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Journal of Animal Science Abstract - 2011 and 2012 Early Careers Achievement Awards

2011 AND 2012 EARLY CAREERS ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS: Placental programming: How the maternal environment can impact placental function12


This article in JAS

  1. Vol. 91 No. 6, p. 2467-2480
    Received: Oct 02, 2012
    Accepted: Dec 27, 2012
    Published: November 25, 2014

    3 Corresponding author(s):

  1. K. A. Vonnahme 3,
  2. C. O. Lemley,
  3. P. Shukla and
  4. S. T. O’Rourke
  1. Department of Animal Sciences
    Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State 39762
    Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo 58108


Proper establishment of the placenta is important for fetal survival; however, placental adaptations to inadequate maternal nutrition or other stressors are imperative for fetal growth to be optimal. The effects of maternal nutritional status and activity level on placental vascular function and uteroplacental blood flows are important to understand as improper placental function leads to reduced growth of the fetus. In environments where fetal growth can be compromised, potential therapeutics may augment placental function and delivery of nutrients to improve offspring performance during postnatal life. Factors that could enhance placental function include supplementation of specific nutrients, such as protein, hormone supplements, such as indolamines, and increased activity levels of the dam. To understand the mechanism of how the maternal environment can impact uterine or umbilical blood flows, assessment of placental vascular reactivity has been studied in several large animal models. As we begin to understand how the maternal environment impacts uterine and umbilical blood flows and other uteroplacental hemodynamic parameters, development of management methods and therapeutics for proper fetal growth can be achieved.

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