Placentas of female fetuses more sensitive to maternal diet
You are what your mother ate, to some extent; how much depends partly on whether you are a boy or a girl, new research shows.
A study in mice reveals that expectant mothers’ diets influence gene activity differently in the placentas of male and female offspring, researchers report online March 8 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The placentas of female fetuses proved most sensitive to maternal diet, producing more of a protein that responds to estrogen, say researchers led by Cheryl Rosenfeld, a reproductive biologist at the University of Missouri in Columbia. The extra sensitivity could make female offspring more susceptible to estrogen-mimicking chemicals in the environment.
Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.