Fetal Development: Morphological and physiological development of FETUSES.Embryonic and Fetal Development: Morphological and physiological development of EMBRYOS or FETUSES.Fetus: The unborn young of a viviparous mammal, in the postembryonic period, after the major structures have been outlined. In humans, the unborn young from the end of the eighth week after CONCEPTION until BIRTH, as distinguished from the earlier EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN.Pregnancy: The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (EMBRYOS or FETUSES) in utero before birth, beginning from FERTILIZATION to BIRTH.Placenta: A highly vascularized mammalian fetal-maternal organ and major site of transport of oxygen, nutrients, and fetal waste products. It includes a fetal portion (CHORIONIC VILLI) derived from TROPHOBLASTS and a maternal portion (DECIDUA) derived from the uterine ENDOMETRIUM. The placenta produces an array of steroid, protein and peptide hormones (PLACENTAL HORMONES).Gestational Age: The age of the conceptus, beginning from the time of FERTILIZATION. In clinical obstetrics, the gestational age is often estimated as the time from the last day of the last MENSTRUATION which is about 2 weeks before OVULATION and fertilization.Teratogenesis: The formation of CONGENITAL ABNORMALITIES.Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects: The consequences of exposing the FETUS in utero to certain factors, such as NUTRITION PHYSIOLOGICAL PHENOMENA; PHYSIOLOGICAL STRESS; DRUGS; RADIATION; and other physical or chemical factors. These consequences are observed later in the offspring after BIRTH.Fetal Viability: The potential of the FETUS to survive outside the UTERUS after birth, natural or induced. Fetal viability depends largely on the FETAL ORGAN MATURITY, and environmental conditions.Placentation: The development of the PLACENTA, a highly vascularized mammalian fetal-maternal organ and major site of transport of oxygen, nutrients, and fetal waste products between mother and FETUS. The process begins at FERTILIZATION, through the development of CYTOTROPHOBLASTS and SYNCYTIOTROPHOBLASTS, the formation of CHORIONIC VILLI, to the progressive increase in BLOOD VESSELS to support the growing fetus.Maternal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena: Nutrition of a mother which affects the health of the FETUS and INFANT as well as herself.Maternal-Fetal Exchange: Exchange of substances between the maternal blood and the fetal blood at the PLACENTA via PLACENTAL CIRCULATION. The placental barrier excludes microbial or viral transmission.Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental: Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control of gene action during the developmental stages of an organism.Fetal Growth Retardation: The failure of a FETUS to attain its expected FETAL GROWTH at any GESTATIONAL AGE.Fetal Resorption: The disintegration and assimilation of the dead FETUS in the UTERUS at any stage after the completion of organogenesis which, in humans, is after the 9th week of GESTATION. It does not include embryo resorption (see EMBRYO LOSS).Pregnancy, Animal: The process of bearing developing young (EMBRYOS or FETUSES) in utero in non-human mammals, beginning from FERTILIZATION to BIRTH.Fetal Death: Death of the developing young in utero. BIRTH of a dead FETUS is STILLBIRTH.Abnormalities, Drug-Induced: Congenital abnormalities caused by medicinal substances or drugs of abuse given to or taken by the mother, or to which she is inadvertently exposed during the manufacture of such substances. The concept excludes abnormalities resulting from exposure to non-medicinal chemicals in the environment.Animals, Newborn: Refers to animals in the period of time just after birth.Fetal Weight: The weight of the FETUS in utero. It is usually estimated by various formulas based on measurements made during PRENATAL ULTRASONOGRAPHY.Maternal Exposure: Exposure of the female parent, human or animal, to potentially harmful chemical, physical, or biological agents in the environment or to environmental factors that may include ionizing radiation, pathogenic organisms, or toxic chemicals that may affect offspring. It includes pre-conception maternal exposure.Embryo, Mammalian: The entity of a developing mammal (MAMMALS), generally from the cleavage of a ZYGOTE to the end of embryonic differentiation of basic structures. For the human embryo, this represents the first two months of intrauterine development preceding the stages of the FETUS.Prenatal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena: Nutrition of FEMALE during PREGNANCY.Fetal Blood: Blood of the fetus. Exchange of nutrients and waste between the fetal and maternal blood occurs via the PLACENTA. The cord blood is blood contained in the umbilical vessels (UMBILICAL CORD) at the time of delivery.Embryo Implantation: Endometrial implantation of EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN at the BLASTOCYST stage.RNA, Messenger: RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.Embryonic Development: Morphological and physiological development of EMBRYOS.Birth Weight: The mass or quantity of heaviness of an individual at BIRTH. It is expressed by units of pounds or kilograms.Trophoblasts: Cells lining the outside of the BLASTOCYST. After binding to the ENDOMETRIUM, trophoblasts develop into two distinct layers, an inner layer of mononuclear cytotrophoblasts and an outer layer of continuous multinuclear cytoplasm, the syncytiotrophoblasts, which form the early fetal-maternal interface (PLACENTA).Pregnancy Complications: Conditions or pathological processes associated with pregnancy. They can occur during or after pregnancy, and range from minor discomforts to serious diseases that require medical interventions. They include diseases in pregnant females, and pregnancies in females with diseases.Sheep: