Animal Models to Study Placental Development and Function throughout Normal and Dysfunctional Human Pregnancy

Peta L. Grigsby

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    119 Scopus citations


    Abnormalities of placental development and function are known to underlie many pathologies of pregnancy, including spontaneous preterm birth, fetal growth restriction, and preeclampsia. A growing body of evidence also underscores the importance of placental dysfunction in the lifelong health of both mother and offspring. However, our knowledge regarding placental structure and function throughout pregnancy remains limited. Understanding the temporal growth and functionality of the human placenta throughout the entirety of gestation is important if we are to gain a better understanding of placental dysfunction. The utilization of new technologies and imaging techniques that could enable safe monitoring of placental growth and function in vivo has become a major focus area for the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development, as evident by the establishment of the "Human Placenta Project." Many of the objectives of the Human Placenta Project will necessitate preclinical studies and testing in appropriately designed animal models that can be readily translated to the clinical setting. This review will describe the advantages and limitations of relevant animals such as the guinea pig, sheep, and nonhuman primate models that have been used to study the role of the placenta in fetal growth disorders, preeclampsia, or other maternal diseases during pregnancy.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)11-16
    Number of pages6
    JournalSeminars in Reproductive Medicine
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Jan 11 2016


    • Human Placenta Project
    • IUGR
    • animal models
    • placental development and function
    • preeclampsia

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
    • Reproductive Medicine
    • Endocrinology
    • Obstetrics and Gynecology
    • Physiology (medical)


    Dive into the research topics of 'Animal Models to Study Placental Development and Function throughout Normal and Dysfunctional Human Pregnancy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this