When birth comes early: effects on nephrogenesis

Mary Jane Black, Megan Rose Sutherland, Lina Gubhaju, Alison L Kent, Jane E Dahlstrom, Lynette Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Preterm birth is defined as birth prior to 37 completed weeks of gestation and comprises 9.6 of total births worldwide(1) . Preterm birth can be further sub-classified into near term (birth at 34 - 37 weeks gestation), moderately preterm (birth between 32 and 33 weeks of gestation), very preterm (birth between 28 and 31 weeks gestation) and extremely preterm (birth <28 weeks of gestation). The survival of neonates after preterm birth has improved dramatically over recent decades, with babies born as young as 25 weeks gestation now having up to an 80 chance of survival(2) . Preterm birth has the potential for deleterious developmental programming, and the kidney is particularly vulnerable. Nephrogenesis normally ceases prior to term birth and any impact on nephron number at the beginning of life may have adverse consequences for life-long renal health(3) . In the human, the first nephrons are formed by 9 weeks of gestation and nephrogenesis is completed between 32 to 36 weeks gestation(4) . The majority of nephrons are formed in the third trimester of pregnancy at the time when preterm infants are being delivered. Emerging epidemiological studies have linked preterm birth with altered renal function in childhood and adulthood(5) . In addition, there are a number of studies linking preterm birth with an increase in blood pressure later in life(6,7) .
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180 - 182
Number of pages3
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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