Any of the ruminant mammals with curved horns in the genus Ovis, family Bovidae. They possess lachrymal grooves and interdigital glands, which are absent in GOATS.Infant, Newborn: An infant during the first month after birth.Teratogens: An agent that causes the production of physical defects in the developing embryo.Litter Size: The number of offspring produced at one birth by a viviparous animal.Embryo Culture Techniques: The technique of maintaining or growing mammalian EMBRYOS in vitro. This method offers an opportunity to observe EMBRYONIC DEVELOPMENT; METABOLISM; and susceptibility to TERATOGENS.Uterus: The hollow thick-walled muscular organ in the female PELVIS. It consists of the fundus (the body) which is the site of EMBRYO IMPLANTATION and FETAL DEVELOPMENT. Beyond the isthmus at the perineal end of fundus, is CERVIX UTERI (the neck) opening into VAGINA. Beyond the isthmi at the upper abdominal end of fundus, are the FALLOPIAN TUBES.Embryo Transfer: The transfer of mammalian embryos from an in vivo or in vitro environment to a suitable host to improve pregnancy or gestational outcome in human or animal. In human fertility treatment programs, preimplantation embryos ranging from the 4-cell stage to the blastocyst stage are transferred to the uterine cavity between 3-5 days after FERTILIZATION IN VITRO.Genomic Imprinting: The variable phenotypic expression of a GENE depending on whether it is of paternal or maternal origin, which is a function of the DNA METHYLATION pattern. Imprinted regions are observed to be more methylated and less transcriptionally active. (Segen, Dictionary of Modern Medicine, 1992)Blastocyst: A post-MORULA preimplantation mammalian embryo that develops from a 32-cell stage into a fluid-filled hollow ball of over a hundred cells. A blastocyst has two distinctive tissues. The outer layer of trophoblasts gives rise to extra-embryonic tissues. The inner cell mass gives rise to the embryonic disc and eventual embryo proper.Amniotic Fluid: A clear, yellowish liquid that envelopes the FETUS inside the sac of AMNION. In the first trimester, it is likely a transudate of maternal or fetal plasma. In the second trimester, amniotic fluid derives primarily from fetal lung and kidney. Cells or substances in this fluid can be removed for prenatal diagnostic tests (AMNIOCENTESIS).Placental Insufficiency: Failure of the PLACENTA to deliver an adequate supply of nutrients and OXYGEN to the FETUS.Superovulation: Occurrence or induction of release of more ova than are normally released at the same time in a given species. The term applies to both animals and humans.In Situ Hybridization: A technique that localizes specific nucleic acid sequences within intact chromosomes, eukaryotic cells, or bacterial cells through the use of specific nucleic acid-labeled probes.Research Embryo Creation: The creation of embryos specifically for research purposes.Yolk Sac: The first of four extra-embryonic membranes to form during EMBRYOGENESIS. In REPTILES and BIRDS, it arises from endoderm and mesoderm to incorporate the EGG YOLK into the DIGESTIVE TRACT for nourishing the embryo. In placental MAMMALS, its nutritional function is vestigial; however, it is the source of INTESTINAL MUCOSA; BLOOD CELLS; and GERM CELLS. It is sometimes called the vitelline sac, which should not be confused with the VITELLINE MEMBRANE of the egg.Organ Size: The measurement of an organ in volume, mass, or heaviness.Reproduction: The total process by which organisms produce offspring. (Stedman, 25th ed)Cell Differentiation: Progressive restriction of the developmental potential and increasing specialization of function that leads to the formation of specialized cells, tissues, and organs.Liver: A large lobed glandular organ in the abdomen of vertebrates that is responsible for detoxification, metabolism, synthesis and storage of various substances.Fetal Diseases: Pathophysiological conditions of the FETUS in the UTERUS. Some fetal diseases may be treated with FETAL THERAPIES.Sheep, Domestic: A species of sheep, Ovis aries, descended from Near Eastern wild forms, especially mouflon.Insulin-Like Growth Factor II: A well-characterized neutral peptide believed to be secreted by the LIVER and to circulate in the BLOOD. It has growth-regulating, insulin-like and mitogenic activities. The growth factor has a major, but not absolute, dependence on SOMATOTROPIN. It is believed to be a major fetal growth factor in contrast to INSULIN-LIKE GROWTH FACTOR I, which is a major growth factor in adults.Immunohistochemistry: Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.Pregnancy Trimester, Third: The last third of a human PREGNANCY, from the beginning of the 29th through the 42nd completed week (197 to 294 days) of gestation.Pregnancy Outcome: Results of conception and ensuing pregnancy, including LIVE BIRTH; STILLBIRTH; SPONTANEOUS ABORTION; INDUCED ABORTION. The outcome may follow natural or artificial insemination or any of the various ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE TECHNIQUES, such as EMBRYO TRANSFER or FERTILIZATION IN VITRO.Mice, Inbred C57BLCongenital Abnormalities: Malformations of organs or body parts during development in utero.Fetal Stem Cells: Cells derived from a FETUS that retain the ability to divide, proliferate and provide progenitor cells that can differentiate into specialized cells.Pregnancy Trimester, Second: The middle third of a human PREGNANCY, from the beginning of the 15th through the 28th completed week (99 to 196 days) of gestation.Testosterone Propionate: An ester of TESTOSTERONE with a propionate substitution at the 17-beta position.Diet, Protein-Restricted: A diet that contains limited amounts of protein. It is prescribed in some cases to slow the progression of renal failure. (From Segen, Dictionary of Modern Medicine, 1992)Chorionic Villi: The threadlike, vascular projections of