Alison J Forhead

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Intrauterine programming is the process by which the structure and function of tissues are altered permanently by insults acting during early development. In mammals, the placenta controls intrauterine development by supplying oxygen and nutrients, and by regulating the bioavailability of specific hormones involved in foetal growth and development.(More)
In mammals, survival both before and after birth depends on a number of key physiological processes such as the provision of 02, a supply of oxidative substrates and a means of removing the waste products of metabolism. In adults these processes are carried out by a number of different tissues, whereas in the fetus they are carried out primarily by the(More)
The intrauterine conditions in which the mammalian fetus develops have an important role in regulating the function of its physiological systems later in life. Changes in the intrauterine availability of nutrients, oxygen, and hormones program tissue development and lead to abnormalities in adult cardiovascular and metabolic function in several species. The(More)
Many animal studies and human epidemiological findings have shown that impaired growth in utero is associated with physiological abnormalities in later life and have linked this to tissue programming during suboptimal intrauterine conditions at critical periods of development. However, few of these studies have considered the contribution of the placenta to(More)
In humans, low birth weight is associated with an increased risk of metabolic dysfunction in adult life. Many of these metabolic disorders have an endocrine origin and are accompanied by abnormal hormone concentrations. This has led to the hypothesis that adult metabolic disease arises in utero as a result of programming of key endocrine systems during(More)
The gross morphological appearance of ovine placentomes is known to alter in response to adverse intrauterine conditions that increase fetal cortisol exposure. The direct effects of fetal cortisol on the placentome morphology, however, remain unknown, nor is the functional significance of the different placentome types clear. The present study investigated(More)
The thyroid hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), are essential for normal growth and development of the fetus. Their bioavailability in utero depends on development of the fetal hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid gland axis and the abundance of thyroid hormone transporters and deiodinases that influence tissue levels of bioactive hormone. Fetal(More)
In mammals, including man, epidemiological and experimental studies have shown that a range of environmental factors acting during critical periods of early development can alter adult phenotype. Hormones have an important role in these epigenetic modifications and can signal the type, severity and duration of the environmental cue to the developing(More)
Fetal glucocorticoids have an important role in the pre-partum maturation of physiological systems essential for neonatal survival such as glucogenesis. Consequently, in clinical practice, synthetic glucocorticoids, like dexamethasone, are given routinely to pregnant women threatened with pre-term delivery to improve the viability of their infants. However,(More)