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Is preterm birth a human-specific syndrome?

Phillips JB, Abbot P, Rokas A - Evol Med Public Health (2015)

Bottom Line: Within species, gestation length is normally distributed, and all species appear to occasionally give birth before the 'optimal' time.Furthermore, human gestation length, like that of many mammalian species, scales proportionally to body mass, suggesting that this trait, like many others, is constrained by body size.Describing PTB broadly in mammals opens avenues for comparative studies on the physiological and genetic regulators of birth timing as well as the development of new mammalian models of the disease.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biological Sciences, Vanderbilt University, VU Station B 35-1364, Nashville, TN 37235, USA.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Preterm birth in humans may result in greater fitness differential compared to non-human primates. Normal fetal growth (purple) is similar between humans (A) and non-human primates (B). Unlike fetal growth, humans experience a growth spurt in brain development (teal) later in gestational time compared to non-human primates. As a result, the fitness (orange) differential between a pre-term human born at 80% completed gestation and a human born at 92.5% completed gestation could be substantially larger than that of non-human primates
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eov010-F3: Preterm birth in humans may result in greater fitness differential compared to non-human primates. Normal fetal growth (purple) is similar between humans (A) and non-human primates (B). Unlike fetal growth, humans experience a growth spurt in brain development (teal) later in gestational time compared to non-human primates. As a result, the fitness (orange) differential between a pre-term human born at 80% completed gestation and a human born at 92.5% completed gestation could be substantially larger than that of non-human primates

Mentions: Brain growth patterns are highly variable in closely related primates [115]; a more complete understanding of the variation in these patterns is necessary to better understand cognitive impairments that result from PTB. The vulnerability of the brain due to rapid growth rates at parturition may play an important role in the cognitive impairments resulting from early parturition in humans, and as such this may explain the lack of cognitive impairments in organisms with ‘growth spurts’ primarily occurring during prenatal or postnatal development (Fig. 3). Recent work in baboons has provided evidence that the sequence of cerebral development and pattern of cerebral injury between the prematurely delivered baboons is remarkably similar to that of prematurely born humans [116], but the long-term behavioral phenotypes have yet to be described in this promising animal model.Figure 3.


Is preterm birth a human-specific syndrome?

Phillips JB, Abbot P, Rokas A - Evol Med Public Health (2015)

Preterm birth in humans may result in greater fitness differential compared to non-human primates. Normal fetal growth (purple) is similar between humans (A) and non-human primates (B). Unlike fetal growth, humans experience a growth spurt in brain development (teal) later in gestational time compared to non-human primates. As a result, the fitness (orange) differential between a pre-term human born at 80% completed gestation and a human born at 92.5% completed gestation could be substantially larger than that of non-human primates
© Copyright Policy - creative-commons
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4493222&req=5

eov010-F3: Preterm birth in humans may result in greater fitness differential compared to non-human primates. Normal fetal growth (purple) is similar between humans (A) and non-human primates (B). Unlike fetal growth, humans experience a growth spurt in brain development (teal) later in gestational time compared to non-human primates. As a result, the fitness (orange) differential between a pre-term human born at 80% completed gestation and a human born at 92.5% completed gestation could be substantially larger than that of non-human primates
Mentions: Brain growth patterns are highly variable in closely related primates [115]; a more complete understanding of the variation in these patterns is necessary to better understand cognitive impairments that result from PTB. The vulnerability of the brain due to rapid growth rates at parturition may play an important role in the cognitive impairments resulting from early parturition in humans, and as such this may explain the lack of cognitive impairments in organisms with ‘growth spurts’ primarily occurring during prenatal or postnatal development (Fig. 3). Recent work in baboons has provided evidence that the sequence of cerebral development and pattern of cerebral injury between the prematurely delivered baboons is remarkably similar to that of prematurely born humans [116], but the long-term behavioral phenotypes have yet to be described in this promising animal model.Figure 3.

Bottom Line: Within species, gestation length is normally distributed, and all species appear to occasionally give birth before the 'optimal' time.Furthermore, human gestation length, like that of many mammalian species, scales proportionally to body mass, suggesting that this trait, like many others, is constrained by body size.Describing PTB broadly in mammals opens avenues for comparative studies on the physiological and genetic regulators of birth timing as well as the development of new mammalian models of the disease.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biological Sciences, Vanderbilt University, VU Station B 35-1364, Nashville, TN 37235, USA.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus