Journal of Undergraduate Research


trophoblast invasion, PKM2, IUGR, mice, second-hand smoke


Life Sciences


Physiology and Developmental Biology


The placenta is an organ composed of highly vascular tissue. It plays an essential role in healthy fetal development as a mediator of gases and nutrients between the mother and fetus. Many complications can occur in this stage of fetal development, such as intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) when the placenta’s invasive and vascular roles are inhibited. IUGR is an obstetric complication that affects over 10% of the population causing harmful symptoms to the fetus and mother. Physiologically, in the first trimester, high trophoblast cell invasion occurs, and the spiral arteries dilate to create a low resistance, high capacity vessel capable of meeting the needs of fetal development. However, in IUGR low trophoblast invasion and spiral artery conversion are observed leading to low nutrient exchange and hypoxic conditions between the mother and fetus.

Included in

Physiology Commons