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Numerous studies confirm
the necessity of placental angiogenesis and functional fetal and placental
vascular beds not only for fetal growth but for sustained placental growth in
pregnancies complicated by IUGR have significant impairment in vascular
developmental system. We are assessing quantitatively
and qualitatively uteroplacental vasculature and placental blood flow through a
novel uteroplacental microvasculature imaging, illustrating the impact of IUGR
and treatment on placental blood flow, microvasculature and barrier morphology.
This novel method of placental vasculature visualization allows in-depth
analysis of the fetal and maternal vascular compartments. In this project we
will be able to assess placental vascular development in normal and abnormal
pregnancies as preeclampsia, IUGR and preterm delivery.
Little is known about
placenta IGF system role in fetal and placental development. We demonstrated
gene transfer of IGF-1 restores birthweight in several IUGR animal models and
prevent development of adult disease later in life as hypertension and
diabetes. The current projects are expected to
yield insights into programming of placental and fetal growth by placental
insufficiency and IGF-1 treatment and assess a beneficial long term effect
following an innovative in utero preventive therapy. The results are expected
to have an important positive impact on the development of gene therapy
strategies in the placenta and provide groundwork for developing a range of
placenta-based therapeutic interventions for pregnancy pathologies.
epidemiological and clinical studies have shown a strong association between
IUGR and the subsequent development of adult disease. The long-term
effects can have significant health and economic impacts. Little is known about
phenotyping as well as mechanisms linking fetal growth restriction and adult
onset disease. The current projects are expected to
yield insights into mechanisms of fetal programming and links to adult diseases
such as diabetes and hypertension. Further, we are investigating the potential
pathways following an innovative in utero preventive therapy of IGF-1. The
results are expected to have an important positive impact on the development of
gene therapy strategies in the placenta and provide groundwork for developing a
range of placenta-based therapeutic interventions for pregnancy pathologies.
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