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J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2013 Jul;26(10):995-1002. doi: 10.3109/14767058.2013.766694. Epub 2013 Feb 14.

Placental growth factor (PlGF): a key to optimizing fetal growth.

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2nd Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Athens Medical School, Athens, Greece.


The needs of the uterus and the fetus for the provision of nutrients and oxygen, supplied by the blood flow, are understandably extremely high, with the circulatory system playing the most important role in this action. Abnormal vascular growth and transformation that create a high vessel resistance network have been associated with various pregnancy pathologies, including miscarriage, small for gestational age (SGA) fetuses with or without preeclampsia and intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). Placental growth factor (PlGF) has a major role in vasculogenesis and angiogenesis in human placenta. Low concentrations of PlGF and high concentrations of its inhibitor-soluble Fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 (sFlt-1) are linked with impaired angiogenesis and placental development, leading to the above pregnancy complications. The activity of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which is the most potent of all angiogenic mediators, is partly modulated by PlGF. Although the mechanisms via which PlGF exerts its various effects are still under investigation, we herein discuss the known actions exerted by this major mediator together with its results on fetal growth.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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