the chorion. Chorionic villi may be free or embedded within the DECIDUA forming the site for exchange of substances between fetal and maternal blood (PLACENTA).Ovary: The reproductive organ (GONADS) in female animals. In vertebrates, the ovary contains two functional parts: the OVARIAN FOLLICLE for the production of female germ cells (OOGENESIS); and the endocrine cells (GRANULOSA CELLS; THECA CELLS; and LUTEAL CELLS) for the production of ESTROGENS and PROGESTERONE.Placenta Diseases: Pathological processes or abnormal functions of the PLACENTA.Fetal Hypoxia: Deficient oxygenation of FETAL BLOOD.Pregnancy Trimester, First: The beginning third of a human PREGNANCY, from the first day of the last normal menstrual period (MENSTRUATION) through the completion of 14 weeks (98 days) of gestation.Cloning, Organism: The formation of one or more genetically identical organisms derived by vegetative reproduction from a single cell. The source nuclear material can be embryo-derived, fetus-derived, or taken from an adult somatic cell.alpha-Fetoproteins: The first alpha-globulins to appear in mammalian sera during FETAL DEVELOPMENT and the dominant serum proteins in early embryonic life.Mice, Inbred Strains: Genetically identical individuals developed from brother and sister matings which have been carried out for twenty or more generations, or by parent x offspring matings carried out with certain restrictions. All animals within an inbred strain trace back to a common ancestor in the twentieth generation.Nuclear Transfer Techniques: Methods of implanting a CELL NUCLEUS from a donor cell into an enucleated acceptor cell.Gene Expression: The phenotypic manifestation of a gene or genes by the processes of GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION and GENETIC TRANSLATION.Mice, Transgenic: Laboratory mice that have been produced from a genetically manipulated EGG or EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN.Molecular Sequence Data: Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.Base Sequence: The sequence of PURINES and PYRIMIDINES in nucleic acids and polynucleotides. It is also called nucleotide sequence.Mice, Inbred ICRRNA, Long Noncoding: A class of untranslated RNA molecules that are typically greater than 200 nucleotides in length and do not code for proteins. Members of this class have been found to play roles in transcriptional regulation, post-transcriptional processing, CHROMATIN REMODELING, and in the epigenetic control of chromatin.Body Weight: The mass or quantity of heaviness of an individual. It is expressed by units of pounds or kilograms.Testis: The male gonad containing two functional parts: the SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES for the production and transport of male germ cells (SPERMATOGENESIS) and the interstitial compartment containing LEYDIG CELLS that produce ANDROGENS.Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction: A variation of the PCR technique in which cDNA is made from RNA via reverse transcription. The resultant cDNA is then amplified using standard PCR protocols.Gene Expression Regulation: Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control (induction or repression) of gene action at the level of transcription or translation.Endocrine System: The system of glands that release their secretions (hormones) directly into the circulatory system. In addition to the ENDOCRINE GLANDS, included are the CHROMAFFIN SYSTEM and the NEUROSECRETORY SYSTEMS.Brain: The part of CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM that is contained within the skull (CRANIUM). Arising from the NEURAL TUBE, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including PROSENCEPHALON (the forebrain); MESENCEPHALON (the midbrain); and RHOMBENCEPHALON (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of CEREBRUM; CEREBELLUM; and other structures in the BRAIN STEM.Parthenogenesis: A unisexual reproduction without the fusion of a male and a female gamete (FERTILIZATION). In parthenogenesis, an individual is formed from an unfertilized OVUM that did not complete MEIOSIS. Parthenogenesis occurs in nature and can be artificially induced.Organ Specificity: Characteristic restricted to a particular organ of the body, such as a cell type, metabolic response or expression of a particular protein or antigen.DNA Methylation: Addition of methyl groups to DNA. DNA methyltransferases (DNA methylases) perform this reaction using S-ADENOSYLMETHIONINE as the methyl group donor.Ovulation: The discharge of an OVUM from a rupturing follicle in the OVARY.Cells, Cultured: Cells propagated in vitro in special media conducive to their growth. Cultured cells are used to study developmental, morphologic, metabolic, physiologic, and genetic processes, among others.Gonadotropins, Equine: Gonadotropins secreted by the pituitary or the placenta in horses. This term generally refers to the gonadotropins found in the pregnant mare serum, a rich source of equine CHORIONIC GONADOTROPIN; LUTEINIZING HORMONE; and FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE. Unlike that in humans, the equine LUTEINIZING HORMONE, BETA SUBUNIT is identical to the equine choronic gonadotropin, beta. Equine gonadotropins prepared from pregnant mare serum are used in reproductive studies.Muscle, Skeletal: A subtype of striated muscle, attached by TENDONS to the SKELETON. Skeletal muscles are innervated and their movement can be consciously controlled. They are also called voluntary muscles.