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Although blood cells are not exchanged, the chorionic villi provide ample surface area for the two-way exchange of substances between maternal and fetal blood. The rate of exchange increases throughout gestation as the villi become thinner and increasingly branched. The placenta is permeable to lipid-soluble fetotoxic substances: alcohol, nicotine, barbiturates, antibiotics, certain pathogens, and many other substances that can be dangerous or fatal to the developing embryo or fetus. For these reasons, pregnant women should avoid fetotoxic substances. Alcohol consumption by pregnant women, for example, can result in a range of abnormalities referred to as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). These include organ and facial malformations, as well as cognitive and behavioral disorders.

Functions of the Placenta
Nutrition and digestion Respiration Endocrine function
  • Mediates diffusion of maternal glucose, amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals
  • Stores nutrients during early pregnancy to accommodate increased fetal demand later in pregnancy
  • Excretes and filters fetal nitrogenous wastes into maternal blood
  • Mediates maternal-to-fetal oxygen transport and fetal-to-maternal carbon dioxide transport
  • Secretes several hormones, including hCG, estrogens, and progesterone, to maintain the pregnancy and stimulate maternal and fetal development
  • Mediates the transmission of maternal hormones into fetal blood and vice versa

Placenta

This is a photo of a placenta and umbilical cord post-expulsion.
This post-expulsion placenta and umbilical cord (white) are viewed from the fetal side.

Organogenesis

Following gastrulation, rudiments of the central nervous system develop from the ectoderm in the process of neurulation    ( [link] ). Specialized neuroectodermal tissues along the length of the embryo thicken into the neural plate    . During the fourth week, tissues on either side of the plate fold upward into a neural fold    . The two folds converge to form the neural tube    . The tube lies atop a rod-shaped, mesoderm-derived notochord    , which eventually becomes the nucleus pulposus of intervertebral discs. Block-like structures called somites    form on either side of the tube, eventually differentiating into the axial skeleton, skeletal muscle, and dermis. During the fourth and fifth weeks, the anterior neural tube dilates and subdivides to form vesicles that will become the brain structures.

Folate, one of the B vitamins, is important to the healthy development of the neural tube. A deficiency of maternal folate in the first weeks of pregnancy can result in neural tube defects, including spina bifida—a birth defect in which spinal tissue protrudes through the newborn’s vertebral column, which has failed to completely close. A more severe neural tube defect is anencephaly, a partial or complete absence of brain tissue.

Neurulation

This multi-part image shows the formation of the neural tube and the notochord. The top panel shows the ectoderm and mesoderm. The second panel shows the neural plate starting to fold over and the third panel shows the closed neural plate forming the neural tube. The fourth panel shows the mesoderm-derived notochord under the neural tube.
The embryonic process of neurulation establishes the rudiments of the future central nervous system and skeleton.

The embryo, which begins as a flat sheet of cells, begins to acquire a cylindrical shape through the process of embryonic folding    ( [link] ). The embryo folds laterally and again at either end, forming a C-shape with distinct head and tail ends. The embryo envelops a portion of the yolk sac, which protrudes with the umbilical cord from what will become the abdomen. The folding essentially creates a tube, called the primitive gut, that is lined by the endoderm. The amniotic sac, which was sitting on top of the flat embryo, envelops the embryo as it folds.

Questions & Answers

what is action potential
IBRAHIM Reply
how many classes of drugs do we have?
Jesse Reply
I'm not sure lol
Leti
we have 7classes,e.g stimulant, Cannabis etc
Orpha
scheduled 5...classes stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, dissociatives, opioids, inhalants and cannabis.
jessica
site of fracture in the kneel
holuwahseun Reply
what is pelvis
Aisha Reply
Complex of bones that connect the trunk and the legs,supports and balance the trunk.
Orpha
What is d most heaviest organ in d body
Abraham Reply
Liver
Akasi
The skin
Akasi
skin
Divya
why skin?
Sam
liver
Anne
water
Mehdi
Heart
Biplob
the brain
lehumo
skin
Emma
skin
jessica
largest internal organ is the liver
jessica
liver is the heaviest organ
Eyyammeh
the liver is the heaviest organs
Khh
What is the meaning? What does it entails to? What are the works of Arthropologists?
Orpha Reply
bones of appendicular skeleton
hemalatha Reply
Fore limbs, hind limbs, pectoral and pelvic girdle
Abraham
Functions of the thoracic cage
Fereh Reply
protect all the organs and tissues from any impact or injury
Javier
It protects the heart other tissues in the chest region
Abraham
why sickle cell carrier people don't get malaria
Boakye Reply
Bcos mosquitoes are not attracted by their blood due to poor oxygen
Abraham
What is the amniotic fluid
bollywood Reply
amniotic fluid is the fluid that is inside the uterus with the baby.
Fati
shielded
Varun
This fluid serves as a cushion for the growing fetus but also serves to facilitate the exchange of nutrients, water, and biochemical products between mother and fetus.
Anne
it also reduces friction during birth as it wets the birth canal during delivery
steve
Amniotic fluid can be taken out by inserting needle to detect birth abnormalities as the foetus cells are present in amniotic fluid. This process is known as amniocentesis.
Biplav
structure of heart and it's function (10 mark )
Priyanka Reply
not possible
Abraham
What is the best book on physiology?
cesar Reply
describe varicocele
malulu
what do you mean by peritoneum
Siba Reply
It is thick covering surrounding the abdomen
Awais
r8
how to become good in Anatomy and physiology
malulu
hi
Milkah
hlo
Wani
What are is the last solution to abdomen pain in pregnant women
Umoru
no it is in kidney
Tantray
Kk
Umoru
structure of heart and it's function
Priyanka
Serous membrane lining the cavity of the abdomen
bollywood
it is four lobs structure and it is triangular in shaped. it 's function pumping the blood
ABDULLAH
explain root of lungs
ABDULLAH
Glomerular pressure -capsule pressure -colloid osmosis pressure
malulu Reply
how to describe mechanism of micturition
malulu
spleen is important?
AKASH Reply
helpful in destruction of rbc
It is imp in storing blood and destruction of microbes and harmful particles
Awais
ty sir
AKASH
K
Umoru
what are the sources of glucose in the body
malulu
describe mechanism of micturition
malulu
An action potential is a rapid rise and subsequent fall in voltage or membrane potential across a cellular membrane with a characteristic pattern. Sufficient current is required to initiate a voltage response in a cell membrane; if the current is insufficient to depolarize the membrane to the threshold level, an action potential will not fire. Examples of cells that signal via action potentials are neurons and muscle cell
abel Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Anatomy & Physiology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 04, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11496/1.8
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