B4605 - Placental accelerated villous maturation a potential screening target for premature somatic aging - 08/05/2024

B number: 
Principal applicant name: 
Abigail Fraser | PHS, BMS (United Kingdom)
Prof Janet Catov, Prof Tony Parks, Dr Chahinda Ghossein , Dr Carolina Borges, Prof Deborah Lawlor
Title of project: 
Placental accelerated villous maturation: a potential screening target for premature somatic aging
Proposal summary: 

Humans live longer than ever. Although women live longer than men, they experience poorer age-matched health. Early identification of women at risk for premature aging could lead to tremendous personal, societal, and health care benefits. Therefore, a leading health challenge is to understand the causes of premature aging and use this to promote heathy aging in women. Pregnancy is a multi-systemic stress test, offering a sex-specific opportunity to understand healthy vs premature aging. Placental accelerated villous maturation (AVM), characterized by hypermature terminal villi for gestational age, reflects premature aging of the placenta. We will test the novel hypothesis that AVM is an early adulthood marker of premature aging. We will determine whether AVM predicts premature aging in mid-life across multiple systems (endocrine, neurocognitive, musculoskeletal, reproductive, respiratory, cardiovascular, and renal), and identify genetic and environmental AVM risk factors. We will leverage three globally unique cohorts: the US Magee Obstetric Maternal and Infant study, the UK Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children and the Dutch PEARLS cohort; and establish a global multidisciplinary collaboration linking placental aging to lifespan aging to provide novel insights into mechanisms underlying women’s somatic aging, potentially identifying strategies to enable women to live longer and healthier lives.

Impact of research: 
The work proposed here has the potential to identify a novel, non-invasive biomarker of premature aging in young parous women. We will also study environmental and genetic risk factors for AVM, with the potential to further understanding of the etiology of both AVM, which is associated with clinical placental syndromes, and premature somatic aging. Findings may inform screening approaches and interventions to promote healthy aging in women.
Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 1 May, 2024
Date proposal approved: 
Wednesday, 8 May, 2024
Epidemiology, Hypertension, Pregnancy - e.g. reproductive health, postnatal depression, birth outcomes, etc., GWAS, NMR, Ageing