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.Choline: A basic constituent of lecithin that is found in many plants and animal organs. It is important as a precursor of acetylcholine, as a methyl donor in various metabolic processes, and in lipid metabolism.Mice, Inbred CBAMicronutrients: Essential dietary elements or organic compounds that are required in only small quantities for normal physiologic processes to occur.Phenotype: The outward appearance of the individual. It is the product of interactions between genes, and between the GENOTYPE and the environment.Pregnancy in Diabetics: The state of PREGNANCY in women with DIABETES MELLITUS. This does not include either symptomatic diabetes or GLUCOSE INTOLERANCE induced by pregnancy (DIABETES, GESTATIONAL) which resolves at the end of pregnancy.Aging: The gradual irreversible changes in structure and function of an organism that occur as a result of the passage of time.Papio: A genus of the subfamily CERCOPITHECINAE, family CERCOPITHECIDAE, consisting of five named species: PAPIO URSINUS (chacma baboon), PAPIO CYNOCEPHALUS (yellow baboon), PAPIO PAPIO (western baboon), PAPIO ANUBIS (or olive baboon), and PAPIO HAMADRYAS (hamadryas baboon). Members of the Papio genus inhabit open woodland, savannahs, grassland, and rocky hill country. Some authors consider MANDRILLUS a subgenus of Papio.Models, Animal: Non-human animals, selected because of specific characteristics, for use in experimental research, teaching, or testing.Blotting, Northern: Detection of RNA that has been electrophoretically separated and immobilized by blotting on nitrocellulose or other type of paper or nylon membrane followed by hybridization with labeled NUCLEIC ACID PROBES.Cell Count: The number of CELLS of a specific kind, usually measured per unit volume or area of sample.Cattle: Domesticated bovine animals of the genus Bos, usually kept on a farm or ranch and used for the production of meat or dairy products or for heavy labor.Organogenesis: Formation of differentiated cells and complicated tissue organization to provide specialized functions.Histocytochemistry: Study of intracellular distribution of chemicals, reaction sites, enzymes, etc., by means of staining reactions, radioactive isotope uptake, selective metal distribution in electron microscopy, or other methods.Fertility: The capacity to conceive or to induce conception. It may refer to either the male or female.RNA, Untranslated: RNA which does not code for protein but has some enzymatic, structural or regulatory function. Although ribosomal RNA (RNA, RIBOSOMAL) and transfer RNA (RNA, TRANSFER) are also untranslated RNAs they are not included in this scope.Fertilization: The fusion of a spermatozoon (SPERMATOZOA) with an OVUM thus resulting in the formation of a ZYGOTE.Fertilization in Vitro: An assisted reproductive technique that includes the direct handling and manipulation of oocytes and sperm to achieve fertilization in vitro.Mice, Knockout: Strains of mice in which certain GENES of their GENOMES have been disrupted, or "knocked-out". To produce knockouts, using RECOMBINANT DNA technology, the normal DNA sequence of the gene being studied is altered to prevent synthesis of a normal gene product. Cloned cells in which this DNA alteration is successful are then injected into mouse EMBRYOS to produce chimeric mice. The chimeric mice are then bred to yield a strain in which all the cells of the mouse contain the disrupted gene. Knockout mice are used as EXPERIMENTAL ANIMAL MODELS for diseases (DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL) and to clarify the functions of the genes.Thymus Gland: A single, unpaired primary lymphoid organ situated in the MEDIASTINUM, extending superiorly into the neck to the lower edge of the THYROID GLAND and inferiorly to the fourth costal cartilage. It is necessary for normal development of immunologic function early in life. By puberty, it begins to involute and much of the tissue is replaced by fat.Epigenesis, Genetic: A genetic process by which the adult organism is realized via mechanisms that lead to the restriction in the possible fates of cells, eventually leading to their differentiated state. Mechanisms involved cause heritable changes to cells without changes to DNA sequence such as DNA METHYLATION; HISTONE modification; DNA REPLICATION TIMING; NUCLEOSOME positioning; and heterochromatization which result in selective gene expression or repression.Rats, Sprague-Dawley: A strain of albino rat used widely for experimental purposes because of its calmness and ease of handling. It was developed by the Sprague-Dawley Animal Company.Decidua: The hormone-responsive glandular layer of ENDOMETRIUM that sloughs off at each menstrual flow (decidua menstrualis) or at the termination of pregnancy. During pregnancy, the thickest part of the decidua forms the maternal portion of the PLACENTA, thus named decidua placentalis. The thin portion of the decidua covering the rest of the embryo is the decidua capsularis.Progesterone: The major progestational steroid that is secreted primarily by the CORPUS LUTEUM and the PLACENTA. Progesterone acts on the UTERUS, the MAMMARY GLANDS and the BRAIN. It is required in EMBRYO IMPLANTATION; PREGNANCY maintenance, and the development of mammary tissue for MILK production. Progesterone, converted from PREGNENOLONE, also serves as an intermediate in the biosynthesis of GONADAL STEROID HORMONES and adrenal CORTICOSTEROIDS.Tissue Distribution: Accumulation of a drug or chemical substance in various organs (including those not relevant to its pharmacologic or therapeutic action). This distribution depends on the blood flow or perfusion rate of the organ, the ability of the drug to penetrate organ membranes, tissue specificity, protein binding. The distribution is usually expressed as tissue to plasma ratios.Muscle Development: Developmental events leading to the formation of adult muscular system, which includes differentiation of the various types of muscle cell precursors, migration of myoblasts, activation of myogenesis and development of muscle anchorage.Transcription, Genetic: The biosynthesis of RNA carried out on a template of DNA. The biosynthesis of DNA from an RNA template is called REVERSE TRANSCRIPTION.Swine: Any of various animals that constitute the family Suidae and comprise stout-bodied, short-legged omnivorous mammals with thick skin, usually covered with coarse bristles, a rather long mobile snout, and small tail. Included are the genera Babyrousa, Phacochoerus (wart hogs), and Sus, the latter containing the domestic pig (see SUS SCROFA).Kidney: Body organ that filters blood for the secretion of URINE and that regulates ion concentrations.Epithelium: One or more layers of EPITHELIAL CELLS, supported by the basal lamina, which covers the inner or outer surfaces of the body.Lung: Either of the pair of organs occupying the cavity of the thorax that effect the aeration of the blood.Hormones: Chemical substances having a specific regulatory effect on the activity of a certain organ or organs. The term was originally applied to substances secreted by various ENDOCRINE GLANDS and transported in the bloodstream to the target organs. It is sometimes extended to include those substances that are not produced by the endocrine glands but that have similar effects.Adrenal Glands: A pair of glands located at the cranial pole of each of the two KIDNEYS. Each adrenal gland is composed of two distinct endocrine tissues with separate embryonic origins, the ADRENAL CORTEX producing STEROIDS and the ADRENAL MEDULLA producing NEUROTRANSMITTERS.Amino Acid Sequence: The order of amino acids as they occur in a polypeptide chain. This is referred to as the primary structure of proteins. It is of fundamental importance in determining PROTEIN CONFORMATION.Heart: The hollow, muscular organ that maintains the circulation of the blood.Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena: Nutritional physiology of animals.Mothers: Female parents, human or animal.Cloning, Molecular: The insertion of recombinant DNA molecules from prokaryotic and/or eukaryotic sources into a replicating vehicle, such as a plasmid or virus vector, and the introduction of the resultant hybrid molecules into recipient cells without altering the viability of those cells.Oocytes: Female germ cells derived from OOGONIA and termed OOCYTES when they enter MEIOSIS. The primary oocytes begin meiosis but are arrested at the diplotene state until OVULATION at PUBERTY to give rise to haploid secondary oocytes or ova (OVUM).Mice, Mutant Strains: Mice bearing mutant genes which are phenotypically expressed in the animals.Pregnancy Complications, Infectious: The co-occurrence of pregnancy and an INFECTION. The infection may precede or follow FERTILIZATION.Leydig Cells: Steroid-producing cells in the interstitial tissue of the TESTIS. They are under the regulation of PITUITARY HORMONES; LUTEINIZING HORMONE; or interstitial cell-stimulating hormone. TESTOSTERONE is the major androgen (ANDROGENS) produced.Transcription Factors: Endogenous substances, usually proteins, which are effective in the initiation, stimulation, or termination of the genetic transcription process.Infant, Low Birth Weight: An infant having a birth weight of 2500 gm. (5.5 lb.) or less but INFANT, VERY LOW BIRTH WEIGHT is available for infants having a birth weight of 1500 grams (3.3 lb.) or less.Rats, Wistar: A strain of albino rat developed at the Wistar Institute that has spread widely at other institutions. This has markedly diluted the original strain.Spermatozoa: Mature male germ cells derived from SPERMATIDS. As spermatids move toward the lumen of the SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES, they undergo extensive structural changes including the loss of cytoplasm, condensation of CHROMATIN into the SPERM HEAD, formation of the ACROSOME cap, the SPERM MIDPIECE and the SPERM TAIL that provides motility.Gene Expression Profiling: The determination of the pattern of genes expressed at the level of GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION, under specific circumstances or in a specific cell.DNA-Binding Proteins: Proteins which bind to DNA. The family includes proteins which bind to both double- and single-stranded DNA and also includes specific DNA binding proteins in serum which can be used as markers for malignant diseases.Models, Biological: Theoretical representations that simulate the behavior or activity of biological processes or diseases. For disease models in living animals, DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL is available. Biological models include the use of mathematical equations, computers, and other electronic equipment.Pancreas: A nodular organ in the ABDOMEN that contains a mixture of ENDOCRINE GLANDS and EXOCRINE GLANDS. The small endocrine portion consists of the ISLETS OF LANGERHANS secreting a number of hormones into the blood stream. The large exocrine portion (EXOCRINE PANCREAS) is a compound acinar gland that secretes several digestive enzymes into the pancreatic ductal system that empties into the DUODENUM.Skin: The outer covering of the body that protects it from the environment. It is composed of the DERMIS and the EPIDERMIS.Globins: A superfamily of proteins containing the globin fold which is composed of 6-8 alpha helices arranged in a characterstic HEME enclosing structure.Environmental Pollutants: Substances or energies, for example heat or light, which when introduced into the air, water, or land threaten life or health of individuals or ECOSYSTEMS.Insulin-Like Growth Factor I: A well-characterized basic peptide believed to be secreted by the liver and to circulate in the blood. It has growth-regulating, insulin-like, and mitogenic activities. This growth factor has a major, but not absolute, dependence on GROWTH HORMONE. It is believed to be mainly active in adults in contrast to INSULIN-LIKE GROWTH FACTOR II, which is a major fetal growth factor.Polymerase Chain Reaction: In vitro method for producing large amounts of specific DNA or RNA fragments of defined length and sequence from small amounts of short