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Fetal programming and its effects on vascular pulmonary circulation


Into the scientific community, consensus about the emerging concept of “the fetal origin of adult diseases” is growing. It sustains that the parental (of the two parents) adversities, and the related external influences, during the intra-utero/ perinatal life of each eutherian mammal organism, human included, can permanently set the structure and functionality of specific body systems (i.e., immune, endocrine, nervous and cardiovascular systems), predisposing them to early ageing and disease during adulthood. The pulmonary circulation system also appears to be one of its targets. Established evidence supports the strong association between developmental programming and pulmonary arterial remodeling and dysfunction. Here, a revised overview of this topic is reported, by stressing the efforts and advances in identifying the molecular and cellular mechanisms and pathways involved