Bioenergetics adaptations and redox homeostasis in pregnancy and related disorders


Pregnancy is a challenging physiological process that involves maternal adaptations to the increasing energetics demands imposed by the growing conceptus. Failure to adapt to these requirements may result in serious health complications for the mother and the baby. The mitochondria are biosynthetic and energy-producing organelles supporting the augmented energetic demands of pregnancy. Evidence suggests that placental mitochondria display a dynamic phenotype through gestation. At early stages of pregnancy placental mitochondria are mainly responsible for the generation of metabolic intermediates and reactive oxygen species (ROS), while at later stages of gestation, the placental mitochondria exhibit high rates of oxygen consumption. This review describes the metabolic fingerprint of the placental mitochondria at different stages of pregnancy and summarises key signs of mitochondrial dysfunction in pathological pregnancy conditions, including preeclampsia, gestational diabetes and intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). So far, the effects of placental-driven metabolic changes governing the metabolic adaptations occurring in different maternal tissues in both, healthy and pathological pregnancies, remain to be uncovered. Understanding the function and molecular aspects of the adaptations occurring in placental and maternal tissue’s mitochondria will unveil potential targets for further therapeutic exploration that could address pregnancy-related disorders. Targeting mitochondrial metabolism is an emerging approach for regulating mitochondrial bioenergetics. This review will also describe the potential therapeutic use of compounds with a recognised effect on mitochondria, for the management of preeclampsia.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > Aston Medical School > Translational Medicine Research Group (TMRG)
College of Health & Life Sciences > Aston Medical School
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mitochondria,Mitochondrial dysfunction,Mitochondrial-targeted drugs,Pregnancy,Molecular Biology,Clinical Biochemistry,Cell Biology
Publication ISSN: 1573-4919
Last Modified: 14 May 2024 07:25
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2021 14:44
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: https://link.sp ... 010-021-04215-0 (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Review article
Published Date: 2021-11
Published Online Date: 2021-07-01
Accepted Date: 2021-06-21
Authors: Sanchez Aranguren, Lissette (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-4663-5752)
Nadeem, Sarah



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

| Preview

Export / Share Citation


Additional statistics for this record