[Cite as http://purl.org/au-research/grants/nhmrc/299008]
Prof Claire Roberts
Brief description During pregnancy, placental cells invade into the uterus and tap into the maternal blood vessels to procure an adequate blood supply for the growth of the placenta and hence the fetus. If this invasion process is impaired early in pregnancy, then the woman may suffer a miscarriage, if the process is impaired in mid-pregnancy then the mother may develop preeclampsia in which her blood pressure goes up and, in severe cases, placing her life and that of her unborn baby at risk. Miscarriage occurs in 10-15% of pregnancies and preecclampsia in 7% of pregnancies. Preecclampsia may be life-threatening in up to 3% of all pregnancies and is a major cause of maternal death in pregnant women in Western countries. This project will examine the effect of treatment of the pregnant guinea pig with insulin-like growth factor-II on placental cell invasion and the capacity of the placenta to deliver nutrients to the fetus. We will also determine whether the effects of this treatment are mediated by a specific membrane receptor on the cell surface of the invading placental cells. We predict that this growth factor will enhance placental cell invasion and improve placental function. If this is the case then our findings may be developed for use in women at risk, to improve placental function and hence maternal and fetal health.
Funding Amount $AUD 487,750.00
Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants
New Investigator Grant