Assistant Professor
Division of Neonatology

Project Title: The role of IL10 in early vascularity and endothelial dysfunction, and programming of adult cardiovascular disease

Sherin Devaskar, MD – UCLA
Madhuri Wadehra, PhD – UCLA

Multidisciplinary Expertise:
Placenta, immunology of reproduction, endothelial dysfunction, vasculogenesis, intrauterine growth restriction

Project description:
Placental insufficiency encompasses a spectrum of pregnancy disorders including pre-eclampsia, recurrent miscarriage, and intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). Its pathophysiology is poorly understood and there is a lack of validated prevention strategies, diagnostic testing, and treatment for placental insufficiency. My project focuses on altered placental vascularization in IUGR, and proposes to study how: (1) altered placental vascularization, as mediated via immunologic regulatory inputs, leads to placental insufficiency, and (2) endothelial dysfunction is programmed by in utero environment, leading to adverse adult cardiovascular outcomes. These objectives will be accomplished by using human placental samples, animal models of IUGR, and endothelial cell lines to establish mechanistic relationships. Placental insufficiency and its associated disorders represent a significant public health burden, as it puts both mothers and offspring at increased risk for short-term and long-term complications, and this project could better our understanding of pathophysiology, leading to biomarkers of disease and/or therapeutic targets.