ResearchPad - maternal-fetal-and-neonatal-physiology https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Metabolic changes during pregnancy in glucose‐intolerant NZO mice: A polygenic model with prediabetic metabolism]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N7d1aff3c-4c37-44e4-a38a-f0102ec2938b The aim of this work was to evaluate metabolic changes during pregnancy within the polygenic NZO mouse model and if it is a suitable one for the human disease. NZO mice showed early alterations in glucose homeostasis and insulin secretion, but no overt diabetes. Interestingly, the preconceptionally impaired glucose tolerance did not deteriorate during gestation despite a proliferation defect of Langerhans islets.

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<![CDATA[Altered proteomics profile in the amnion of patients with oligohydramnios]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N99378a5b-0e9c-4e98-b614-8c3f09ac9275

Abstract

In pregnancy, idiopathic oligohydramnios is an obstetrical complication that compromises maternal health with poor perinatal outcome. Effective therapeutic treatment of this condition has been hampered by the unknown etiology and lack of understanding of cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie idiopathic oligohydramnios. Amniotic fluid volume (AFV) is determined by intramembranous (IM) transport of amniotic fluid across the amnion and this pathway is regulated to maintain AFV within the normal range. To gain understanding of the causes of idiopathic oligohydramnios, we performed proteomics analysis of the human amnion to investigate the changes in protein expression profiles of cellular transport pathways and regulators in patients with oligohydramnios. Placental amnions from five patients with normal pregnancies and five patients with oligohydramnios were subjected to proteomics experiments followed by bioinformatics analysis. Using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) software, five categories of biological functions and multiple canonical pathways within each category were revealed. The top differentially expressed proteins that participate in mediating these pathways were identified. The functional pathways activated include: (a) cellular assembly and organization, (b) cell signaling and energy metabolism, and (c) immunological, infectious, and inflammatory functions. Furthermore, the analysis identified the category of pathways that facilitate molecular endocytosis and vesicular uptake. Under oligohydramniotic conditions, the mediators of clathrin vesicle‐mediated uptake and transport as well as intracellular trafficking mediators were up‐regulated. These findings suggest that idiopathic oligohydramnios may be associated with alternations in cellular organization and immunological functions as well as increases in activity of vesicular transport pathways across the amnion.

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<![CDATA[Maternal exercise upregulates mitochondrial gene expression and increases enzyme activity of fetal mouse hearts]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b378353463d7e6b6e6f5900

Abstract

Maternal exercise during pregnancy has been shown to improve the long‐term health of offspring in later life. Mitochondria are important organelles for maintaining adequate heart function, and mitochondrial dysfunction is linked to cardiovascular disease. However, the effects of maternal exercise during pregnancy on mitochondrial biogenesis in hearts are not well understood. Thus, the purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that mitochondrial gene expression in fetal myocardium would be upregulated by maternal exercise. Twelve‐week‐old female C57BL/6 mice were divided into sedentary and exercise groups. Mice in the exercise group were exposed to a voluntary cage‐wheel from gestational day 1 through 17. Litter size and individual fetal weights were taken when pregnant dams were sacrificed at 17 days of gestation. Three to four hearts from the same group were pooled to study gene expression, protein expression, and enzyme activity. There were no significant differences in litter size, sex distribution, and average fetal body weight per litter between sedentary and exercised dams. Genes encoding mitochondrial biogenesis and dynamics, including nuclear respiratory factor‐1 (Nrf1), Nrf2, and dynamin‐related GTPase termed mitofusin‐2 (Mfn2) were significantly upregulated in the fetal hearts from exercised dams. Cytochrome c oxidase activity and ATP production were significantly increased, while the hydrogen peroxide level was significantly decreased in the fetal hearts by maternal exercise. Our results demonstrate that maternal exercise initiated at day 1 of gestation could transfer the positive mitochondrial phenotype to fetal hearts.

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<![CDATA[In vivo investigation of female reproductive functions and parameters in nonpregnant mice models and mass spectrometric analysis of the methanol leaf extract of Emilia Coccinea (Sims) G Dons]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bd40814d5eed0c484786b47

Abstract

In Southern Nigeria, the leaves of Emilia coccinea (Sims) G Dons are used traditionally for birth control. This study was therefore aimed at evaluating the activities of the methanolic leaf extract of Emilia coccinea (EM) on parameters that affect reproduction as well as the acute toxic effects of the plant using nonpregnant female mice models. Leaves of EM were extracted by maceration with 99.8% methanol. Oral acute toxicity profiles were examined. The effects of EM on female reproductive cycle were determined after oral treatment with EM at 1000 and 100 mg/kg/day daily for 6 days using stilbesterol (1 mg/kg/day) and normal saline as controls. The activities of EM (1000 mg/kg/day and 100 mg/kg/day p.o) on reproductive hormones and organs were also studied using estradiol valerat (100 mg/kg/day p.o), progesterone (10 mg/kg/day s.c.), and normal saline as controls. The extract did not induce any observable toxic effect after 24 h. At 1000 mg/kg, the extract significantly shortened the estrus cycle (P < 0.05) while prolonging the estrus phase which were comparable to that observed with stilbesterol. The extract also increased uterine weight and altered the histology of uterine and ovarian tissues. The female reproductive hormones were additionally altered at 1000 mg/kg and the effects were comparable to that of estradiol valerat such as to indicate possible antifertility effects. LCHRFTMS analysis showed 9 putatively identified compounds with pyrrolizidine alkaloid occurring at the highest intensity among the identified compounds. In conclusion, the leaf extracts of EM has been shown in this study to exhibit antiovulatory and estrogenic activities which would support the traditional use of the plant in Nigeria.

