Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 293271, 15 pages
Review Article

Oxidative Stress in Placenta: Health and Diseases

Institute of Embryo-Fetal Original Adult Disease, The International Peace Maternity & Child Health Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200030, China

Received 10 September 2015; Accepted 12 November 2015

Academic Editor: Louiza Belkacemi

Copyright © 2015 Fan Wu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


During pregnancy, development of the placenta is interrelated with the oxygen concentration. Embryo development takes place in a low oxygen environment until the beginning of the second trimester when large amounts of oxygen are conveyed to meet the growth requirements. High metabolism and oxidative stress are common in the placenta. Reactive oxidative species sometimes harm placental development, but they are also reported to regulate gene transcription and downstream activities such as trophoblast proliferation, invasion, and angiogenesis. Autophagy and apoptosis are two crucial, interconnected processes in the placenta that are often influenced by oxidative stress. The proper interactions between them play an important role in placental homeostasis. However, an imbalance between the protective and destructive mechanisms of autophagy and apoptosis seems to be linked with pregnancy-related disorders such as miscarriage, preeclampsia, and intrauterine growth restriction. Thus, potential therapies to hold oxidative stress in leash, promote placentation, and avoid unwanted apoptosis are discussed.