Placenta plays a very significant role in the development of secretory and regulatory functions for the maintenance of pregnancy and in the nutrition of the embryo. It shares many functions of the heart, lung, liver, endocrines, and other organs. In Placental Pharmacology, fourteen expert authors discuss how placenta and its component parts can be used effectively in drug development research and in the study of transfer mechanisms across membranes. This reference begins by describing the use of modern biophysical methods to study placental function and prospects for their application in pharmacological research. The next three chapters deal with placental hemodynamics, use of placental tissues and cells in pharmacological assays, and placental transfer of drugs used in pregnancy. Three more chapters contain up-to-date information on molecular biological aspects of placenta currently receiving lots of attention - phospholipase A2 isozymes, imprinted genes and embryogenesis, and placental growth factors. The final chapter describes the clinically relevant topics of placental metabolism and toxicity of homocysteine in placenta. Easy to understand, thorough, and complete, Placental Pharmacology is the perfect resource for scientists interested in placenta and its uses in drug development and testing.