Placenta changes might mean male offspring of older mums more prone to develop heart issues in later life, rat study finds.
Changes happen within the placenta in older pregnant mothers resulting in a higher probability of poor health of their male offspring; a study in rats has shown. Each female and male fetuses don’t develop as large in older mothers; however, there are sex-specific differences in changes to placental development and function. These are more likely to play a central role within the increased probability of later-life heart problems and high blood pressure in males.
In humans, women over 35 are considered to be of advanced maternal age. The research, published in Scientific Reports, looked at pregnant rats of comparable age. In aged mothers, the placenta of female fetuses confirmed beneficial modifications in structure and function that might maximize the help of fetal growth. In some situations, the placenta even supported the female fetus better than the placenta of a younger mother.
Within the case of male fetuses; nonetheless, the placenta confirmed modifications that may restrict fetal growth within the aged, pregnant rats.
An earlier study carried out by the collaborators confirmed that offspring from mothers who enter pregnancy at an older age have poor heart function and high blood pressure as young adults, and particularly so if they’re male.
Though additional research in humans are required, the outcomes recommend the importance of considering the sex of the fetus when giving advice to older pregnant women. The researchers additionally hope to build on these results and discover methods of improving the function of the placenta to optimize the growth of the fetus.