Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Plant-Derived Bioactive Compounds during Pregnancy: Benefits and Risks

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Bioactives and Nutraceuticals".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 May 2024) | Viewed by 1144

Special Issue Editor

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department for Biology of Reproduction, Institute for the Application of Nuclear Energy (INEP), University of Belgrade, Banatska 31b, 11080 Belgrade, Serbia
Interests: natural products pharmacology; toxicology; biomedicine of reproduction; phytonutrients; functional foods

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This open access Special Issue aims to present a wide spectrum of original research data and review articles on the use of bioactive compounds of plant origin during pregnancy. This Special Issue will highlight their activity in different stages of pregnancy and fetal development, obtained from in vitro studies, animal models, and clinical trials, providing insight also into the molecular mechanisms involved. Bearing in mind the abundance of food and pharmaceutical products and their wide repertoire of biological properties, including antioxidative and antiinflammatory, the use of plant-derived bioactive compounds could also be a promising strategy for preventing or alleviating some pregnancy disorders. Despite the growing body of studies highlighting the potential benefits, evidence for the safe use of phytonutrients during pregnancy is still insufficient and there is a lack of evidence-based data. As in vitro, animal and human studies suggest, these compounds, especially in excessive dosages, may have adverse effects on fetal health and pregnancy outcome.

The main feature of this Special Issue is to provide a platform to share novel research from the fields of biomedical nutrition and reproduction that can advance our understanding of effects of phytonutrients consumption on physiological and pathophysiological processes in pregnancy.

Dr. Andrea Pirković will assist Dr. Dragana Dekanski in managing this Special Issue. The scope of this Special Issue is to summarize and improve the knowledge surrounding the benefits and risks of plant-derived bioactive compounds intake during pregnancy. Clarification of these points is essential for issuing future dietary guidelines.

Topics of this Special Issue include but are not limited to:

  • Pharmacological and toxicological research of plant-derived bioactive compounds in pregnancy.
  • Possible effects of phytonutrients at the site of embryo implantation and in the formation of the placenta.
  • Research on the molecular mechanisms behind the effects of plant-derived bioactive compounds at the feto–maternal interface under homeostatic conditions.
  • Possible risk of plant-derived bioactive compounds consumption on pregnancy outcomes.
  • Research on activity and safety of these compounds in pregnancy-related disorders, including gestational diabetes mellitus, preeclampsia, and fetal growth restriction.
  • The importance and novel aspects of the role of dietary plant-derived bioactive compounds in advanced maternal age.
  • The influence of these compounds present in prenatal nutrition on transgenerational health promotion.

Dr. Dragana Dekanski
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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.


  • phytonutrients
  • dietary polyphenols
  • antioxidants
  • pregnancy
  • placenta
  • placental barrier
  • embryo implantation
  • embryo development
  • cell culture
  • animal model
  • clinical trial
  • preeclampsia
  • gestational diabetes mellitus
  • intrauterine growth restriction
  • advanced maternal age
  • transgenerational health promotion

Published Papers (1 paper)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:


18 pages, 2709 KiB  
Oleuropein Stimulates Migration of Human Trophoblast Cells and Expression of Invasion-Associated Markers
by Andrea Pirković, Milica Jovanović Krivokuća, Aleksandra Vilotić, Mirjana Nacka-Aleksić, Žanka Bojić-Trbojević and Dragana Dekanski
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(1), 500; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25010500 - 29 Dec 2023
Viewed by 701
Successful pregnancy establishment requires highly synchronized cross talk between the invasive trophoblast cells and the receptive maternal endometrium. Any disturbances in this tightly regulated process may lead to pregnancy complications. Local factors such as nutrients, hormones, cytokines and reactive oxygen species modulate the [...] Read more.
Successful pregnancy establishment requires highly synchronized cross talk between the invasive trophoblast cells and the receptive maternal endometrium. Any disturbances in this tightly regulated process may lead to pregnancy complications. Local factors such as nutrients, hormones, cytokines and reactive oxygen species modulate the invasion of extravillous trophoblasts through critical signaling cascades. Epidemiological studies strongly indicate that a Mediterranean diet can significantly impact molecular pathways during placentation. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to examine whether oleuropein (OLE), one of the main compounds of the Mediterranean diet, may influence trophoblast cell adhesion and migration, as well as the expression of invasion-associated molecular markers and inflammatory pathways fostering these processes. HTR-8/SVneo cells were incubated with OLE at selected concentrations of 10 and 100 µM for 24 h. Results showed that OLE did not affect trophoblast cell viability, proliferation and adhesion after 24 h in in vitro treatment. The mRNA expression of integrin subunits α1, α5 and β1, as well as matrix-degrading enzymes MMP-2 and -9, was significantly increased after treatment with 10 µM OLE. Furthermore, OLE at a concentration of 10 µM significantly increased the protein expression of integrin subunits α1 and β1. Also, OLE inhibited the activation of JNK and reduced the protein expression of COX-2. Finally, a lower concentration of OLE 10 µM significantly stimulated migration of HTR-8/SVneo cells. In conclusion, the obtained results demonstrate the effects of OLE on the function of trophoblast cells by promoting cell migration and stimulating the expression of invasion markers. As suggested from results, these effects may be mediated via inhibition of the JNK signaling pathway. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop