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Impact of Endogenic and Exogenic Oxidative Stress Triggers on Pregnant Woman, Fetus, and Child 2.0

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Endocrinology and Metabolism".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 1963

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Guest Editor
1. Clinical Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Biochemistry, University Medical Centre Ljubljana, Zaloška c. 2., 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
2. Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ljubljana, Aškerčeva 7, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Interests: pregnancy complications; screening for Down syndrome; autism spectrum disorders; tumor markers
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

In all living organisms, there is a delicate balance between oxidation caused by reactive species (RS, also called free radicals) and antioxidant defense. A shift in this balance is the cause of a condition known as “oxidative stress” (OS), which can cause cellular damage that eventually leads to premature aging and many diseases. Oxidative stress is not actually a “disease” and does not show a specific clinical picture, but it hides behind the symptoms and signs of the underlying disease. In other words, we can only measure it if we perform certain biochemical tests. These tests can be set for different biological samples.

Pregnancy is a dynamic process during which systemic and local changes occur in the mother. All these changes are necessary for the normal development of the fetus. Disorders in this process can lead to complications in pregnancy, changes in the growth path of the fetus, premature birth, and some other conditions (e.g., treatment of preeclampsia and gestational diabetes or the need for caesarean section), intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), and small or large infants for gestational age.

Homeostasis of the maternal environment is maintained through a variety of mediators, including hormones, cytokines, oxidative status, and diet. Factors that interfere with this homeostasis can be endogenous or exogenous and are inflammation, oxidative stress, exposure to chemical agents, and lack or excess of food, which can jeopardize the growth and development of the fetus. During pregnancy, there is an increase in oxidative stress, a phenomenon caused by the usual systemic inflammatory response, resulting in a large amount of reactive oxygen species in the circulation. The development and maturation of the placenta is a complex process that requires coordinated regulation of trophoblast invasion and its differentiation and spread in the maternal decidua.

This Special Issue is dedicated to all aspects of oxidative stress. We must take into account all extensions of oxidative stress, which also include the period before fertilization itself, and the entire duration of pregnancy and childbirth. However, we know that oxidative stress during pregnancy can lead to the development of certain disorders even in the later development of the child. When considering your submission, please keep in mind that IJMS is a journal of molecular science. However, submissions of clinical studies that include biomolecular experiments or pathological research with case sample data are welcomed.

Due to the success of Volume 1, we would like to add more results and new insights from recent research projects. You can find Volume 1 at the following link:


Prof. Dr. Joško Osredkar
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • oxidative stress
  • angiogenesis
  • hypertension in pregnancy
  • preterm birth
  • metabolic syndrome
  • biomarkers
  • toxic agents
  • follicular fluid
  • amniotic fluid
  • cord blood

Published Papers (1 paper)

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15 pages, 810 KiB  
The Importance of Metabolic and Environmental Factors in the Occurrence of Oxidative Stress during Pregnancy
by Miljana Z. Jovandaric, Sandra Babic, Misela Raus and Biljana Medjo
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(15), 11964; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241511964 - 26 Jul 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1398
Metabolic changes in pregnant women begin in the first weeks after conception under the influence of placental hormones that affect the metabolism of all nutrients. An increased concentration of total lipids accompanies pregnancy and an increased accumulation of triglycerides in low-density lipoproteins (LDL) [...] Read more.
Metabolic changes in pregnant women begin in the first weeks after conception under the influence of placental hormones that affect the metabolism of all nutrients. An increased concentration of total lipids accompanies pregnancy and an increased accumulation of triglycerides in low-density lipoproteins (LDL) particles. Lipids in small dense LDL particles are more susceptible to oxidative modification than normal-density LDL particles. Unlike LDL high-density lipoproteins (HDL), lipoprotein particles have an atheroprotective role in lipid metabolism. The very growth of the fetus depends on the nutrition of both parents, so obesity is not only in the mother but also in the father. Nutritional programming of the offspring occurs through changes in lipid metabolism and leads to an increased risk for cardiometabolic diseases. Pregnancy is accompanied by an increased need for oxygen in the mitochondria of the placenta and a tendency to develop oxidative stress. Oxidative stress represents a disturbance in the balance of oxidation–reduction processes in the body that occurs due to the excessive production of free oxygen radicals that cellular homeostatic mechanisms are unable to neutralize. When the balance with the antioxidant system is disturbed, which happens when free oxygen radicals are in high concentrations, serious damage to biological molecules occurs, resulting in a series of pathophysiological and pathological changes, including cell death. Therefore, oxidative stress plays a significant role in the pathogenesis of many complications that can occur during pregnancy. The oxidative status of pregnant women is also influenced by socioeconomic living conditions, lifestyle habits, diet, smoking, and exposure to environmental air pollution. During a healthy pregnancy, the altered lipid profile and oxidative stress create an increased risk for premature birth and pregnancy-related diseases, and a predisposition to adult diseases. Full article
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