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Special Issue "Impact of Endogenic and Exogenic Oxidative Stress Triggers on Pregnant Woman, Fetus, and Child"

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: closed (1 September 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Joško Osredkar
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Guest Editor
1. University Medical Centre Ljubljana, Clinical institute of Clinical Chemistry and Biochemistry, Zaloška cc.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.

Prof. Dr. Joško Osredkar
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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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Intrauterine Nitric Oxide Deficiency Weakens Differentiation of Vascular Smooth Muscle in Newborn Rats
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(15), 8003; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22158003 - 27 Jul 2021
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Nitric oxide (NO) deficiency during pregnancy is a key reason for preeclampsia development. Besides its important vasomotor role, NO is shown to regulate the cell transcriptome. However, the role of NO in transcriptional regulation of developing smooth muscle has never been studied before. [...] Read more.
Nitric oxide (NO) deficiency during pregnancy is a key reason for preeclampsia development. Besides its important vasomotor role, NO is shown to regulate the cell transcriptome. However, the role of NO in transcriptional regulation of developing smooth muscle has never been studied before. We hypothesized that in early ontogeny, NO is important for the regulation of arterial smooth muscle-specific genes expression. Pregnant rats consumed NO-synthase inhibitor L-NAME (500 mg/L in drinking water) from gestational day 10 till delivery, which led to an increase in blood pressure, a key manifestation of preeclampsia. L-NAME reduced blood concentrations of NO metabolites in dams and their newborn pups, as well as relaxations of pup aortic rings to acetylcholine. Using qPCR, we demonstrated reduced abundances of the smooth muscle-specific myosin heavy chain isoform, α-actin, SM22α, and L-type Ca2+-channel mRNAs in the aorta of newborn pups from the L-NAME group compared to control pups. To conclude, the intrauterine NO deficiency weakens gene expression specific for a contractile phenotype of arterial smooth muscle in newborn offspring. Full article
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