Publication Title: 
South African Medical Journal = Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif Vir Geneeskunde

Of all the theories purporting to uncover the roots of childhood behaviour and its extension into adult behaviour, the most cogent relates to the physical and psychological bonds of attachment between infant and mother. It is helpful to divide the human lifespan into three periods, each of which has alternating phases of attachment and detachment.

Levin, S.
Publication Title: 
Aging Cell

Fetal cardiomyocytes have been proposed as a potential source of cell-based therapy for heart failure. This study examined cellular senescence in cultured human fetal ventricular cardiomyocytes (HFCs). HFCs were isolated and identified by immunocytochemistry and RT-PCR. Cells were found to senesce after 20-25 population doublings, as determined by growth arrest, morphological changes and senescence-associated beta-galactosidase activity. Using the telomeric repeat amplification protocol assay, telomerase activity was undetectable in primary HFCs.

Ball, Andrew J.
Levine, Fred
Publication Title: 
Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.)

Intrauterine gene therapy (IUGT) potentially enables the treatment and possible cure of monogenic -diseases that cause severe fetal damage. The main benefits of this approach will be the ability to correct the disorder before the onset of irreversible pathology and inducing central immune tolerance to the vector and transgene if treatment is instituted in early gestation.

Mattar, Citra N.
Biswas, Arijit
Choolani, Mahesh
Chan, Jerry K. Y.
Publication Title: 
Journal of Neurochemistry

Glutamatergic signaling is regulated, in part, through differential expression of NMDA and AMPA/KA channel subunits and G protein-coupled metabotropic receptors. In human brain, region-specific expression patterns of glutamate receptor genes are maintained over the course of decades, suggesting a role for molecular mechanisms involved in long-term regulation of transcription, including methylation of lysine residues at histone N-terminal tails.

Stadler, Florian
Kolb, Gabriele
Rubusch, Lothar
Baker, Stephen P.
Jones, Edward G.
Akbarian, Schahram
Publication Title: 
Seminars in Fetal & Neonatal Medicine

Epidemiological evidence links exposure to stress hormones during fetal or early postnatal development with lifetime prevalence of cardiac, metabolic, auto-immune, neurological and psychiatric disorders. This has led to the concept of 'developmental programming through stress'. Importantly, these effects (specifically, hypertension, hyperglycaemia and neurodevelopmental and behavioural abnormalities) can be reproduced by exposure to high glucocorticoid levels, indicating a crucial role of glucocorticoids in their causation.

Mesquita, Ana Raquel
Wegerich, Yvonne
Patchev, Alexandre V.
Oliveira, Mario
Le„o, Pedro
Sousa, Nuno
Almeida, Osborne F. X.
Publication Title: 
Biological Psychiatry

BACKGROUND: Prenatal cannabis exposure has been linked to addiction vulnerability, but the neurobiology underlying this risk is unknown. METHODS: Striatal dopamine and opioid-related genes were studied in human fetal subjects exposed to cannabis (as well as cigarettes and alcohol). Cannabis-related gene disturbances observed in the human fetus were subsequently characterized with an animal model of prenatal ?-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (.15 mg/kg) exposure.

DiNieri, Jennifer A.
Wang, Xinyu
Szutorisz, Henrietta
Spano, Sabrina M.
Kaur, Jasbir
Casaccia, Patrizia
Dow-Edwards, Diana
Hurd, Yasmin L.
Publication Title: 
The European Journal of Neuroscience

Prenatal development is highly sensitive to maternal drug use due to the vulnerability for disruption of the fetal brain with its ongoing neurodevelopment, resulting in lifelong consequences that can enhance risk for psychiatric disorders. Cannabis and cigarettes are the most commonly used illicit and licit substances, respectively, among pregnant women.

Morris, Claudia V.
DiNieri, Jennifer A.
Szutorisz, Henrietta
Hurd, Yasmin L.
Publication Title: 
Progress in Neurobiology

Growing evidence of epidemiological, clinical and experimental studies has clearly shown a close link between adverse in utero environment and the increased risk of neurological, psychological and psychiatric disorders in later life.

Li, Yong
Gonzalez, Pablo
Zhang, Lubo
Publication Title: 
PloS One

Changes in epigenetic programming of embryonic growth genes during pregnancy seem to affect fetal growth. Therefore, in a population-based prospective birth cohort in the Netherlands, we examined associations between fetal and infant growth and DNA methylation of IGF2DMR, H19 and MTHFR. For this study, we selected 69 case children born small-for-gestational age (SGA, birth weight <-2SDS) and 471 control children. Fetal growth was assessed with serial ultrasound measurements. Information on birth outcomes was retrieved from medical records.

Bouwland-Both, Marieke I.
van Mil, Nina H.
Stolk, Lisette
Eilers, Paul H. C.
Verbiest, Michael M. P. J.
Heijmans, Bastiaan T.
Tiemeier, Henning
Hofman, Albert
Steegers, Eric A. P.
Jaddoe, Vincent W. V.
Steegers-Theunissen, Régine P. M.
Publication Title: 
Molecular Psychiatry

Autism affects males more than females, giving rise to the idea that the influence of steroid hormones on early fetal brain development may be one important early biological risk factor.

Baron-Cohen, S.
Auyeung, B.
N¯rgaard-Pedersen, B.
Hougaard, D. M.
Abdallah, M. W.
Melgaard, L.
Cohen, A. S.
Chakrabarti, B.
Ruta, L.
Lombardo, M. V.


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