Normal lactational environment restores nephron endowment and prevents hypertension after placental restriction in the rat

Mary E Wlodek, Amy Mibus, Adeline Tan, Andrew L Siebel, Julie A Owens, Karen Margaret Moritz

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Uteroplacental insufficiency in the rat restricts fetal growth, impairs mammary development, compromising postnatal growth; and increases adult BP. The roles of prenatal and postnatal nutritional restraint on later BP and nephron endowment in offspring from mothers that underwent bilateral uterine vessel ligation (restricted) on day 18 of pregnancy were examined. Sham surgery (control) and a group of rats with reduced litter size (reduced; litter size reduced at birth to five, equivalent to restricted group) were used as controls. Offspring (control, reduced, and restricted) were cross-fostered on postnatal day 1 onto a control (normal lactation) or restricted (impaired lactation) mother. BP in male offspring was determined by tail cuff at 8, 12, and 20 wk of age, with glomerular number and volume (Cavalieri/Physical Dissector method) and renal angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1R) mRNA expression (real-time PCR) determined at 6 mo. Restricted-on-restricted male offspring developed hypertension (+16 mmHg) by 20 wk together with a nephron deficit (-26 ) and glomerular hypertrophy (P <0.05). In contrast, providing a normal lactational environment to restricted offspring improved postnatal growth and prevented the nephron deficit and hypertension. Reduced-on-restricted pups that were born of normal weight but with impaired growth during lactation subsequently grew faster, developed hypertension (+16 mmHg), had increased AT1AR and AT1BR mRNA expression (P <0.05), but had no nephron deficit. Our study identifies the prenatal and postnatal nutritional environments in the programming of adult hypertension, associated with distinct renal changes. It is shown for the first time that a prenatally induced nephron deficit can be restored by correcting growth restriction during lactation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1688 - 1696
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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