Document Detail

Human physiological adaptation to pregnancy: inter- and intraspecific perspectives.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12704709     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Reproductive success requires successful maternal physiological adaptation to pregnancy. An interspecific perspective reveals that the human species has modified features of our haplorhine heritage affecting the uteroplacental circulation. We speculate that such modifications - including early implantation and deep, widespread invasion of fetal (trophoblast cells) into and resultant remodeling of maternal uterine vessels - are responses to or compensation for the biomechanical constraints imposed by bipedalism which, in turn, render our species susceptible to the pregnancy complication of preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is characterized by incomplete remodeling of maternal uterine vessels as the result of shallow trophoblast invasion, which in turn reduces uteroplacental blood flow and frequently leads to intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). Using an intraspecific perspective, we consider the fitness-related consequences of variation in uteroplacental blood flow during high-altitude pregnancy. Although birth weights are reduced at high altitudes in Bolivia, multigenerational Andean residents are relatively protected from altitude-associated IUGR. Our preliminary data suggest that Andean women have greater uteroplacental oxygen delivery than European high-altitude residents due to more complete growth and remodeling of maternal uterine vessels. Identification of the physiological and genetic mechanisms involved in such inter- and intraspecific variations in pregnancy physiology will likely be useful for understanding human evolution and contemporary challenges to successful reproduction.
L Christie Rockwell; Enrique Vargas; Lorna G Moore
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  American journal of human biology : the official journal of the Human Biology Council     Volume:  15     ISSN:  1042-0533     ISO Abbreviation:  Am. J. Hum. Biol.     Publication Date:    2003 May-Jun
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-04-21     Completed Date:  2003-07-23     Revised Date:  2007-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8915029     Medline TA:  Am J Hum Biol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  330-41     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Department of Anthropology, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19122, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Adaptation, Physiological*
Birth Weight
Disease Susceptibility
Embryo Implantation
Embryonic and Fetal Development
Fetal Growth Retardation / physiopathology
Placental Circulation
Pre-Eclampsia / physiopathology
Pregnancy / physiology*
Species Specificity
Trophoblasts / physiology
Uterus / blood supply
Grant Support

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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