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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.