About this Research Topic
The placenta is a complex organ composed of cell types from the mother and fetus, that is crucial for the establishment and maintenance of pregnancy. Precise regulation of gene expression during its development ensures placental cell types are able to carry out diverse roles, including anchoring the fetus to the uterine wall, transporting nutrients and oxygen to the fetus, eliminating waste, and producing hormones. Abnormalities in placental gene expression can lead to defective cell development, differentiation or function, which has been associated with devastating pregnancy complications, including miscarriage, preeclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction, or still birth. Placental abnormalities can also have long lasting impacts on the mother and child after birth.
Determining the gene and protein expression patterns in different placental cell types throughout normal development, or in placental cells where expression has been perturbed, is an important step towards improving our understanding of placenta associated pregnancy complications. Furthermore, it is important to obtain a systems level understanding of the mechanisms by which gene and protein expression is regulated in placental cell types. Omics technologies allow genome-wide interrogation of the placenta to understand expression dynamics related to genetic and epigenetic factors, including which proteins and genes are expressed, where a placental transcription factor is binding, which enhancers are active, which regions are methylated, and which chromatin regions are condensed or open. Recent advances in technology also allow omics-based investigation of the placenta at a single-cell level. Following omics experiments, researchers are left with large datasets that require sophisticated computational analysis to help advance our understanding of placental development and disease.
The aim of this Research Topic is to understand genetic and epigenetic aspects of placental development and disease at a systems level, using current omics approaches and robust computational analysis. We welcome Original Research manuscripts, Brief Reports, and Review articles.
Specific topics include but are not limited to:
• Trophoblast cell differentiation
• Maternal-fetal interactions
• Trophoblast invasion and spiral artery remodeling
• Molecular signatures of placental disorders
• Placental vascularization
• Mechanisms of crossing the placental barrier
Specific approaches include but are not limited to:
• Transcriptomics, Proteomics, and Metabolomics
• ChIP-Seq, Atac-Seq, and Methyl-Seq
• Single-cell omics
• Multi-omics integration
• Network analysis
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.