p38 Mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK): a new therapeutic target for reducing the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Introduction: Spontaneous preterm birth (PTB) and preterm premature rupture of the membranes (pPROM) remain as a major clinical and therapeutic problem for intervention and management. Current strategies, based on our knowledge of pathways of preterm labor, have only been effective, in part, due to major gaps in our existing knowledge of risks and risk specific pathways. Areas covered: Recent literature has identified physiologic aging of fetal tissues as a potential mechanistic feature of normal parturition. This process is affected by telomere dependent and p38 mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) induced senescence activation. Pregnancy associated risk factors can cause pathologic activation of this pathway that can cause oxidative stress induced p38 MAPK activation leading to senescence and premature aging of fetal tissues. Premature aging is associated with sterile inflammation capable of triggering preterm labor or preterm premature rupture of membranes. Preterm activation of p38MAPK can be considered as a key contributor to adverse pregnancies. Expert opinion: This review considers p38MAPK activation as a potential target for therapeutic interventions to prevent adverse pregnancy outcomes mediated by stress factors. In this review, we propose multiple strategies to prevent p38MAPK activation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1397-1412
Number of pages16
JournalExpert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • Preterm birth
  • aging
  • interventions
  • oxidative stress
  • pregnancy and child birth
  • premature rupture of membranes
  • senescence
  • sterile inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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