Endocrine disruptors, environmental oxygen, epigenetics and pregnancy

Jared C. Robins, Carmen J. Marsit, James F. Padbury, Surendra S. Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


The placenta and its myriad functions are central to successful reproductive outcomes. These functions can be influenced by the environment encountered throughout pregnancy, thereby altering the appropriate genetic programming needed to allow for sustained pregnancy and appropriate fetal development. This altered programming may result from epigenetic alterations related to environmental exposures. Epigenetic alterations are now being linked to several important reproductive outcomes, including early pregnancy loss, intrauterine growth restriction, congenital syndromes, preterm birth, and preeclampsia. The diversity of environmental exposures linked to adverse reproductive effects continues to grow. Much attention has focused on the role of endocrine disruptors in infertility, but recent work suggests that these chemicals may also have adverse effects in pregnancy and development. Environmental oxygen is also critical in pregnancy success. There are clear links between altered oxygen levels and placentation amongst other effects. As research continues to enhance our understanding of the molecular processes including epigenetic regulation that influence pregnancy, it will be critical to specifically examine how the environment, broadly defined, may play a role in altering these critical functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)690-700
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers in Bioscience - Elite
Volume3 E
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Endocrine Disruptors
  • Environmental Oxygen
  • Epigenetics
  • Placenta
  • Reproduction
  • Review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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