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Placental Toxicology and Pathology

placentaCadmium can be a placental toxin in rodents by producing fetal death and placental necrosis. Using an in vitro dually perfused human placenta model, cadmium also produced necrosis. Pharmacokinetic studies in both rodent and human studies demonstrated the role of the placenta as a site for control of passage and intoxication. The response of the cell to cadmium toxicity may be regulated by metallothionein and calmodulin. Different isoforms of metallothionein are being identified via cDNA isolation and in situ hybridization for determination of metallothionein distribution and indelibility in placentae from women exposed during pregnancy to environmental metals (gadolinium, cadmium, arsenic, lead and mercury). Currently gene environment interactions during development are being pursued in an animal model of diabetes mellitus.

Placental Pathology and the relationship to in utero development and adult disease is being evaluated. Focus is on specific evaluations of shape, size and vascular structure of the placenta and an understanding of the underlying pathology. These investigations are being pursued as part of an NIH National Children's Study Formative Research Study.

Project Collaborators:

  • Dr. Gideon Koren
    Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ca
  • Dr. Philip Landrigan
    Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai, New York City, NY
  • Dr. An Li
    University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
  • Dr. Asher Ornoy
    Hadassah Medical School, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel
  • Dr. Carolyn Salafia
    Placenta Analytics, Inc.
  • Dr. Eric Schadt
    Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai, New York City, NY
  • Dr. Cheryl Walker
    University of California at Davis, Davis, CA

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