Programing by fetal sex

PI Silvija Tokic

Fetal sex influences in utero development in both uncomplicated pregnancies and pregnancies with sub-optimal outcomes. Furthermore, susceptibility to adult complex diseases i.e. cardiovascular diseases originates in utero, commonly secondary to the effects of placental dysfunction - the concept known as fetal programing.

Placenta is a fetal organ and as such carries the same sex as the fetus. As a project leader of the OeNB Anniversary Fond projects Fetal sex regulates endothelial function I aim to identify the influence of fetal sex on distinct endothelial functions of the feto-placental endothelial cells isolated after healthy pregnancies and pregnancies complicated by gestational diabetes. To investigate if vascular bed and differentiation stage of the cell associates with sex specific functions donor-matched feto-placental endothelial cells from arteries (AEC, fully differentiated phenotype) and veins (VEC, juvenile phenotype) will be analyzed. If the influence of fetal sex is mediated by sex specific epigenetic regulation, will be investigated by DNA methylation analysis.