Ex Vivo Perfusion of the Rodent Placenta

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The placenta is a key organ during pregnancy that serves as a barrier to fetal xenobiotic exposure and mediates the exchange of nutrients for waste. An assay is described here to perfuse an isolated rat placenta and evaluate the maternal-to-fetal translocation of xenobiotics ex vivo. In addition, the evaluation of physiological processes such as fluid flow to the fetus and placental metabolism may be conducted with this methodology. This technique is suitable for evaluating maternal-to-fetal kinetics of pharmaceutical candidates or environmental contaminants. In contrast to current alternative approaches, this methodology allows the evaluation of the isolated maternal-fetal vasculature, with the systemic neural or immune involvement removed, allowing any observed changes in physiological function to be attributable to local factors within the isolated tissue.