Is fetal growth restriction caused by failure of the placenta to adapt to nutrient demand?

In this study we will compare placentas from normal and Fetal Growth Restricted-affected pregnancies to identify what the important signals might be.

Investigators: Dr Christina Hayward, Kirsty McIntyre, Dr Susan Greenwood, Dr Paul Brownbill, Dr Richard Unwin, Professor Colin Sibley, Dr Mark Dilworth.

Summary: If the placenta fails to function as normal, fetal growth restriction (FGR) may occur, in which the baby doesn’t grow as expected. In normal pregnancy, the baby is able to signal to that it needs more nutrients via the placenta. However, there is evidence that this signalling fails in FGR. In this study we will compare placentas from normal and FGR-affected pregnancies to identify what these important signals might be. This includes using cutting-edge technologies to identify key markers within umbilical artery blood (which flows from the baby to the placenta) and the baby’s side of the placenta (where these signals would act). We can then test these signals in placentas after delivery of the baby (in a system that mirrors pregnancy) to determine whether they alter placental transfer of nutrients in a way that would be beneficial for the baby. Ultimately we hope to be able to exploit such signals to improve the baby’s growth in at-risk pregnancies. [M603]

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    Our research centre in St Mary's Hospital, Manchester

    Tommy’s research centre in Manchester is based at St Mary’s Hospital. It was opened in 2001 and now houses 88 clinicians and scientists, researching the causes of stillbirth and finding treatments to prevent it.

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