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2 Period of Organ Formation (Organogenesis) Cell death and mitotic delay during organogenesis can lead to defects in the induction process and traditionally have been considered as the major cause of morphologic lesions or malformations (Brent, 1994; Streffer and Molls, 1987). Proliferation is accompanied by remodeling: the neural plate forms into the neural tube and outpouchings result in the primitive brain, the complex structure of the heart is attained, and external body form is developed, ranging from limb shape to facial features.
2 Biological Molecules The survival of the embryo/fetus depends upon an adequate supply of certain products (hormones and enzymes) produced by maternal organs and the placenta. Thus, many biological molecules are transferred across the placenta uia specific pathways and many are effectively excluded. Protein hormones do not cross to the fetus in large amounts. Unconjugated steroid hormones, testosterone and progestins cross easily. Maternal antibodies cross the placenta and confer passive immunity to the fetus and newborn infant.
3, the relative sizes and geometries of the placenta and the fetus change during pregnancy. At approximately 20 weeks, the placenta partially surrounds the fetus but placental dimensions are small compared to the fetus towards the time of birth so that only a small part of the fetus would be directly apposed to the placenta. Therefore, the fraction of photons emitted by radionuclides in the placenta and absorbed by the fetus is a function of gestational age and fetal position. 6. Effects of Prenatal Irradiation The physical mechanisms that produce effects from internallydeposited radioactive materials do not differ from those that pertain to irradiation by external sources.
Radionuclide exposure of the embryo/fetus : recommendations of the national Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements by NCRP