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Med Hypotheses. 2009 Feb;72(2):143-6. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2008.09.033. Epub 2008 Nov 11.

Novel mechanism of human fetal growth regulation: a potential role of lanugo, vernix caseosa and a second tactile system of unmyelinated low-threshold C-afferents.

Author information

1
Department of Hospital Pediatrics, St. Petersburg State Pediatric Medical Academy, Litovskaya Str. 2, 194100 St. Petersburg, Russia. ksenia_bystrova@mail.ru

Abstract

Novel hypothesis of human fetal growth regulation in amniotic fluid environment integrates lanugo, vernix caseosa and a second tactile system of unmyelinated low-threshold C-afferents - all three forming a unique natural instrument powerfully speeding fetal growth during mid-gestation and lowering its tempo at the end of gestation. Repeated oscillations of lanugo hairs encased by vernix caseosa during fetal movements in amniotic fluid activate highly sensitive mechanoreceptors connected to unmyelinated C-afferents, which prime function is to conduct originated impulses from all fetal skin dermatoms via spinal cord and to activate vagal sensory zone, hypothalamus and insular cortex, for concomitant promotion of the anti-stress effect through oxytocin release, and stimulation of fetal growth by the incretin effect of gastrointestinal hormones.

PMID:
19004563
DOI:
10.1016/j.mehy.2008.09.033
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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