The effects of experimental gestational hypertension on maternal blood pressure and fluid intake and pre-weanling hypothalamic neuronal activity
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To examine the fetal programming effects of maternal hypertension, natriophilia and hyperreninemia [experimentally induced in rats by partial inter-renal aortic ligature (PAL) prior to mating] fos immunoreactivity was studied in 6-day-old offspring of PAL and control mothers. The purposes of the present set of experiments were twofold. The first was to characterize the effects of PAL on the mother's arterial blood pressure and intake of salt (1.8% NaCl solution) and water over the course of gestation. Second, was to study the pattern of neuronal activation in key brain areas of 6-day-old offspring treated with the dipsogen isoproterenol that were from PAL and control mothers. Beta-adrenergic receptor agonist-treated pups allowed the determination whether there were neuroanatomical correlates within the neural substrates controlling thirst and the enhanced water intake evidenced by the isoproterenol treated pups of PAL mothers. Hydromineral ingestive behavior along with blood pressure and heart rate of PAL (M-PAL) and control (M-sPAL) dams throughout gestation was studied. Higher salt and water intakes along with blood pressures and heart rates were found during gestation and lactation in the M-PAL group. Maternal PAL evoked significantly increased isoproterenol-elicited Fos staining in brain regions (e.g. subfornical organ, organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis, supraoptic nucleus, hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus and median preoptic nucleus) of 6-day-old pups, which is the age of animals shown enhanced thirst responses in PAL offspring. These results indicate that PAL is compatible with pregnancy, producing a sustained increase in blood pressure and heart rate, along with increased water and salt intake. The present study demonstrates that the neural substrates involved in cardiovascular homeostasis and fluid balance in adult rats are responsive in six-day-old rats, and can be altered by fetal programming. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd
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