Autophagy may be involved in gestation complicated by preeclampsia (PE) due to the presence of placental lesions caused by hypoxia at fetomaternal interphase. Autophagy is a lysosomal degradation pathway, removing protein aggregates and organelles damaged and thereby maintaining cell integrity. In preeclampsia, deficient myometrial penetration by extravillous cytotrophoblast occurs during the first trimester of pregnancy, leading to placental insufficiency. Several placental functions, like nutrient and oxygen input to the fetus during pregnancy, might benefit or even rely on autophagy and related material recycling within the cell. Deficiency in autophagy mechanism has been correlated to inflammatory responses. Autophagy is regulated during placentation and appears to be a possible factor in the development of preeclampsia. In this chapter, we intend to discuss evidence on autophagy pathway in pregnancy and the crosstalk between autophagy and inflammation in preeclampsia.
Part of the book: Prediction of Maternal and Fetal Syndrome of Preeclampsia