Role of autophagy in oocytogenesis, embryogenesis, implantation, and pathophysiology of pre-eclampsia

Akitoshi Nakashima, Aiko Aoki, Tae Kusabiraki, Tomoko Shima, Osamu Yoshino, Shi Bin Cheng, Surendra Sharma, Shigeru Saito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Autophagy is a well-conserved mechanism in cells from yeast to mammals, and autophagy maintains homeostasis against stress. The role of autophagy was originally shown to be a mechanism of energy production under starvation. In fact, multiple lines of evidence reveal that autophagy has numerous functions, such as protection from stress, energy regulation, immune regulation, differentiation, proliferation, and cell death. In the field of reproduction, the role of autophagy in implantation, embryogenesis, placentation, and delivery has become clearer. In addition, recent study has elucidated that the placenta has the ability to protect extraplacental cells from virus infection by activating autophagy. During resent research into autophagy, several issues have occurred in the interpretation of the autophagy status. In this review, we discuss the relation between autophagy and reproductive events, and show the importance of autophagy for placentation and pre-eclampsia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)633-643
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • autophagy
  • extravillous trophoblast
  • hypoxia
  • invasion
  • pre-eclampsia
  • soluble endoglin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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