Researchers from the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona (Spain) have reviewed ten years' worth of scientific studies on mitochondrial toxicity in pregnant women. Exposure to toxic agents such as viruses, certain drugs, pesticides, alcohol and tobacco cause mitochondrial diseases about which very little is known, and which are transmitted from the mother to the foetus. Mitochondria can also suffer acquired pathologies due to, for example, exposure to toxic agents transferred from mother to child, causing conditions such as muscle weakness, inflammation of the pancreas and changes in the distribution and amount of body fat.
A team from the Muscle Research and Mitochondrial Function Laboratory at the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona has reviewed the little information there is available on mitochondrial toxicity in pregnant women over the last ten years. Their report, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, reviews more than 100 studies from the Pubmed/MEDLINE database.
In the report, the researchers propose alternatives in order to avoid any harmful effects for pregnant women and their babies based on two strategies: the search for toxicity markers and the avoidance of any contact with mitochondrial toxic agents.