Musha, Yuka, Itoh, Shigeru, Miyakawa, Miho, Ohtsuji, Mareki, Hanson, Mark A., Kinoshita, Katsuyuki and Takeda, Satoru
Vascular, renal and placental effects on pregnant offspring of protein-restricted rat dams
Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research, 37, (4), . (doi:10.1111/j.1447-0756.2010.01351.x). (PMID:21272146).
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Aim: Our previous study showed that a maternal low-protein diet induced hypertension and vascular dysfunction in rat offspring after day 175. In the present study, we hypothesized that these female offspring would develop hypertension in their own pregnancies even at ages less than 175 days because potential vascular dysfunction is exacerbated by the circulatory demands of pregnancy.
Material and Methods: Wistar rats were fed an isocaloric diet containing either 18% (control group) or 9% (low-protein group) casein throughout pregnancy. The female offspring were fed standard chow and mated between days 70 and 125. At the end of pregnancy, blood pressure was measured, and the uterine arteries were dissected and investigated with a wire myograph.
Results: Placental weights were significantly lower in offspring of the low-protein group versus control. There
were no significant differences in blood pressure. Renal expression of AT1 receptor mRNA was greater, and of AT2 receptor was less, in the low-protein group versus control. Vasoconstriction of uterine arteries to phenylephrine and U46619 was increased in the low-protein group, and vasodilatation to sodium nitroprusside was also increased.
Conclusion: Low-protein diet induces vascular effects on female offspring in their pregnancy, in terms of increased uterine artery vasoconstriction. This may be compensated for by increased sensitivity to nitric oxide (NO), maintaining blood pressure normal in the face of the demands of pregnancy. Such renal and vascular effects, combined with placental size, may transmit risk of vascular dysfunction to subsequent generations.
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