The prenatal development of the fetus and the placenta is closely linked to the development of em-bryonic pluripotent and organ-specific, so-called adult stem cells. Recent studies have shown that adult stem cells from different tissues can transdifferentiate into stem cells of other tissues under specific conditions, and therefore have a higher potential for tissue regeneration than previously thought. Mesenchymal stem cells from fetal blood and extrafetal gestational tissue seem to have a particularily high cellular plasticity. The prenatal development of these stem cells and their plasticity is being studied on a functional, morphological and molecular level. The potential of the cells for regeneration of different genetic and perinatal organ damage in the fetus and newborn is studied in animal models and cell culture models. A further project is the study of transplacental transfer of drugs, infection markers, infectious agents or antibodies, and the molecular mechanisms of placen-tal disease using the in-vitro placental perfusion model.
Article from Forum Gynécologie Suisse 1/11: