In humans, studies that consider the placenta as a mediator of the maternal environment (e.g., biomarkers, exercise) on pregnancy outcomes and in diverse populations are lacking.
One such topic concerns the etiology of autism and autism spectrum disorders, for which the placenta may be involved. Recent research has identified an increased incidence of trophoblast inclusions in the placenta of children that have developed ASD. This lesion also may be associated with, or indicative of altered zinc nutriture, as zinc deficiencies also have been observed in children that develop ASD
Despite the central role of the placenta in fetal development, and despite the splendid work of the HPP, only limited information is available about characteristics of the placenta that are systematically related to health or disease, and especially critically to neurologic outcome, in the newborn child. This major information gap is worse for infants born at or near term,... more »
• Development of trophoblast and decidual organoids
• Induced pluripotent stem cells
• Introduction of single cell and spatial technology to probe placental biology
• Appreciation of the roles of extracellular vesicles and the development of tools to probe their mechanism of action and function
• Advances in "omics" technologies and integration of "omic" data
• Emergence of microfluidic... more »
It is well established that protein expression is different in placental cells of pregnancies that developed placental disorders including severe preeclampsia (PE). This idea exploits the fact that the placenta naturally sheds hundreds of trophoblast cells into the cervical canal... more »
The hypothesis is that a symbiotic relationship exists between the placenta and the fetal brain. A healthy placenta leads to healthy brain development in the fetus. Studies are warranted to find the correlation between the placenta and the fetal brain and the various clinical biomarkers and circulating factors aiding this process and the hypoxia-ischemia pathway
We can gain a lot of understanding about the various impacts of the maternal environment on placenta development and function using mouse models, but mouse models seem excluded by the name Human Placenta Project.