Fetal Growth
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Development ◽  
2021 ◽  
Mandy Busse ◽  
Stefanie Langwisch ◽  
Kerry Tedford ◽  
Klaus-Dieter Fischer ◽  
Ana Claudia Zenclussen

B cell participation in early embryo/fetal development and the underlying molecular pathways have not been explored. To understand whether maternal B cell absence or impaired signaling interferes with placental and fetal growth, we paired CD19-deficient (CD19−/-) mice, females with B cell-specific MyD88 (BMyD88−/-) or IL-10 (BIL-10−/-) deficiency as well as WT and MyD88−/- controls on C57Bl/6 background with BALB/c males. Pregnancies were followed by ultrasound and Doppler measurements. Implantation number was reduced in BMyD88−/- and MyD88−/- mice. Loss of MyD88 or B cell-specific deletion of MyD88 or IL-10 resulted in decreased implantation areas at gestation days (gd)5, 8 and 10, accompanied by reduced placental thickness, diameter and areas at gd10. Uterine artery resistance was enhanced in BIL-10−/- dams at gd10. Challenge with 0.4mg LPS/kg BW at gd16 revealed that BMyD88−/-, BIL-10−/- and CD19−/- mothers delivered preterm while controls maintained their pregnancy. B cell specific MyD88 and IL-10 expression is essential for appropriate in utero development. IL-10+B cells are involved in uterine blood flow regulation during pregnancy. Finally, B cell-specific CD19, MyD88 and IL-10 expression influences susceptibility towards preterm birth.

2021 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Habib Sadeghi Rad ◽  
Joan Röhl ◽  
Nataly Stylianou ◽  
Mark C. Allenby ◽  
Sajad Razavi Bazaz ◽  

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused a global pandemic. The virus primarily affects the lungs where it induces respiratory distress syndrome ranging from mild to acute, however, there is a growing body of evidence supporting its negative effects on other system organs that also carry the ACE2 receptor, such as the placenta. The majority of newborns delivered from SARS-CoV-2 positive mothers test negative following delivery, suggesting that there are protective mechanisms within the placenta. There appears to be a higher incidence of pregnancy-related complications in SARS-CoV-2 positive mothers, such as miscarriage, restricted fetal growth, or still-birth. In this review, we discuss the pathobiology of COVID-19 maternal infection and the potential adverse effects associated with viral infection, and the possibility of transplacental transmission.

Neonatology ◽  
2021 ◽  
pp. 1-7
Michael Obladen

Given the high rate of alcoholism throughout history, its effects on the fetus may have existed for millennia. But, the claim that Greeks and Romans were aware of fetal alcohol syndrome rests on incorrect citations. From 1725, maternal alcohol consumption was associated with retarded fetal growth and neurological anomalies. From 1809, scientists followed Lamarck’s theory that the disorders parents acquire during their lifetime are passed on to their offspring. Fetal effects were thought to be inherited mainly from the father. During the 19th century, parental alcoholism became associated with malformations. In 1915, Ballantyne distinguished genetic influence via germ cells from toxin’s effect on the embryo. Fetal alcohol syndrome was characterized by Rouquette [Influence de la toxicomanie alcoolique parentale sur le développement physique et psychique des jeunes enfants] in 1957 and Lemoine et al. [Ouest Medical. 1968;21:476–482] in 1968 as consisting of 4 features: (A) facial anomalies (narrow forehead, retracted upper lip, and cupped ears), (B) severe growth retardation (prenatal and postnatal), (C) malformations (limbs, cardiac, and visceral), and (D) central nervous system anomalies (hyperexcitability and mental retardation). But, their studies, written in French, remained disregarded. In 1973, Jones et al. [Lancet. 1973;302:999–1001] reported “the first association between maternal alcoholism and aberrant morphogenesis in the offspring.” The history of fetal alcohol syndrome reveals shortcomings in citation practice. Alleged quotations remained unverified, non-English publications neglected, and short quotations taken out of context. Prejudiced by religious and abstinence groups, reports on alcohol damage to the unborn were fraught with emotions, moralizing, social implications, and presentism, the interpretation of past events with present knowledge.

