Placental Functions

As described elsewhere in this volume,[1] the placenta acts as the conduit for exchange of nutrients and excreta between mother and fetus, as an endocrine, paracrine and autocrine regulator of many pregnancy-specific physiological functions, and as an immunological ''blindfold'' that serves to protect the conceptus from its maternal host. Despite considerable structural polymorphism among species,[2] the functional similarities of mammalian placentae are much greater than the differences. Emerging evidence suggests that the molecular regulation of placental development is similarly conserved among [3]

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