oligonucleotide flanking sequences (primers). The essential steps include thermal denaturation of the double-stranded target molecules, annealing of the primers to their complementary sequences, and extension of the annealed primers by enzymatic synthesis with DNA polymerase. The reaction is efficient, specific, and extremely sensitive. Uses for the reaction include disease diagnosis, detection of difficult-to-isolate pathogens, mutation analysis, genetic testing, DNA sequencing, and analyzing evolutionary relationships.Cell Lineage: The developmental history of specific differentiated cell types as traced back to the original STEM CELLS in the embryo.Crosses, Genetic: Deliberate breeding of two different individuals that results in offspring that carry part of the genetic material of each parent. The parent organisms must be genetically compatible and may be from different varieties or closely related species.Chorionic Gonadotropin: A gonadotropic glycoprotein hormone produced primarily by the PLACENTA. Similar to the pituitary LUTEINIZING HORMONE in structure and function, chorionic gonadotropin is involved in maintaining the CORPUS LUTEUM during pregnancy. CG consists of two noncovalently linked subunits, alpha and beta. Within a species, the alpha subunit is virtually identical to the alpha subunits of the three pituitary glycoprotein hormones (TSH, LH, and FSH), but the beta subunit is unique and confers its biological specificity (CHORIONIC GONADOTROPIN, BETA SUBUNIT, HUMAN).Mesoderm: The middle germ layer of an embryo derived from three paired mesenchymal aggregates along the neural tube.DNA: A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine).Folic Acid: A member of the vitamin B family that stimulates the hematopoietic system. It is present in the liver and kidney and is found in mushrooms, spinach, yeast, green leaves, and grasses (POACEAE). Folic acid is used in the treatment and prevention of folate deficiencies and megaloblastic anemia.Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins: A conserved class of proteins that control APOPTOSIS in both VERTEBRATES and INVERTEBRATES. IAP proteins interact with and inhibit CASPASES, and they function as ANTI-APOPTOTIC PROTEINS. The protein class is defined by an approximately 80-amino acid motif called the baculoviral inhibitor of apoptosis repeat.Hematopoietic Stem Cells: Progenitor cells from which all blood cells derive.Culture Techniques: Methods of maintaining or growing biological materials in controlled laboratory conditions. These include the cultures of CELLS; TISSUES; organs; or embryo in vitro. Both animal and plant tissues may be cultured by a variety of methods. Cultures may derive from normal or abnormal tissues, and consist of a single cell type or mixed cell types.Diet: Regular course of eating and drinking adopted by a person or animal.Immunoenzyme Techniques: Immunologic techniques based on the use of: (1) enzyme-antibody conjugates; (2) enzyme-antigen conjugates; (3) antienzyme antibody followed by its homologous enzyme; or (4) enzyme-antienzyme complexes. These are used histologically for visualizing or labeling tissue specimens.Microscopy, Electron: Microscopy using an electron beam, instead of light, to visualize the sample, thereby allowing much greater magnification. The interactions of ELECTRONS with specimens are used to provide information about the fine structure of that specimen. In TRANSMISSION ELECTRON MICROSCOPY the reactions of the electrons that are transmitted through the specimen are imaged. In SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPY an electron beam falls at a non-normal angle on the specimen and the image is derived from the reactions occurring above the plane of the specimen.DNA, Complementary: Single-stranded complementary DNA synthesized from an RNA template by the action of RNA-dependent DNA polymerase. cDNA (i.e., complementary DNA, not circular DNA, not C-DNA) is used in a variety of molecular cloning experiments as well as serving as a specific hybridization probe.Estradiol: The 17-beta-isomer of estradiol, an aromatized C18 steroid with hydroxyl group at 3-beta- and 17-beta-position. Estradiol-17-beta is the most potent form of mammalian estrogenic steroids.Morphogenesis: The development of anatomical structures to create the form of a single- or multi-cell organism. Morphogenesis provides form changes of a part, parts, or the whole organism.Stem Cells: Relatively undifferentiated cells that retain the ability to divide and proliferate throughout postnatal life to provide progenitor cells that can differentiate into specialized cells.Bone and Bones: A specialized CONNECTIVE TISSUE that is the main constituent of the SKELETON. The principle cellular component of bone is comprised of OSTEOBLASTS; OSTEOCYTES; and OSTEOCLASTS, while FIBRILLAR COLLAGENS and hydroxyapatite crystals form the BONE MATRIX.Homozygote: An individual in which both alleles at a given locus are identical.Apoptosis: One of the mechanisms by which CELL DEATH occurs (compare with NECROSIS and AUTOPHAGOCYTOSIS). Apoptosis is the mechanism responsible for the physiological deletion of cells and appears to be intrinsically programmed. It is characterized by distinctive morphologic changes in the nucleus and cytoplasm, chromatin cleavage at regularly spaced sites, and the endonucleolytic cleavage of genomic DNA; (DNA FRAGMENTATION); at internucleosomal sites. This mode of cell death serves as a balance to mitosis in regulating the size of animal tissues and in mediating pathologic processes associated with tumor growth.Random Allocation: A process involving chance used in therapeutic trials or other research endeavor for allocating experimental subjects, human or animal, between treatment and control groups, or among treatment groups. It may also apply to experiments on inanimate objects.Ultrasonography, Prenatal: