• The placenta as a compensatory iodine storage organ.

      Burns, Robert; O'Herlihy, Colm; Smyth, Peter P A; UCD Health Sciences Centre, School of Medicine and Medical Science, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland. (Thyroid : official journal of the American Thyroid Association, 2011-05)
      The production of iodine-containing thyroid hormones necessary for brain development in the fetus depends not only on maternal dietary intake but also on placental iodine transport. The optimum level of iodine nutrition during pregnancy and the proportion of the pregnant population reaching this level have previously been evaluated. Little information exists on the ability of the placenta to either accumulate or store iodine. This study aims to investigate iodine uptake and tissue iodine content within placental tissue obtained from women delivering at term.
    • Serum magnesium in the first week of life in extremely low birth weight infants.

      Noone, D; Kieran, E; Molloy, E J; Department of Paediatrics, National Maternity Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. dgnoone@gmail.com (2012)
      Evidence that antenatal administration of magnesium sulfate (MgSO(4)) to women in preterm labor may confer fetal neuroprotection is growing. MgSO(4) crosses the placenta and can affect the neonate. Magnesium homeostasis in extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants remains to be clarified.
    • Vitamin D and neonatal immune function.

      Clancy, N; Onwuneme, C; Carroll, A; McCarthy, R; McKenna, M J; Murphy, N; Molloy, E J (2013-05)
      Vitamin D deficiency is widespread in the neonatal and paediatric population of northern latitudes, particularly in children of African, Middle Eastern and Asian ethnicity. This is associated with diminished immune function and increases the risk of Th1 autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes. Epidermiological studies have also shown a link between vitamin D deficiency in children and a more severe course of illness with lower respiratory tract infection or Respiratory Syncitial Virus (RSV) bronchiolitis. The mechanism by which vitamin D enhances immunity is complex. It acts through the innate immune system by inducing antimicrobial peptides in epithelial cells, neutrophils and macrophages. The role of Vitamin D in neonatal and paediatric immunomodulation requires further study.