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Study of femoral torsion during prenatal growth: Interpretations associated with the effects of intrauterine pressure.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21541926     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
The developing fetus is protected from external environmental influences by maternal tissues. However, these structures have a limited elasticity, such that the fetus must grow in a confined space, constraining its size at the end of pregnancy. Can these constraints modify the morphology of the fetal skeleton? The intensity of these constraints increases between 5 months and birth, making it the most appropriate period to address this question. A sample of 89 fetal femora was analyzed, and results provide evidence that during this period, the torsion of the femoral shaft (quantified by means of a new three-dimensional method) increases gradually. Two explanations were considered: this increase could signal effects of constraints induced by the intrauterine cavity, developmental patterning, or some combination of these two. Different arguments tend to support the biomechanical explanation, rather than a programming pattern formation. Indeed, the identification of the femur as a first degree lever, created by the hyperflexion of the fetal lower limbs on the pelvis, could explain the increase in femoral shaft torsion during prenatal life. A comparison with femora of infants is in accordance with this mechanical interpretation, which is possible through bone modeling/remodeling. Although genetic and epigenetic mechanisms may regulate timing of fetal development, our data suggest that at birth, the fetal skeleton also has an intrauterine mechanical history through adaptive bone plasticity. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2011. © 2011Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Authors:
Noémie Bonneau; Caroline Simonis; Raphaël Seringe; Christine Tardieu
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2011-5-3
Journal Detail:
Title:  American journal of physical anthropology     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1096-8644     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2011 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-5-4     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0400654     Medline TA:  Am J Phys Anthropol     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Affiliation:
UMR 7179 CNRS-Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, 75005 Paris, France. nbonneau@mnhn.fr.
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