Rianne C. Bijl ◽  
Jérôme M.J. Cornette ◽  
Blanka Vasak ◽  
Arie Franx ◽  
A. Titia Lely ◽  

2021 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Bobbi Fleiss ◽  
Deidre M. Murray ◽  
S. Tracey Bjorkman ◽  
Julie A. Wixey

Nutrients ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 13 (9) ◽  
pp. 3134
Sonia Santander Ballestín ◽  
Marta Isabel Giménez Campos ◽  
Jara Ballestín Ballestín ◽  
María José Luesma Bartolomé

Introduction: Proper nutrition during pregnancy is important to prevent nutritional imbalances that interfere with pregnancy. Micronutrients play critical roles in embryogenesis, fetal growth, and maternal health, as energy, protein, vitamin, and mineral needs can increase during pregnancy. Increased needs can be met by increasing the intake of dietary micronutrients. Severe micronutrient deficiency or excess during pregnancy can have negative effects on fetal growth (intrauterine growth retardation, low birth weight, or congenital malformations) and pregnancy development (pre-eclampsia or gestational diabetes). We investigate whether it is necessary to continue micronutrient supplementation during pregnancy to improve women’s health in this stage and whether this supplementation could prevent and control pathologies associated with pregnancy. Aim: The present review aims to summarize evidence on the effects of nutritional deficiencies on maternal and newborn morbidity. Methods: This aim is addressed by critically reviewing results from published studies on supplementation with different nutrients during pregnancy. For this, major scientific databases, scientific texts, and official webpages have been consulted. PubMed searches using the terms “pregnancy” OR “maternal-fetal health” AND “vitamins” OR “minerals” OR “supplementation” AND “requirement” OR “deficiency nutrients” were performed. Results: There are accepted interventions during pregnancy, such as folic acid supplementation to prevent congenital neural tube defects, potassium iodide supplementation to correct neurodevelopment, and oral iron supplementation during the second half of pregnancy to reduce the risk of maternal anemia and iron deficiency. A number of micronutrients have also been associated with pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes mellitus, and nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. In general, experimental studies are necessary to demonstrate the benefits of supplementation with different micronutrients and to adjust the recommended daily doses and the recommended periconceptional nutrition for mothers. Conclusions: Presently, there is evidence of the benefits of micronutrient supplementation in perinatal results, but indiscriminate use is discouraged due to the fact that the side effects of excessive doses are not known. Evidence supports the idea that micronutrient deficiencies negatively affect maternal health and the outcome of pregnancy. No single micronutrient is responsible for the adverse effects; thus, supplementing or correcting one deficiency will not be very effective while other deficiencies exist.

Ellen C Francis ◽  
Mengying Li ◽  
Stefanie N Hinkle ◽  
Jinbo Chen ◽  
Jing Wu ◽  

ABSTRACT BACKGROUND Increased maternal adiposity and inflammation have impacts on fetal growth. OBJECTIVES The purpose of this prospective study was to investigate the associations of three proinflammatory adipokines in pregnancy with neonatal anthropometry. METHODS In a sample of 321 U.S pregnant women from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Fetal Growth Studies-Singleton Cohort (NCT00912132), plasma interleukin (IL)-6, fatty acid binding protein-4 (FABP4), and chemerin were measured in plasma samples collected at 10–14, 15–26, 23–31, and 33–39 gestational weeks (GW). Generalized linear models were used to estimate associations of adipokines with neonatal weight, thigh and crown-heel length, and skinfolds at birth. Models adjusted for age, race/ethnicity, education, nulliparity, prepregnancy body mass index (BMI), and GW at blood collection. RESULTS At each time-point, higher IL-6 was associated with lower neonatal birthweight and thigh length. At 15–26 GWs, a one standard deviation pg/ml increase in IL-6 was associated with -84.46 g lower neonatal birthweight (95% Confidence Interval [CI]: -150.70, -18.22), -0.17 cm shorter thigh length (95% CI: -0.27, -0.07), -0.43 cm shorter crown-heel length (95% CI: -0.75, -0.10), and -0.75 mm smaller sum of skinfolds (95% CI: -1.19, -0.31), with similar associations at 23–31 and 33–39 GWs. There were no associations of FABP4 and chemerin with neonatal anthropometry. CONCLUSIONS Starting as early as 15 GWs, higher maternal IL-6 concentrations in pregnancy were associated with smaller neonatal birthweight, thigh and crown-heel length, and skinfolds. These data provide insight into the relevance of maternal inflammatory markers with neonatal anthropometry.

