Has the mechanism by which the endocrine placenta scavenges the mother whilst sparing the foetus been unmasked?


    The endocrine placenta has a dilemma; it shares the foetal circulation and yet it needs to secrete active peptide hormones into the maternal circulation to control her metabolism to meet the demands of the growing foetus. Simultaneously, it needs to allow the endocrine systems of the foetus to develop independently. This Article will describe how peptide hormones are processed from inactive intermediates and will propose a hypothesis of how the placenta has revised this process to protect the foetus from the potentially damaging affects of these products.

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