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Korean Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology 2006;49(10):2055-2065.
Published online October 1, 2006.
What is fetal programming?: A lifetime health is under the control of in-utero health.
Young Ju Kim
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Medicine, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea. kkyj@ewha.ac.kr
Abstract
The "Barker hypothesis" postulates that a number of organ structures and associated functions undergo programming during embryonic and fetal life, which determines the set pont of physiological and metabolic responses that carry into adulthood. Hence, stimulus or insult at a critical period of embryonic and fetal development, can result in developmental adaptations that produce permanent structural physiological, and metabolic changes, thereby predisposing an individual to cardiovascular, metabolic and endocrine disease in adult life. This article will provide an evidence linking these disease to fetal undernutrition and an overview of previous studies in this area, the current advances in understanding the mechanism and the role of the placenta in fetal programming.
Key Words: Fetal programming, Thrifty phenotype hypothesis, Placenta, Fetal origin of adult disease, Barker hypothesis


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