; Murdoch, Gordon K

    2014-01-01

    Conditions during fetal development influence health and disease in adulthood, especially during critical windows of organogenesis. Fetal exposure to the endocrine disrupting chemical, bisphenol A (BPA) affects the development of multiple organ systems in rodents and monkeys. However, effects of BPA exposure on cardiac development have not been assessed. With evidence that maternal BPA is transplacentally delivered to the developing fetus, it becomes imperative to examine the physiological consequences of gestational exposure during primate development. Herein, we evaluate the effects of daily, oral BPA exposure of pregnant rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) on the fetal heart transcriptome. Pregnant monkeys were given daily oral doses (400 µg/kg body weight) of BPA during early (50-100 ± 2 days post conception, dpc) or late (100 ± 2 dpc--term), gestation. At the end of treatment, fetal heart tissues were collected and chamber specific transcriptome expression was assessed using genome-wide microarray. Quantitative real-time PCR was conducted on select genes and ventricular tissue glycogen content was quantified. Our results show that BPA exposure alters transcription of genes that are recognized for their role in cardiac pathophysiologies. Importantly, myosin heavy chain, cardiac isoform alpha (Myh6) was down-regulated in the left ventricle, and 'A Disintegrin and Metalloprotease 12', long isoform (Adam12-l) was up-regulated in both ventricles, and the right atrium of the heart in BPA exposed fetuses. BPA induced alteration of these genes supports the hypothesis that exposure to BPA during fetal development may impact cardiovascular fitness. Our results intensify concerns about the role of BPA in the genesis of human metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.

  19. Dietary protein during gestation affects maternal insulin-like growth factor, insulin-like growth factor binding protein, leptin concentrations, and fetal growth in heifers.

    PubMed

    Sullivan, T M; Micke, G C; Perkins, N; Martin, G B; Wallace, C R; Gatford, K L; Owens, J A; Perry, V E A

    2009-10-01

    The influence of supplemental protein during gestation on maternal hormones and fetal growth was determined in composite beef heifers. At AI, 118 heifers were stratified by BW within each composite genotype (BeefX = 1/2 Senepol, 1/4 Brahman, 1/8 Charolais, 1/8 Red Angus and CBX = 1/2 Senepol, 1/4 Brahman, 1/4 Charolais) into 4 treatment groups: high high (HH = 1.4 kg CP/d for first and second trimesters of gestation), high low (HL = 1.4 kg of CP/d for first trimester and 0.4 kg of CP/d for second trimester), low high (lowH = 0.4 kg CP/d for first trimester and 1.4 kg of CP/d and for second trimester), or low low (LL = 0.4 kg CP/d for first and second trimesters). Maternal plasma IGF-I and -II, total IGFBP, and leptin concentrations were determined at 14 d before AI and at d 28, 82, 179, and 271 post-AI (mean gestation length 286 d), and leptin concentrations were also determined at calving. Increased dietary protein increased maternal plasma IGF-I (P < 0.001 on d 28, 82, and 179), IGF-II (P = 0.01 on d 82; P = 0.04 on d 271), and total IGFBP (P = 0.002 on d 82; P = 0.005 on d 179; P = 0.03 on d 271). Maternal plasma IGF-I at d 271 was negatively associated with calf crown-rump length at birth (P = 0.003). BeefX had greater birth weight calves (P = 0.01), greater IGF-II (P < 0.001), increased ratios of IGF-I:total IGFBP (P = 0.008) and IGF-II:total IGFBP (P < 0.001), and reduced total IGFBP compared with CBX (P = 0.02). Increased dietary protein during second trimester increased maternal plasma leptin at calving (P = 0.005). Maternal plasma leptin near term was positively associated with heifer BCS (P = 0.02) and with calf birth weight (P = 0.04), and at calving was positively associated with heifer age at AI (P = 0.02). These findings suggest that maternal dietary protein, age, and genotype influence plasma concentrations of metabolic hormones and fetal growth in Bos indicus-influenced heifers. PMID:19617516

