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AbstractMaternal obesity (MO) and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) are common in Western societies, which impair fetal development and predispose offspring to metabolic dysfunction. Placenta is the organ linking the mother to her fetus, and MO suppresses the development of vascular system and expression of nutrient transporters in placenta, thereby affecting fetal development. For maintaining its proper physiological function, placenta is energy demanding, which is met through extensive oxidative phosphorylation. However, the oxidative capacity of placenta is suppressed due to MO and GDM. Recently, several studies showed that physical activity during pregnancy enhances oxidative metabolism and improves placental function, which might be partially mediated by exerkines, referring to cytokines elicited by exercise. In addition, as an endocrine organ, placenta secretes cytokines, termed placentokines, including apelin, superoxide dismutase 3, irisin, and adiponectin, which mediate fetal development and maternal metabolism. Possible molecular mechanisms linking maternal exercise and placentokines to placental and fetal development are further discussed. As an emerging field, up to now, available studies are limited, mostly conducted in rodents. Given the epidemics of obesity and metabolic disorders, as well as the prevalence of maternal sedentary lifestyle, the effects of exercise of pregnant women on placental function and placentokine secretion, as well as their impacts on fetal development, need to be further examined. © 2021 Federation of European Biochemical Societies
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Identifier to cite or link to this itemhttp://hdl.handle.net/10713/16670
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