Early development The organ (placenta) that nourishes the developing embryo does not develop properly in mice that lack the usual gut microbes. (Oct 2023) The maternal microbiome promotes placental development in mice

Michael Harrop

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Study https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.adk1887
Article https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-023-03105-3

Abstract​

The maternal microbiome is an important regulator of gestational health, but how it affects the placenta as the interface between mother and fetus remains unexplored. Here, we show that the maternal gut microbiota supports placental development in mice. Depletion of the maternal gut microbiota restricts placental growth and impairs feto-placental vascularization. The maternal gut microbiota modulates metabolites in the maternal and fetal circulation. Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) stimulate cultured endothelial cell tube formation and prevent abnormalities in placental vascularization in microbiota-deficient mice. Furthermore, in a model of maternal malnutrition, gestational supplementation with SCFAs prevents placental growth restriction and vascular insufficiency. These findings highlight the importance of host-microbial symbioses during pregnancy and reveal that the maternal gut microbiome promotes placental growth and vascularization in mice.

Very interesting! It adds another component to consider regarding "is the placenta sterile" https://humanmicrobiome.info/origins. Even if it is sterile, the gut microbiome has a major impact on its development.
 
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