  20. Estrogens in the wrong place at the wrong time: fetal BPA exposure and mammary cancer

    PubMed Central

    Paulose, Tessie; Speroni, Lucia; Sonnenschein, Carlos; Soto, Ana M

    2014-01-01

    Iatrogenic gestational exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES) induced alterations of the genital tract and predisposed individuals to develop clear cell carcinoma of the vagina as well as breast cancer later in life. Gestational exposure of rodents to a related compound, the xenoestrogen bisphenol-A (BPA) increases the propensity to develop mammary cancer during adulthood, long after cessation of exposure. Exposure to BPA during gestation induces morphological alterations in both the stroma and the epithelium of the fetal mammary gland at 18 days of age. We postulate that the primary target of BPA is the fetal stroma, the only mammary tissue expressing estrogen receptors during fetal life. BPA would then alter the reciprocal stroma-epithelial interactions that mediate mammogenesis. In addition to this direct effect on the mammary gland, BPA is postulated to affect the hypothalamus and thus in turn affect the regulation of mammotropic hormones at puberty and beyond. PMID:25277313

  1. Estrogens in the wrong place at the wrong time: Fetal BPA exposure and mammary cancer.

    PubMed

    Paulose, Tessie; Speroni, Lucia; Sonnenschein, Carlos; Soto, Ana M

    2015-07-01

    Iatrogenic gestational exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES) induced alterations of the genital tract and predisposed individuals to develop clear cell carcinoma of the vagina as well as breast cancer later in life. Gestational exposure of rodents to a related compound, the xenoestrogen bisphenol-A (BPA) increases the propensity to develop mammary cancer during adulthood, long after cessation of exposure. Exposure to BPA during gestation induces morphological alterations in both the stroma and the epithelium of the fetal mammary gland at 18 days of age. We postulate that the primary target of BPA is the fetal stroma, the only mammary tissue expressing estrogen receptors during fetal life. BPA would then alter the reciprocal stroma-epithelial interactions that mediate mammogenesis. In addition to this direct effect on the mammary gland, BPA is postulated to affect the hypothalamus and thus in turn affect the regulation of mammotropic hormones at puberty and beyond.

  2. Fetal and neonatal health consequences of vertically transmitted hepatitis E virus infection.

    PubMed

    Krain, Lisa J; Atwell, Jessica E; Nelson, Kenrad E; Labrique, Alain B

    2014-02-01

    Hepatitis E virus (HEV) infections lead to tens of thousands of deaths annually, mostly in developing countries. Hepatitis E poses a significant threat to the health of expectant mothers, a well-noted epidemiologic feature of the disease, but the contribution of vertically transmitted HEV infection to fetal and neonatal morbidity and mortality has received limited attention. Evidence assembled to date suggests that mother-to-child HEV transmission may be frequent and deleterious to the fetus and newborn in pregnancies affected by hepatitis E. Additional work is required to resolve key questions. (1) What risks do subclinical maternal HEV infections and infections early in pregnancy pose to fetal health and development? (2) Does vertical transmission occur during labor and/or breastfeeding and contribute appreciably to neonatal morbidity and mortality? (3) How do treatment decisions for severely ill mothers affect fetal and neonatal outcomes? (4) Can maternal vaccination effectively prevent vertical transmission of HEV? PMID:24420778

  3. Agonist mediated fetal muscle-type nicotinic acetylcholine receptor desensitization

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The exposure of a developing embryo or fetus to teratogenic alkaloids from plants has the potential to cause developmental defects in livestock due to the inhibition of fetal movement by alkaloids. The mechanism behind the inhibition of fetal movement is the desensitization of fetal muscle-type nico...

  4. Training affects the development of postural adjustments in sitting infants.

    PubMed Central

    Hadders-Algra, M; Brogren, E; Forssberg, H

    1996-01-01

    1. The present study addressed the question of whether daily balance training can affect the development of postural adjustments in sitting infants. 2. Postural responses during sitting on a moveable platform were assessed in twenty healthy infants at 5-6, 7-8 and 9-10 months of age. Multiple surface EMGs and kinematics were recorded while the infants were exposed to slow and fast horizontal forward (Fw) and backward (Bw) displacements of the platform. After the first session the parents of nine infants trained their child's sitting balance daily. 3. At the youngest age, when none of the infants could sit independently, the muscle activation patterns were direction specific and showed a large variation. This variation decreased with increasing age, resulting in selection of the most complete responses. Training facilitated response selection both during Fw and Bw translations. This suggests a training effect on the first level of the central pattern generator (CPG) model of postural control. 4. Training also affected the development of response modulation during Fw translations. It accelerated the development of: (1) the ability to modulate EMG amplitude with respect to platform velocity and initial sitting position, (2) antagonist activity and (3) a distal onset of the response. These findings point to a training effect on the second level of the CPG model of postural adjustments. Images Figure 1 Figure 4 PMID:8735713