The visualization of tissues during pregnancy through recording of the echoes of ultrasonic waves directed into the body. The procedure may be applied with reference to the mother or the fetus and with reference to organs or the detection of maternal or fetal disease.Promoter Regions, Genetic: DNA sequences which are recognized (directly or indirectly) and bound by a DNA-dependent RNA polymerase during the initiation of transcription. Highly conserved sequences within the promoter include the Pribnow box in bacteria and the TATA BOX in eukaryotes.Estrogens: Compounds that interact with ESTROGEN RECEPTORS in target tissues to bring about the effects similar to those of ESTRADIOL. Estrogens stimulate the female reproductive organs, and the development of secondary female SEX CHARACTERISTICS. Estrogenic chemicals include natural, synthetic, steroidal, or non-steroidal compounds.Rats, Inbred Strains: Genetically identical individuals developed from brother and sister matings which have been carried out for twenty or more generations or by parent x offspring matings carried out with certain restrictions. This also includes animals with a long history of closed colony breeding.Carrier Proteins: Transport proteins that carry specific substances in the blood or across cell membranes.Blotting, Western: Identification of proteins or peptides that have been electrophoretically separated by blot transferring from the electrophoresis gel to strips of nitrocellulose paper, followed by labeling with antibody probes.Growth Hormone: A polypeptide that is secreted by the adenohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, ANTERIOR). Growth hormone, also known as somatotropin, stimulates mitosis, cell differentiation and cell growth. Species-specific growth hormones have been synthesized.Neoplasm Proteins: Proteins whose abnormal expression (gain or loss) are associated with the development, growth, or progression of NEOPLASMS. Some neoplasm proteins are tumor antigens (ANTIGENS, NEOPLASM), i.e. they induce an immune reaction to their tumor. Many neoplasm proteins have been characterized and are used as tumor markers (BIOMARKERS, TUMOR) when they are detectable in cells and body fluids as monitors for the presence or growth of tumors. Abnormal expression of ONCOGENE PROTEINS is involved in neoplastic transformation, whereas the loss of expression of TUMOR SUPPRESSOR PROTEINS is involved with the loss of growth control and progression of the neoplasm.Testosterone: A potent androgenic steroid and major product secreted by the LEYDIG CELLS of the TESTIS. Its production is stimulated by LUTEINIZING HORMONE from the PITUITARY GLAND. In turn, testosterone exerts feedback control of the pituitary LH and FSH secretion. Depending on the tissues, testosterone can be further converted to DIHYDROTESTOSTERONE or ESTRADIOL.RNA: A polynucleotide consisting essentially of chains with a repeating backbone of phosphate and ribose units to which nitrogenous bases are attached. RNA is unique among biological macromolecules in that it can encode genetic information, serve as an abundant structural component of cells, and also possesses catalytic activity. (Rieger et al., Glossary of Genetics: Classical and Molecular, 5th ed)Flow Cytometry: Technique using an instrument system for making, processing, and displaying one or more measurements on individual cells obtained from a cell suspension. Cells are usually stained with one or more fluorescent dyes specific to cell components of interest, e.g., DNA, and fluorescence of each cell is measured as it rapidly transverses the excitation beam (laser or mercury arc lamp). Fluorescence provides a quantitative measure of various biochemical and biophysical properties of the cell, as well as a basis for cell sorting. Other measurable optical parameters include light absorption and light scattering, the latter being applicable to the measurement of cell size, shape, density, granularity, and stain uptake.Age Factors: Age as a constituent element or influence contributing to the production of a result. It may be applicable to the cause or the effect of a circumstance. It is used with human or animal concepts but should be differentiated from AGING, a physiological process, and TIME FACTORS which refers only to the passage of time.Hydrocortisone: The main glucocorticoid secreted by the ADRENAL CORTEX. Its synthetic counterpart is used, either as an injection or topically, in the treatment of inflammation, allergy, collagen diseases, asthma, adrenocortical deficiency, shock, and some neoplastic conditions.Heterozygote: An individual having different alleles at one or more loci regarding a specific character.Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction: Methods used for detecting the amplified DNA products from the polymerase chain reaction as they accumulate instead of at the end of the reaction.Myocardium: The muscle tissue of the HEART. It is composed of striated, involuntary muscle cells (MYOCYTES, CARDIAC) connected to form the contractile pump to generate blood flow.DNA Primers: Short sequences (generally about 10 base pairs) of DNA that are complementary to sequences of messenger RNA and allow reverse transcriptases to start copying the adjacent sequences of mRNA. Primers are used extensively in genetic and molecular biology techniques.Blotting, Southern: A method (first developed by E.M. Southern) for detection of DNA that has been electrophoretically separated and immobilized by blotting on nitrocellulose or other type of paper or nylon membrane followed by hybridization with labeled NUCLEIC ACID PROBES.Proteins: Linear POLYPEPTIDES that are synthesized on RIBOSOMES and may be further modified, crosslinked, cleaved, or assembled into complex proteins with several subunits. The specific sequence of AMINO ACIDS determines the shape the polypeptide will take, during