Maternal disease and gasotransmitters.Nitric Oxide. 2020 03 01; 96:1-12.NO
The three known gasotransmitters, nitric oxide, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen sulfide are involved in key processes throughout pregnancy. Gasotransmitters are known to impact on smooth muscle tone, regulation of immune responses, and oxidative state of cells and their component molecules. Failure of the systems that tightly regulate gasotransmitter production and downstream effects are thought to contribute to common maternal diseases such as preeclampsia and preterm birth. Normal pregnancy-related changes in uterine blood flow depend heavily on gasotransmitter signaling. In preeclampsia, endothelial dysfunction is a major contributor to aberrant gasotransmitter signaling, resulting in hypertension after 20 weeks gestation. Maintenance of pregnancy to term also requires gasotransmitter-mediated uterine quiescence. As the appropriate signals for parturition occur, regulation of gasotransmitter signaling must work in concert with those endocrine signals in order for appropriate labor and delivery timing. Like preeclampsia, preterm birth may have origins in abnormal gasotransmitter signaling. We review the evidence for the involvement of gasotransmitters in preeclampsia and preterm birth, as well as mechanistic and molecular signaling targets.