Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Discover Key Factor In Regulating Placenta And Fetal Growth

Date:
September 21, 2009
Source:
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Summary:
Scientists have shown that a common biological protein molecule called SHP-2 is crucial for encouraging placenta growth.

A common biological molecule is central to placental growth and could hold the key to mitigating growth restriction of babies in the womb.

Related Articles


Scientists funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) have shown that a common biological protein molecule called SHP-2 is crucial for encouraging placenta growth. The research is published in Endocrinology.

Dr Melissa Westwood, one of the team at the University of Manchester said: "For fetuses to grow well in the womb they need to get nutrients and oxygen from their mother. These come via the placenta and so as the fetus grows and its demand on mum increases, the placenta also must increase in size. If the placenta doesn't grow properly, the fetus is unable to receive all it needs from the mother and its growth is restricted. This can impact seriously on the health of the newborn. Furthermore we have learned recently that it dramatically increases the risk of ill health in adult life."

The researchers have investigated a group of proteins called the insulin-like growth factors (IGF). They have discovered that SHP-2, a molecule within placental cells, is a crucial mediator of the effects of IGFs in stimulating the placenta to grow.

Dr Westwood continued: "We know that placentas need an array of factors to support their growth, but until now we didn't realise that SHP-2 was so important for ensuring that these factors do their job.

"Research from our lab and others around the world suggests that the placentas of growth-restricted babies might not grow because they are resistant to the effects of growth factors. We know that in many tissues in the body, SHP-2 is involved with the action of other growth factors - not just IGF. Targeting the mediators of growth factor actions rather than the growth factors themselves may be a good way to intervene in cases of growth restriction - a bit like sending a positive email to all your friends at the same time.

"However, any therapy based on this finding would have to be designed carefully. Most tissues of the body have SHP-2 doing one or more important jobs and so we would need to restrict therapy just to the placenta. This is possible but certainly challenging."

Professor Janet Allen, Director of Research, BBSRC said: "This is a great example where understanding healthy growth and development can lead quickly to a better understanding of what goes on when things go wrong. This sort of fundamental research can underpin really important social and economic benefits in the future."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. "Scientists Discover Key Factor In Regulating Placenta And Fetal Growth." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090920204447.htm>.
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. (2009, September 21). Scientists Discover Key Factor In Regulating Placenta And Fetal Growth. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090920204447.htm
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. "Scientists Discover Key Factor In Regulating Placenta And Fetal Growth." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090920204447.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — One man hopes his invention -– a machine that produces cheap sanitary pads –- will help empower Indian women. Duration: 01:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins