Gestational Age-Dependent Fetal Fluid Dynamics in the Ovine Developmental Model: Establishment of Surrogate Markers for the Differentiation of Stem Cell Origin.


Institute for Regenerative Medicine (IREM), University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland, [Email]


The ovine developmental model represents the standard in vivo model for studies involving maternofetal physiology, amniotic fluid (AF) research, and fetal cell therapy prior to human clinical use. Although being close to the human fetal anatomy, 2 separate extraembryonic fluid compartments remain during gestation, known as the amnion and the allantois. A clear distinction between AF versus allantoic fluid (AL) is therefore indispensable for correct scientific conclusions with regard to human translation. In the presented study, the biochemical composition of AF and AL was evaluated in ovine gravid uteri postmortem (n = 31) over the entire gestation. Four parameters, consisting of Na+, Cl-, Mg2+, and total protein, have been found to allow for specific discrimination of the 2 fetal fluids at all gestational phases and therefore as potential surrogate parameters for gestational age. In addition, volumetric changes of the developing fetus and the 2 fetal fluid cavities were analyzed by contrast-enhanced computed tomography (n = 12). AF showed a significant, linear volumetric increase over gestation, whereas AL volume maintained relatively static independent of gestational age. These results serve as a basis for future studies by providing surrogate markers enabling a reliable distinction of isolated fetal fluids and contained cells in the ovine developmental model over the entire gestation.


Allantoic fluid,Amniotic fluid,Amniotic fluid stem cells,Developmental model,Fetal fluid volumes,

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