PROTEIN FOLDING, and the function of the protein.Environmental Exposure: The exposure to potentially harmful chemical, physical, or biological agents in the environment or to environmental factors that may include ionizing radiation, pathogenic organisms, or toxic chemicals.Muscles: Contractile tissue that produces movement in animals.Mutation: Any detectable and heritable change in the genetic material that causes a change in the GENOTYPE and which is transmitted to daughter cells and to succeeding generations.Tretinoin: An important regulator of GENE EXPRESSION during growth and development, and in NEOPLASMS. Tretinoin, also known as retinoic acid and derived from maternal VITAMIN A, is essential for normal GROWTH; and EMBRYONIC DEVELOPMENT. An excess of tretinoin can be teratogenic. It is used in the treatment of PSORIASIS; ACNE VULGARIS; and several other SKIN DISEASES. It has also been approved for use in promyelocytic leukemia (LEUKEMIA, PROMYELOCYTIC, ACUTE).Leptin: A 16-kDa peptide hormone secreted from WHITE ADIPOCYTES. Leptin serves as a feedback signal from fat cells to the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM in regulation of food intake, energy balance, and fat storage.Cell Nucleus: Within a eukaryotic cell, a membrane-limited body which contains chromosomes and one or more nucleoli (CELL NUCLEOLUS). The nuclear membrane consists of a double unit-type membrane which is perforated by a number of pores; the outermost membrane is continuous with the ENDOPLASMIC RETICULUM. A cell may contain more than one nucleus. (From Singleton & Sainsbury, Dictionary of Microbiology and Molecular Biology, 2d ed)Cell Proliferation: All of the processes involved in increasing CELL NUMBER including CELL DIVISION.Dietary Supplements: Products in capsule, tablet or liquid form that provide dietary ingredients, and that are intended to be taken by mouth to increase the intake of nutrients. Dietary supplements can include macronutrients, such as proteins, carbohydrates, and fats; and/or MICRONUTRIENTS, such as VITAMINS; MINERALS; and PHYTOCHEMICALS.Disease Models, Animal: Naturally occurring or experimentally induced animal diseases with pathological processes sufficiently similar to those of human diseases. They are used as study models for human diseases.Membrane Proteins: Proteins which are found in membranes including cellular and intracellular membranes. They consist of two types, peripheral and integral proteins. They include most membrane-associated enzymes, antigenic proteins, transport proteins, and drug, hormone, and lectin receptors.Dose-Response Relationship, Drug: The relationship between the dose of an administered drug and the response of the organism to the drug.Rabbits: The species Oryctolagus cuniculus, in the family Leporidae, order LAGOMORPHA. Rabbits are born in burrows, furless, and with eyes and ears closed. In contrast with HARES, rabbits have 22 chromosome pairs.Insulin: A 51-amino acid pancreatic hormone that plays a major role in the regulation of glucose metabolism, directly by suppressing endogenous glucose production (GLYCOGENOLYSIS; GLUCONEOGENESIS) and indirectly by suppressing GLUCAGON secretion and LIPOLYSIS. Native insulin is a globular protein comprised of a zinc-coordinated hexamer. Each insulin monomer containing two chains, A (21 residues) and B (30 residues), linked by two disulfide bonds. Insulin is used as a drug to control insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (DIABETES MELLITUS, TYPE 1).Ethanol: A clear, colorless liquid rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and distributed throughout the body. It has bactericidal activity and is used often as a topical disinfectant. It is widely used as a solvent and preservative in pharmaceutical preparations as well as serving as the primary ingredient in ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES.Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel: Electrophoresis in which a polyacrylamide gel is used as the diffusion medium.Alleles: Variant forms of the same gene, occupying the same locus on homologous CHROMOSOMES, and governing the variants in production of the same gene product.Nucleic Acid Hybridization: Widely used technique which exploits the ability of complementary sequences in single-stranded DNAs or RNAs to pair with each other to form a double helix. Hybridization can take place between two complimentary DNA sequences, between a single-stranded DNA and a complementary RNA, or between two RNA sequences. The technique is used to detect and isolate specific sequences, measure homology, or define other characteristics of one or both strands. (Kendrew, Encyclopedia of Molecular Biology, 1994, p503)Signal Transduction: The intracellular transfer of information (biological activation/inhibition) through a signal pathway. In each signal transduction system, an activation/inhibition signal from a biologically active molecule (hormone, neurotransmitter) is mediated via the coupling of a receptor/enzyme to a second messenger system or to an ion channel. Signal transduction plays an important role in activating cellular functions, cell differentiation, and cell proliferation. Examples of signal transduction systems are the GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID-postsynaptic receptor-calcium ion channel system, the receptor-mediated T-cell activation pathway, and the receptor-mediated activation of phospholipases. Those coupled to membrane depolarization or intracellular release of calcium include the receptor-mediated activation of cytotoxic functions in granulocytes and the synaptic potentiation of protein kinase activation. Some signal transduction pathways may be part of larger signal transduction pathways; for example, protein kinase activation is part of the platelet activation signal pathway.
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