Researchers have succeeded in developing "mini-placenta" or placental organelles in laboratories that could transform studies of pregnancy, conception, stillbirth, miscarriages, and diseases and disorders of pregnancy.
The results of the study of these organoids are published in the latest issue of the journal. Nature,
These organelles can successfully mimic the placenta in its early stages during the first trimester, the researchers explain. This means that medications or diseases that affect the placenta during this phase and result in miscarriages can be studied. In fact, these tiny placentas are so similar to a real placenta that they can also experience a positive pregnancy test result, which the team explains. Ashley Moffett, a senior team scientist and professor of reproductive immunology at the University of Cambridge, confirmed this statement: “If we put a pregnant organelle stick into the body, it reads“ pregnant. ”
The team explains that studying the placenta in the womb is notoriously difficult to date. A healthy placenta develops and attaches to the walls of the uterus and supplies nutrients and oxygen-containing blood to the growing embryo and fetus. It not only releases hormones and chemicals that allow the fetus to grow, but also releases waste generated by the growing fetus. The placenta also secretes hormones into the maternal bloodstream, which helps to successfully endure the pregnancy. Until now, this phenomenon has not been studied in humans. With the development of organoids, researchers can now examine in detail the function and function of the placenta. Moffett said: "Now we can begin experiments on how the placenta develops in the uterus environment."
The team used cells from the villi of placental tissue. These villi are hair like structures of a normal placenta. These placental cells grown in the laboratory can be organized into multicellular clumps or structures that can act like a real placenta, secreting proteins and hormones. They are between tenth and millimeter in size and can be stored in frozen form only for thawing before use.
Experts in this field welcomed this study and stated that it would provide invaluable insights into common abnormalities of pregnancy, including childbirth, uterine growth restriction (IUGR), and preeclampsia. Fetal infections, such as Zika, and how they affect development and growth can also be studied, they add.
The lead author of the study, Margherita Turco, said in his statement: “The placenta is absolutely necessary to support the baby when it grows up inside the mother. When it is not functioning properly, it can lead to serious problems, from preeclampsia to miscarriage, with immediate and life-long consequences for both the mother and the child. ” The team adds that it will also be invaluable when testing teratogenic drugs or drugs that could harm the unborn baby if it is passed on to the mother. Placental organelles will also be a source of stem cell therapy for an unsuccessful or threatened pregnancy, which the team explains. In short, there are several uses of these organoids in the study of pregnancy.
According to Moffett, “It took 30 years to reach this moment and have mini-placenta, which, as we know, will grow in the laboratory for at least a year.”
Posted in: Medical Research News | Women's Health News