The process of aging can be defined as the sum accumulation of damages and changes in metabolism during the life of an organism, due to both genetic predisposition and stochastic damage. During the gestational period and following parturition, similar damage can be seen due to the strenuous effect on the maternal body, exhibited on both the physiological and cellular level. In this review, we will focus on the similar physiological and cellular characteristics exhibited during pregnancy and aging, including induction of and response to oxidative stress, inflammation, and degradation of telomeres. We will evaluate any similar processes between aging and pregnancy by comparing common biomarkers, pathologies, and genetic and epigenetic effects, to establish the pregnant body as a model for aging. This review will approach the connection both in respect to current theories on aging as a byproduct of natural selection, and regarding unrelated biochemical similarities between the two, drawing on existing studies and models in humans and other species where relevant alike. Furthermore, we will show the response of the pregnant body to these changes, and through that illuminate unique areas of potential study to advance our knowledge of the maladies relating to aging and pregnancy, and an avenue for solutions.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was funded by the Israel Science Foundation (ISF) , grant number 193/16 .
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.
- Genomic modifications
- Physiological pathologies
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology