A pregnant woman´s body undergoes profound anatomical and physiological changes to accommodate the needs of the maternal-fetal unit required for a successful pregnancy. During normal pregnancy, the placenta produces a variant of human growth hormone as well as a chorionic somatomammotropin hormone. These are the placental members of the human growth hormone gene family and play a crucial role in the regulation of maternal and fetal metabolism, as well as in the growth and development of the fetus. For this reason, the scope of this chapter is to describe the differences of the biochemical and physiological roles of the hormones coded in this locus during pregnancy, the repercussions of their deficiencies, and role in some of the most prevalent pathologies during pregnancy affecting either the mother or the fetus and also to describe how pioneering sequencing of this locus allowed our laboratory to invent the first companion diagnostics test and thus contributed to the dawn of the personalized medicine era.
Part of the book: Growth Disorders and Acromegaly