American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
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Experimental studies that are relevant to human pregnancy rely on the selection of appropriate animal models as an important element in experimental design. Consideration of the strengths and weaknesses of any animal model of human disease is fundamental to effective and meaningful translation of preclinical research. Studies in sheep have made significant contributions to our understanding of the normal and abnormal development of the fetus. As a model of human pregnancy, studies in sheep have enabled scientists and clinicians to answer questions about the etiology and treatment of poor maternal, placental, and fetal health and to provide an evidence base for translation of interventions to the clinic. The aim of this review is to highlight the advances in perinatal human medicine that have been achieved following translation of research using the pregnant sheep and fetus.