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Inflammation is a process by which tissues respond to various insults. It is characterized by upregulation of chemokines, cytokines, and pattern recognition receptors that sense microbes and tissue breakdown products. During pregnancy, the balance of Th1 (cell-mediated immunity) and Th2 (humoral immunity) cytokines is characterized by an initial prevalence(More)
The placenta synthesizes insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) and their binding proteins (IGFBPs), which are believed to regulate its growth and development in an autocrine/paracrine manner. To delineate the cellular sites of expression of IGP and IGFBP messenger ribonucleic acids (mRNAs) in human placenta throughout pregnancy, we used in situ hybridization(More)
Extensive extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling is found in many processes during human parturition at term and preterm. These include cervical ripening, fetal membrane rupture, and placental detachment from the maternal uterus. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are the main mediators of ECM degradation. The present study was designed to investigate the(More)
A general characteristic of fetal endocrine maturation across different species is the enhanced activity of the fetal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis during late gestation. Precocious activation of this axis may occur when the fetus is exposed to an adverse intra-uterine environment, such as hypoxemia. HPA development is associated with increased(More)
Preterm birth associated with infection is a major clinical problem. We hypothesized that this condition is associated with altered expression of natural antimicrobial molecules (beta-defensins (HBD), elafin). Therefore, we examined expression of these molecules and their regulation by proinflammatory cytokines in placentae and fetal membranes from term(More)
Nuclear receptors regulate gene activation or repression through dynamic interactions with coregulators. The interactions between nuclear receptors and RNA splicing factors link gene transcription initiation with pre-mRNA splicing, providing a coordinated control of the products of gene transcription. Here we report that two RNA splicing factors,(More)
Maternal food restriction is associated with the development of obesity in offspring. This study examined how maternal undernutrition in sheep affects the fetal hypothalamic glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and the appetite-regulating neuropeptides, proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and neuropeptide Y, which it regulates. In fetuses from ewes undernourished from -60(More)
We investigated the effects of moderate maternal periconceptional undernutrition from 60 d before to 30 d after mating on fetal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function in late gestation. Ewes were sampled regularly during the period of undernutrition for circulating hormone levels. Vascular catheters were inserted into ewes and their singleton fetuses(More)