IMR Press / FBL / Volume 26 / Issue 9 / DOI: 10.52586/4975
Open Access Mini-Review
Pregnancy, a unique case of heterochronic parabiosis and peripartum cardiomyopathy
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1 Neobiosis LLC, UF Sid Martin Innovate Biotechnology institute, Alachua, FL 32615, USA
2 Department of Obstetrics, Saint Luc University Hospital, Université de Louvain, 1348 Brussels, Belgium
3 Biological Consulting LLC, Miami, FL 33156, USA
*Correspondence: (Pascal J. Goldschmidt-Clermont)
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2021, 26(9), 666–672;
Submitted: 12 July 2021 | Revised: 20 August 2021 | Accepted: 23 August 2021 | Published: 30 September 2021
Copyright: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by BRI.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license (

Introduction: A loss of endogenous stem cells capable of tissue repair and regeneration drives the biological process that we recognize as “aging”. Recovery of stem cell-mediated repair and regenerative functions in aged animals has been reported in murine heterochronic parabiosis experiments. Objectives: Herein we will review how pregnancy is an unusual form of heterochronic parabiosis, as the placenta prevents the exchange of most blood cells between parabionts. Instead, plasma and its content, including small extracellular vesicles, can readily cross the placental barrier. These nanosized extracellular vesicles are readily produced by the placenta, amnion, fetus and mother, and are essential for fetal organogenesis, growth and the progression of a healthy pregnancy. If defective, these extracellular vesicles can cause havoc such as in the case of peripartum cardiomyopathy. We will also review how these extracellular vesicles impact the mother substantially (including cardiac function) in the parabiosis of pregnancy. Conclusion: Extracellular vesicles generated during the course of a healthy pregnancy are essential for organogenesis and fetal growth, and also for maternal tissue repair and regeneration, and might be defective or deficient in pregnancies that result in peripartum cardiomyopathy.

Amniotic fluid
Heterochronic parabiosis
Amniotic extracellular vesicles
Peripartum cardiomyopathy
Fig. 1.
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