Transfer of hydrophilic molecules by placenta and yolk sac of the guinea pig

K. L. Thornburg, J. J. Faber

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53 Scopus citations


Prenatal transfer of hydrophilic materials was studied in chronic guinea pig preparations of ca. 30-65 days gestation. In most preparations the vitelline (yolk sac placenta) circulation of one of the fetuses was ligated between 1 and 20 days before the experiment. Fetal and maternal serum protein concentrations were recorded as a function of the number of days after ligation. Prenatal transfer of hyrophilic materials of 60-5,500 daltons molecular wt was consistent with diffusion, with some evidence of steric restriction of the larger molecules. There was no difference between operated and sham-operated or control fetuses. However, the transfer of radiolabeled homologous gamma globulin ceased after ligation of the yolk sac vessels. The transfer in control fetuses accounted for most of the prenatal requirements of this protein, as calculated from the increases in fetal weight and serum gamma globulin concentrations as a function of gestational age. There was evidence of a nonspecific suppression of yolk sac function by surgery but no evidence of fetal catabolism of gamma globulin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-124
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1977
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


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