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Antenatal Hypoxia Induces Programming of Reduced Arterial Blood Pressure Response in Female Rat Offspring: Role of Ovarian Function

  • Author(s): Xiao, DaLiao
  • Huang, Xiaohui
  • Xue, Qin
  • Zhang, Lubo
  • et al.

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In utero exposure to adverse environmental factors increases the risk of cardiovascular disease in adulthood. The present study tested the hypothesis that antenatal hypoxia causes a gender-dependent programming of altered arterial blood pressure response (BP) in adult offspring. Time-dated pregnant rats were divided into normoxic and hypoxic (10.5% O2 from days 15 to 21 of gestation) groups. The experiments were conducted in adult offspring. Antenatal hypoxia caused intrauterine growth restriction, and resulted in a gender-dependent increase Angiotensin II (Ang II)-induced BP response in male offspring, but significant decrease in BP response in female offspring. The baroreflex sensitivity was not significantly altered. Consistent with the reduced blood pressure response, antenatal hypoxia significantly decreased Ang II-induced arterial vasoconstriction in female offspring. Ovariectomy had no significant effect in control animals, but significantly increased Ang II-induced maximal BP response in prenatally hypoxic animals and eliminated the difference of BP response between the two groups. Estrogen replacement in ovariectomized animals significantly decreased the BP response to angiotensin II I only in control, but not in hypoxic animals. The result suggests complex programming mechanisms of antenatal hypoxia in regulation of ovary function. Hypoxia-mediated ovary dysfunction results in the phenotype of reduced vascular contractility and BP response in female adult offspring.

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