Analysis of the original causes of placental oxidative stress in normal pregnancy and pre-eclampsia: a hypothesis.
ABSTRACT Pre-eclampsia (PE) and eclampsia remain enigmatic despite intensive research. Growing evidence suggests that placental oxidative stress (OS) is involved in the etiopathogenesis of pre-eclampsia. Reduced perfusion as a result of abnormal placentation was proposed to be responsible for placental OS in PE. However, placental OS was also observed in normal pregnancy. The exact differences and correlation of placental OS in PE and normal pregnancy remain elusive. In this review, we attempted to link both normal pregnancy and PE on the causes of placental OS and proposed a hypothesis that placental OS in normal pregnancy, plus the exploration of other placental and/or maternal factors, could provide a novel explanation of that in PE. We concluded that pregnancy, placental abnormality and preexisting maternal constitutional conditions are three principle factors that could contribute to placental OS in PE. The specific causes in each clinical case could be heterogeneous, which requires individual analysis.