2021 ◽  
pp. 1-7
Marta Rial-Crestelo ◽  
Ana Rosy Velasco-Santiago ◽  
Marek Lubusky ◽  
Katerina Hermanova ◽  
Anna Kajdy ◽  

<b><i>Introduction:</i></b> This study aimed to determine the effect and clinical impact of physiological characteristics on the 95th/5th centile of the umbilical artery (UA) Doppler and the cerebroplacental ratio (CPR), at 36+ weeks. <b><i>Methods:</i></b> From the multicenter randomized trial “Ratio37,” we selected 4,505 low-risk pregnant women between June 2016 and January 2020. We registered physiological characteristics and the pulsatility indexes (PI) of the UA and middle cerebral artery (36–39 weeks). The 95th/5th centile of the UA PI and CPR was modeled by quantile regression. To evaluate the clinical impact of adjusting Doppler, we retrospectively applied gestational age (GA) and fully adjusted standards to 682 small for gestational age (SGA)-suspected fetuses (37 weeks) from a cohort of consecutive patients obtained between January 2010 and January 2020. <b><i>Results:</i></b> Several physiological characteristics significantly influenced the 95th/5th centile of the UA and CPR PI. The fully adjusted 95th centile of the UA was higher, and the 5th centile of the CPR was lower than GA-only-adjusted standards. Of the 682 SGA fetuses, 150 (22%) were classified as late fetal growth restricted only by GA and 112 (16.4%) when we adjusted Doppler. These 38 fetuses had similar perinatal outcome than the SGA group. <b><i>Discussion:</i></b> The 95th/5th centile of the UA and CPR PI is significantly influenced by physiological characteristics. Adjusting Doppler standards could differentiate better between FGR and SGA.

2021 ◽  
Vol 6 ◽  
pp. 218
Patricia Serpente ◽  
Ying Zhang ◽  
Eva Islimye ◽  
Sarah Hart-Johnson ◽  
Alex P. Gould

Background: Maternal malnutrition can lead to fetal growth restriction. This is often associated with organ sparing and long-lasting physiological dysfunctions during adulthood, although the underlying mechanisms are not yet well understood. Methods: Low protein (LP) dietary models in C57BL/6J mice were used to investigate the proximal effects of maternal malnutrition on fetal organ weights and organ sparing at embryonic day 18.5 (E18.5). Results:  Maternal 8% LP diet induced strikingly different degrees of fetal growth restriction in different animal facilities, but adjustment of dietary protein content allowed similar fetal body masses to be obtained. A maternal LP diet that restricted fetal body mass by 40% did not decrease fetal brain mass to the same extent, reflecting positive growth sparing of this organ. Under these conditions, fetal pancreas and liver mass decreased by 60-70%, indicative of negative organ sparing. A series of dietary swaps between LP and standard diets showed that the liver is capable of efficient catch-up growth from as late as E14.5 whereas, after E10.5, the pancreas is not. Conclusions: This study highlights that the reproducibility of LP fetal growth restriction studies between laboratories can be improved by careful calibration of maternal dietary protein content. LP diets that induce 30-40% restriction of prenatal growth provide a good model for fetal organ sparing. For the liver, recovery of growth following protein restriction is efficient throughout fetal development but, for the pancreas, transient LP exposures spanning the progenitor expansion phase lead to an irreversible fetal growth deficit.

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