British researchers said on Wednesday that they managed to create an artificial placenta at a very early stage, which could serve as an experimental model to help understand why some women experience complications during pregnancy or not to end them. .
When the placenta does not work properly, "this can cause serious problems, such as preeclampsia or spontaneous disorder. (…) But our knowledge of this important organ is very limited because we lack good experimental models." Margherita Turco, lead author of the study published in the scientific journal Nature, the statement said.
In general, medical research first tests the animal's potential and reliability of new treatments for humans. But, "the human placenta is very different from those of other species, so that animal models do not really work," said Ashley Moffett, professor at the Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge at a press conference. works for more than 30 years on placental cell culture.
His research team has isolated and cultivated cells called trophoblasts, which are formed only a few days after fertilization and become bedding and umbilical cord.
Scientists have created what they call "mini placentas," which reproduce in vitro the functioning of actual placenta and secrete hormones and proteins that modify the metabolism of women during pregnancy.
They hope that this "organoid" model will better examine abnormalities in plasma development, which can prevent the embryo from implanting or causing problems in later pregnancy.
Pre-eclampsia is known to have caused poster dysfunction, but according to the World Health Organization, some 47,000 women died in 2015 of this symptom, which is characterized by high blood pressure due to excessive placental presence. protein in urine.
It should also help to see how the drugs taken by the mother affect the placenta and understand why some infections go through this natural barrier (such as the Zika virus), while others are not (such as the dengue fever, but close).
Last year, the same Cambridge team succeeded in complementing the material in culture – the tissue that covers the cloak and implanted placenta during pregnancy.
© 2018 AFP