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Antenatal environmental stress and maturation of the (...)

Respir Physiol Neurobiol. 2009 Aug ;168(1-2):92-100
Antenatal environmental stress and maturation of the breathing control, experimental data.
Cayetanot F, Larnicol N, Peyronnet J.

The nervous respiratory system undergoes postnatal maturation and yet still must be functional at birth. Any antenatal suboptimal environment could upset either its building prenatally and/or its maturation after birth. Here, we would like to briefly summarize some of the major stresses leading to clinical postnatal respiratory dysfunction that can occur during pregnancy, we then relate them to experimental models that have been developed in order to better understand the underlying mechanisms implicated in the respiratory dysfunctions observed in neonatal care units. Four sections are aimed to review our current knowledge based on experimental data. The first will deal with the metabolic factors such as oxygen and glucose, the second with consumption of psychotropic substances (nicotine, cocaine, alcohol, morphine, cannabis and caffeine), the third with psychoactive molecules commonly consumed by pregnant women within a therapeutic context and/or delivered to premature neonates in critical care units (benzodiazepine, caffeine). In the fourth section, we take into account care protocols involving extended maternal-infant separation due to isolation in incubators. The effects of this stress potentially adds to those previously described.

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