Remodelling at the maternal-fetal interface: relevance to human pregnancy disorders

Judith E Cartwright, Rupsha Fraser, Karin Leslie, Alison E Wallace, Joanna L James

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


In human pregnancy, successful placentation and remodelling of the uterine vasculature require the integration of a number of stages, which are crucial for a healthy pregnancy. As the demands of the developing fetus for nutrients and oxygen increase, the capacity of the maternal blood vessels to supply this must be altered radically, with deficiencies in this process implicated in a number of dangerous pregnancy complications. The complex signalling networks that regulate these tightly co-ordinated events are becoming clearer as more studies of early pregnancy are performed. It is the aim of this review to draw together our knowledge of events that occur to facilitate a successful pregnancy ranging from the preparation for implantation, through the invasion and differentiation of the trophoblast and the regulation of these processes by other cells within the decidual environment, to the active role that the trophoblast and maternal immune cells play in facilitating the remodelling of the uterine spiral arteries. The events involved in a healthy pregnancy will then be compared to aberrant placentation and remodelling, which are characteristics of many pregnancy disorders, and recent advances in detection of abnormal placental development will also be discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)803-13
Number of pages11
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


  • Cell Adhesion/physiology
  • Cell Differentiation/physiology
  • Embryo Implantation/physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange/physiology
  • Models, Biological
  • Placenta/blood supply
  • Placental Circulation/physiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications/etiology
  • Trophoblasts/physiology


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