Padma Murthi* and Gayathri Rajaraman Pages 165 - 175 ( 11 )
Over the past 20 years, the prevalence of obesity has risen dramatically worldwide, with an increase in occurrence among women in their reproductive age. Obesity during pregnancy is associated with significantly increased maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality. In addition to the short-term adverse health outcomes, both mother and the child are prone to develop cardiovascular, metabolic and neurological disorders. Although associations between obesity during pregnancy and adverse maternalfetal health outcomes are clear, the complex molecular mechanisms underlying maternal obesity remain largely unknown. This review describes multimeric self-assembling protein complexes, namely inflammasomes, as potential molecular targets in the pathophysiology of maternal obesity. Inflammasomes are implicated in both normal physiological and in pathophysiological processes that occur in response to an inflammatory milieu throughout gestation. This review highlights the current knowledge of inflammasome expression and its activity in pregnancies affected by maternal obesity. Key discussions in defining pharmacological inhibition of upstream as well as downstream targets of the inflammasome signaling cascade; and the inflammasome platform, as a potential therapeutic strategy in attenuating the pathophysiology underpinning inflammatory component in maternal obesity are presented herein.
Maternal obesity, pregnancy, placenta, inflammation, inflammasomes, maternal care.
Cardiovascular Disease Program, Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute and Department of Pharmacology, Monash University, Victoria, First Year College, Victoria University, Melbourne VIC 8001