  5. Maternal–Fetal Nutrient Transport in Pregnancy Pathologies: The Role of the Placenta

    PubMed Central

    Brett, Kendra Elizabeth; Ferraro, Zachary Michael; Yockell-Lelievre, Julien; Gruslin, Andrée; Adamo, Kristi Bree

    2014-01-01

    Appropriate in utero growth is essential for offspring development and is a critical contributor to long-term health. Fetal growth is largely dictated by the availability of nutrients in maternal circulation and the ability of these nutrients to be transported into fetal circulation via the placenta. Substrate flux across placental gradients is dependent on the accessibility and activity of nutrient-specific transporters. Changes in the expression and activity of these transporters is implicated in cases of restricted and excessive fetal growth, and may represent a control mechanism by which fetal growth rate attempts to match availability of nutrients in maternal circulation. This review provides an overview of placenta nutrient transport with an emphasis on macro-nutrient transporters. It highlights the changes in expression and activity of these transporters associated with common pregnancy pathologies, including intrauterine growth restriction, macrosomia, diabetes and obesity, as well as the potential impact of maternal diet. Molecular signaling pathways linking maternal nutrient availability and placenta nutrient transport are discussed. How sexual dimorphism affects fetal growth strategies and the placenta’s response to an altered intrauterine environment is considered. Further knowledge in this area may be the first step in the development of targeted interventions to help optimize fetal growth. PMID:25222554

  6. Fetal Programming and Metabolic Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Rinaudo, Paolo; Wang, Erica

    2014-01-01

    Metabolic syndrome is reaching epidemic proportions, particularly in developing countries. In this review, we explore the concept—based on the developmental-origin-of-health-and-disease hypothesis—that reprogramming during critical times of fetal life can lead to metabolic syndrome in adulthood. Specifically, we summarize the epidemiological evidence linking prenatal stress, manifested by low birth weight, to metabolic syndrome and its individual components. We also review animal studies that suggest potential mechanisms for the long-term effects of fetal reprogramming, including the cellular response to stress and both organ- and hormone-specific alterations induced by stress. Although metabolic syndrome in adulthood is undoubtedly caused by multiple factors, including modifiable behavior, fetal life may provide a critical window in which individuals are predisposed to metabolic syndrome later in life. PMID:21910625

  7. Follicular development and expression of nuclear respiratory factor-1 and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator-1 alpha in ovaries of fetal and neonatal doelings.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Z; Wan, Y; Zhang, Y; Wang, Z; Jia, R; Fan, Y; Nie, H; Ying, S; Huang, P; Wang, F

    2012-11-01

    In livestock, the ovarian reserve of follicles is established during the fetal stage. However, at least two-thirds of the oocytes present in the reserve die because of apoptosis before birth. Notably, mitochondria have been reported to play a crucial role in the fate (life/death) of oocytes. In this study, mitochondrial regulators nuclear respiratory factor-1 (NRF-1) and PPAR γ coactivator-1 alpha (PGC-1α) were examined during this period of follicle development to investigate their effects on follicular development and apoptosis. Fetal and neonatal Capra haimen were used, ranging in age from 60 d postcoitum (dpc) to 30 d postpartum (dpp). Our data demonstrated that egg nests were the earliest recognizable gamete cells in ovaries of fetal and neonatal doelings. Proportions of egg nests decreased from 92.68 to 25.08% whereas single follicles increased from 7.32 to 74.92% between 60 and 120 dpc. Subsequently, between 90 and 120 dpc, the proportion of primordial follicles increased from 9.98 to 61.56% (P < 0.01). However, it did not change between 1 and 30 dpp (P = 0.12). The proportion of primary follicles increased from 1.23 to 37.93% between 90 dpc to 1 dpp (P = 0.01) but did not change between 1 and 30 dpp (P = 0.11). Meanwhile, proportions of secondary and tertiary follicles increased in an age-dependent manner. In addition, results of this study suggested that NRF-1 and PGC-1α proteins are mainly localized in germ cells of egg nests, cytoplasm of oocytes, and granulosa cells of follicles ranging from primordial to tertiary follicles. The transcript abundance of NRF-1 mRNA was up-regulated in 60-dpc-old ovaries compared with 1-dpp-old ovaries (P < 0.05), but the PGC-1α mRNA expression pattern did not change (P = 0.05). Nevertheless, the number of terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase UTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) positive cells and caspase-3 activity in 60-dpc-old ovaries was less than those in 1-dpp-old ovaries (P < 0.01, P = 0.01). In conclusion, our results