Stress during pregnancy can affect fetal development

Pregnancy
Pregnancy test. Credit: public domain

Stress hormones in the mother can affect foetal development, according to a study published today in The Journal of Physiology.

To test whether high in pregnant mice had an impact on their offspring, pregnant mice received the natural glucocorticoid corticosterone at different times during pregnancy, either from day 11 to 16 (20 females), from day 14-19 (31 females), or not at all (74 control females).

Researchers found that increased levels of glucocorticoid in caused the mother to eat more but reduced the ability of the to transport glucose to her foetus.

Dr Owen Vaughan, lead author of the study explained: "Together with previous work, the findings show that maternal glucocorticoids regulate foetal nutrition. Higher glucocorticoid hormone levels in the mother (as seen in stressful conditions), can reduce glucose transport across the placenta and lead to a decrease in foetal weight.

"Glucocorticoid levels in may determine the specific combination of nutrients received by the foetus and influence the long-term metabolic health of their children as a result. This could have implications for women stressed during pregnancy or treated clinically with glucocorticoids, if the mechanisms are similar in humans.

"Our research showed that under stress, certain genes in the placenta were modified. One of the genes shown to be altered in the placenta by maternal stress hormones was Redd1. This gene is believed to signal availability of other substances, like oxygen, and to interact with intracellular pathways regulating growth and nutrient uptake in other tissues of the body. Future studies may prove this molecule is important in the placenta, in linking environmental cues to the nutrition of the foetus."


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Journal information: Journal of Physiology

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Jan 25, 2015
"Stress during pregnancy can affect fetal development"
… as does abortion.

Jan 25, 2015
"Stress during pregnancy can affect fetal development"
… as does abortion.


Yes, orti, one might even go so far as to say that in addition to affecting fetal development, it could be said to terminate it, another attribute which it shares with another, quite possibly stress-induced phenomenon, miscarriage --also termed "spontaneous abortion".

Still, one has difficulty seeing the relevance of your comment with regard to the substance of the findings being discussed in the article.

So just what is it, pray tell, that you were trying to communicate by way of your comment?

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