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uring pregnancy women are continuously exposed to a wide variety
of substances either produced in response to pregnancy or following
exposure to foreign substances such as maternal medications, those
of life style factors like smoking, drug abuse, alcohol consumption or
those of occupational and environmental sources.
The human placenta as the link between mother and fetus connects
and separates two genetically different individuals providing a unique
protection of pregnancy. In addition, the placenta acts as a barrier
regulating transport of nutrients and oxygen from the mother to the
fetus. Placental responses to maternal medications, foreign substances
or toxic conditions such as hypoxia, ischemia, and infection could
substantially influence the placental function.
Investigating the effect of maternal medications and other foreign
substances on placental function is considered an important step
towards understanding and predicting essential aspects of drug action
on the development of pregnancy.
In this study an ex vivo perfusion model with human placental tissues
was used to investigate the transfer of pregnancy medications (IVIG
and Methadone) and abuse drugs (cocaine and heroin) in the maternal
to fetal direction and their effect on placental tissue functions.
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