The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Folate supplementation during pregnancy improves offspring cardiovascular dysfunction Induced by protein restriction

Torrens, Christopher, Brawley, Lee, Anthony, Frederick W., Dance, Caroline S., Dunn, Rebecca, Jackson, Alan A., Poston, Lucilla and Hanson, Mark A. (2006) Folate supplementation during pregnancy improves offspring cardiovascular dysfunction Induced by protein restriction Hypertension, 47, (5), pp. 982-987. (doi:10.1161/01.HYP.0000215580.43711.d1).

Record type: Article


Dietary protein restriction in the rat compromises the maternal cardiovascular adaptations to pregnancy and leads to raised blood pressure and endothelial dysfunction in the offspring. In this study we have hypothesized that dietary folate supplementation of the low-protein diet will improve maternal vascular function and also restore offspring cardiovascular function. Pregnant Wistar rats were fed either a control (18% casein) or protein-restricted (9% casein) diet +/-5 mg/kg folate supplement. Function of isolated maternal uterine artery and small mesenteric arteries from adult male offspring was assessed, systolic blood pressure recorded, and offspring thoracic aorta levels of endothelial nitric oxide (NO) synthase mRNA measured. In the uterine artery of late pregnancy dams, vasodilatation to vascular endothelial growth factor was attenuated in the protein-restricted group but restored with folate supplementation, as was isoprenaline-induced vasodilatation (P<0.05). In male offspring, protein restriction during pregnancy led to raised systolic blood pressure (P<0.01), impaired acetylcholine-induced vasodilatation (P<0.01), and reduced levels of endothelial NO synthase mRNA (P<0.05). Maternal folate supplementation during pregnancy prevented this elevated systolic blood pressure associated with a protein restriction diet. With folate supplementation, endothelium-dependent vasodilatation and endothelial NO synthase mRNA levels were not significantly different from either the control or protein-restricted groups. Maternal folate supplementation of the control diet had no effect on blood pressure or vasodilatation. This study supports the hypothesis that folate status in pregnancy can influence fetal development and, thus, the risks of cardiovascular disease in the next generation. The concept of developmental origins of adult disease focuses predominately on fetal life but must also include a role for maternal cardiovascular function.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: May 2006
Keywords: acid, adult, animals, newborn, arteries, blood, blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular diseases, diet, protein-restricted, disease, drug effects, endothelium, vascular, etiology, female, fetal, fetal development, folic acid, growth, health, hypothesis, male, nitric oxide, pharmacology, physiopathology, pregnancy, pregnancy complications, cardiovascular, pressure, protein, rats, wistar, research support, non-U.S.Gov't, risk, vasodilation, vitamin b complex


Local EPrints ID: 44248
ISSN: 0194-911X
PURE UUID: 04a24899-797e-4fbc-8a86-f54c50531b57

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 20 Feb 2007
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 15:15

Export record



Author: Lee Brawley
Author: Frederick W. Anthony
Author: Caroline S. Dance
Author: Rebecca Dunn
Author: Alan A. Jackson
Author: Lucilla Poston
Author: Mark A. Hanson

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.