Placentas adapt when mothers have poor diets or low oxygen during pregnancy

Medical Xpress | January 18, 2019

Cambridge researchers have discovered the placenta regulates how much oxygen and nutrients it transports to babies during challenging pregnancies in a study using mice to model conditions in the womb. The placenta is the least understood organ and is notoriously difficult to study in pregnant women. But its ability to function properly is vital as it impacts on pregnancy outcomes and the lifelong health of mother and child. The placenta develops during pregnancy and connects the developing baby to the mother. It serves as the lungs, kidneys, gut, and liver for growing babies and carries oxygen and nutrients to the fetus whilst secreting hormones and discarding waste. Dr. Amanda N Sferruzzi-Perri, a Research Associate at St John's College, University of Cambridge, is the lead author of the new study which has been published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

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