Maternal-Fetal Inflammation in the Placenta and the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease

Jeffery A. Goldstein, Kelly Gallagher, Celeste Beck, Rajesh Kumar, Alison D. Gernand

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


Events in fetal life impact long-term health outcomes. The placenta is the first organ to form and is the site of juxtaposition between the maternal and fetal circulations. Most diseases of pregnancy are caused by, impact, or are reflected in the placenta. The purpose of this review is to describe the main inflammatory processes in the placenta, discuss their immunology, and relate their short- and long-term disease associations. Acute placental inflammation (API), including maternal and fetal inflammatory responses corresponds to the clinical diagnosis of chorioamnionitis and is associated with respiratory and neurodevelopmental diseases. The chronic placental inflammatory pathologies (CPI), include chronic villitis of unknown etiology, chronic deciduitis, chronic chorionitis, eosinophilic T-cell vasculitis, and chronic histiocytic intervillositis. These diseases are less-well studied, but have complex immunology and show mechanistic impacts on the fetal immune system. Overall, much work remains to be done in describing the long-term impacts of placental inflammation on offspring health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number531543
JournalFrontiers in immunology
StatePublished - Nov 13 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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