Maternal Health and Fetal Interactions

Far from being a passive organ, the placenta plays a critical role in orchestrating the sequence and intensity of a series of complex maternal–fetal interactions. In essence, the placenta is of dual origin, comprised of both fetally- and maternally derived cells. The decidua, often referred to as the maternal compartment, forms the most superficial layer surrounding the placenta and is densely packed with maternal immune cells. Below this, a layer of fetally derived trophoblast cells secretes hormones and endocrine factors that support both fetal and maternal health. Lastly, maternal blood, descending from decidual spiral arteries, and fetal blood, rising through the umbilical arteries, converges in the villous spaces of what is known as the labyrinth layer, in mice, or the chorionic villi, in humans.

During placentation, a territorial boundary is defined between 2 individuals, the mother and her fetus, and this boundary needs to be in the right place.

 

  • Gestational Diabetes Mellitus
  • Placenta Health
  • Maternal-Fetal interaction

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