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Pregnancy Timeline by SemestersFemale Reproductive SystemFertilizationThe Appearance of SomitesFirst TrimesterSecond TrimesterThird TrimesterFetal liver is producing blood cellsHead may position into pelvisBrain convolutions beginFull TermWhite fat begins to be madeWhite fat begins to be madeHead may position into pelvisImmune system beginningImmune system beginningPeriod of rapid brain growthBrain convolutions beginLungs begin to produce surfactantSensory brain waves begin to activateSensory brain waves begin to activateInner Ear Bones HardenBone marrow starts making blood cellsBone marrow starts making blood cellsBrown fat surrounds lymphatic systemFetal sexual organs visibleFinger and toe prints appearFinger and toe prints appearHeartbeat can be detectedHeartbeat can be detectedBasic Brain Structure in PlaceThe Appearance of SomitesFirst Detectable Brain WavesA Four Chambered HeartBeginning Cerebral HemispheresEnd of Embryonic PeriodEnd of Embryonic PeriodFirst Thin Layer of Skin AppearsThird TrimesterDevelopmental Timeline
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Home--History--Bibliography- -Pregnancy Timeline- Prescription Drugs/Pregnancy- Pregnancy Calculator - Reproductive System- -News Alerts

February 21, 2012--------News Archive Return to: News Alerts

Carnegie Stage11 in Human Development
A primitive S-shaped tubal heart is beating and peristalsis,
the rhythmic muscle contractions propelling fluids
throughout the body, begins.
However, this is not true circulation because
blood vesel development is still incomplete.

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Deadly Carbon Monoxide Prevents Miscarriage

Heme oxygenase-1 is essential for the growth of blood vessels in the placenta and in establishing blood flow in the umbilical cord. Too little HO-1 can lead to a restriction in the growth of the fetus and even in fetal death and miscarriage

New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Medical Gas Research has shown that low dose carbon monoxide therapy is able to restore placental function and prevent fetal death in mice, without any detrimental effects.

Intrauterine growth restriction due to problems in placental function and blood flow can result in a 'small for gestational age' baby, miscarriage or perinatal death.

Both miscarriage and pre-eclampsia are associated with low levels of HO-1 in the placenta, however research suggests that carbon monoxide can mimic the effects of HO-1. Researchers from the Otto-von-Guericke University, Germany tested carbon monoxide therapy on intrauterine growth restriction in mice. They found that an extended course of low dose (50ppm) carbon monoxide was able to reduce fetal loss from 30% to zero – all the babies survived.

Prof Ana Claudia Zenclussen, who led the research explained, "At the levels used to prevent fetal death we found that inhaled low dose carbon monoxide was anti-inflammatory. It reduced the amount of cell death (apoptosis), and increased levels of the anti-apoptotic molecule BAG-1, in the placenta and additionally increased the level of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which is associated with angiogenesis and blood vessel repair."

Intrauterine growth restriction is a serious complication of pregnancy. Surviving babies have a lifelong increased risk of hypertension, cardiovascular disease and renal disease. In the face of these fears carbon monoxide therapy may provide a lifeline to mothers at risk.

However there is a cautionary note - higher doses of carbon monoxide were able to improve placental function but were damaging to the fetus, shorter treatment at low dose was not enough to prevent fetal death.

Prof Zenclussen warned, "It is very important, given the inherent dangers in using carbon monoxide, that the dose and length of treatment are tightly controlled."

Exploring the potential of low doses carbon monoxide as therapy in pregnancy complications. Tarek El-Mousleh, Pablo A Casalis, Ivonne Wollenberg, Maria L Zenclussen, Hans D Volk, Stefanie Langwisch, Federico Jensen and Ana C Zenclussen Medical Gas Research (in press)

Medical Gas Research is an open-access journal which publishes basic, translational, and clinical research focusing on the neurobiology as well as multidisciplinary aspects of medical gas research and their applications to related disorders.

BioMed Central (http://www.biomedcentral.com/) is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector.

Original article: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-02/bc-dcm021712.php