Older mothers and the ageing placenta

Dr Rebecca Jones, Dr Mark Dilworth, Professor Alexander Heazell, Dr Susan Greenwood, Dr Samantha Lean

Consistent with ageing, the placenta in older mothers does not work as effectively. Researchers supported by Tommy’s are investigating why this happens.

Our previous research has shown that older women often have placentas that aren’t working as well as they should. These changes are related to the ageing process. 

Women who become pregnant when they are over 35 are more at risk of pregnancy complications, such as giving birth to babies that are too small, or stillborn. 

What we don’t currently know is whether these ageing-related changes are due to older eggs, or due to changes to the mother’s blood vessels or metabolism. 

To investigate this, we will be studying pregnancy in older mice. We will be looking at whether the same effects are seen when older mice are impregnated with eggs from younger mice. 

This project aims to close the gaps in our knowledge of the ageing placenta in pregnancy outcomes. 

 

Funding

This study is fully funded by Tommy's and takes place in a Tommy's centre.

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