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Journal of Pregnancy
Volume 2012, Article ID 582748, 8 pages
Review Article

Impact of Oxidative Stress in Fetal Programming

Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 11-029 Bressler Research Building, 655 W. Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA

Received 5 April 2012; Revised 7 June 2012; Accepted 21 June 2012

Academic Editor: Janna Morrison

Copyright © 2012 Loren P. Thompson and Yazan Al-Hasan. 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.


Intrauterine stress induces increased risk of adult disease through fetal programming mechanisms. Oxidative stress can be generated by several conditions, such as, prenatal hypoxia, maternal under- and overnutrition, and excessive glucocorticoid exposure. The role of oxidant molecules as signaling factors in fetal programming via epigenetic mechanisms is discussed. By linking oxidative stress with dysregulation of specific target genes, we may be able to develop therapeutic strategies that protect against organ dysfunction in the programmed offspring.