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The placental programming hypothesis: placental endocrine insufficiency and the co-occurrence of low birth weight and maternal mood disorders

Creeth, H. D. J. and John, R. M. 2020. The placental programming hypothesis: placental endocrine insufficiency and the co-occurrence of low birth weight and maternal mood disorders. Placenta 98 , pp. 52-59. 10.1016/j.placenta.2020.03.011
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Abstract

Polypeptide hormones and steroid hormones, either expressed by the placenta or dependant on the placenta for their synthesis, are key to driving adaptations in the mother during pregnancy that support growth in utero. These adaptations include changes in maternal behaviour that take place in pregnancy and after the birth to ensure that offspring receive appropriate care and nutrition. Placentally-derived hormones implicated in the programming of maternal caregiving in rodents include prolactin-related hormones and steroid hormones. Neuromodulators produced by the placenta may act directly on the fetus to support brain development. A number of imprinted genes function antagonistically in the placenta to regulate the development of key placental endocrine lineages expressing these hormones. Gain-in-expression of the normally maternally expressed gene Phlda2 or loss-of-function of the normally paternally expressed gene Peg3 results in fewer endocrine cells in the placenta, and pups are born low birth weight. Importantly, wild type dams carrying these genetically altered pups display alterations in their behaviour with decreased focus on nurturing (Phlda2) or heightened anxiety (Peg3). These same genes may regulate placental hormones in human pregnancies, with the potential to influence birth weight and maternal mood. Consequently, the aberrant expression of imprinted genes in the placenta may underlie the reported co-occurrence of low birth weight with maternal prenatal depression.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0143-4004
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 28 April 2020
Date of Acceptance: 25 March 2020
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2020 17:50
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/131264

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