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<![CDATA[Loss of slit protein nephrin is associated with reduced antioxidant superoxide dismutase expression in podocytes shed from women with preeclampsia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b5bc7b8463d7e239cf0e962

Abstract

Recent findings of podocyte shedding/podocyturia highlight the central significance of podocyte injury in preeclampsia, a hypertensive disorder unique to human pregnancy. To test the hypothesis that oxidative stress contributes to kidney podocyte injury in preeclampsia, we specifically examined expression and distribution of antioxidant CuZn‐SOD with nephrin and podoplanin in shed podocytes from women with preeclampsia. Human podocyte AB 8/13 cells served as control. We found that CuZn‐SOD was localized at the front/outreach region of nephrin at the cell periphery (foot process areas) in control podocytes and expression of CuZn‐SOD, nephrin, and podoplanin were all dislocated or lost in shed podocytes from preeclamptic patients. We further tested oxidative stress‐induced nephrin shedding in podocytes, in which AB 8/13 podocytes were cultured under lowered oxygen condition (2%O2) or treated with hypoxic mimicking agent cobalt chloride. Our results showed that reduced nephrin and podoplanin expression were associated with downregulation of CuZn‐SOD expression in podocytes when cells were cultured under lowered oxygen or hypoxic conditions. Nephrin shed in urinary specimen from preeclamptic women was also determined by immunoprecipitation/immunoblotting. The molecular sizes of nephrin that corresponded to that were lost when cells were cultured under hypoxic conditions. We concluded that increased oxidative stress plays a significant role in inducing podocyte protein shedding in preeclampsia.

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<![CDATA[Fetal in vivo continuous cardiovascular function during chronic hypoxia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bcff97b40307c37826e7855

Key points

  • The in vivo fetal cardiovascular defence to chronic hypoxia has remained by and large an enigma because no technology has been available to induce significant and prolonged fetal hypoxia whilst recording longitudinal changes in fetal regional blood flow as the hypoxic pregnancy is developing.

  • We introduce a new technique able to maintain chronically instrumented maternal and fetal sheep preparations under isobaric chronic hypoxia for most of gestation, beyond levels that can be achieved by high altitude and of relevance in magnitude to the human intrauterine growth‐restricted fetus.

  • This technology permits wireless recording in free‐moving animals of longitudinal maternal and fetal cardiovascular function, including beat‐to‐beat alterations in pressure and blood flow signals in regional circulations.

  • The relevance and utility of the technique is presented by testing the hypotheses that the fetal circulatory brain sparing response persists during chronic fetal hypoxia and that an increase in reactive oxygen species in the fetal circulation is an involved mechanism.

Abstract

Although the fetal cardiovascular defence to acute hypoxia and the physiology underlying it have been established for decades, how the fetal cardiovascular system responds to chronic hypoxia has been comparatively understudied. We designed and created isobaric hypoxic chambers able to maintain pregnant sheep for prolonged periods of gestation under controlled significant (10% O2) hypoxia, yielding fetal mean PaO2 levels (11.5 ± 0.6 mmHg) similar to those measured in human fetuses of hypoxic pregnancy. We also created a wireless data acquisition system able to record fetal blood flow signals in addition to fetal blood pressure and heart rate from free moving ewes as the hypoxic pregnancy is developing. We determined in vivo longitudinal changes in fetal cardiovascular function including parallel measurement of fetal carotid and femoral blood flow and oxygen and glucose delivery during the last third of gestation. The ratio of oxygen (from 2.7 ± 0.2 to 3.8 ± 0.8; P < 0.05) and of glucose (from 2.3 ± 0.1 to 3.3 ± 0.6; P < 0.05) delivery to the fetal carotid, relative to the fetal femoral circulation, increased during and shortly after the period of chronic hypoxia. In contrast, oxygen and glucose delivery remained unchanged from baseline in normoxic fetuses. Fetal plasma urate concentration increased significantly during chronic hypoxia but not during normoxia (Δ: 4.8 ± 1.6 vs. 0.5 ± 1.4 μmol l−1, P<0.05). The data support the hypotheses tested and show persisting redistribution of substrate delivery away from peripheral and towards essential circulations in the chronically hypoxic fetus, associated with increases in xanthine oxidase‐derived reactive oxygen species.

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<![CDATA[Effects of maternal western‐style diet on amniotic fluid volume and amnion VEGF profiles in a nonhuman primate model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c11619bd5eed0c484639f03

Abstract

During pregnancy, high fat diet (HFD) induces maternal obesity, insulin resistance, and placental inflammatory responses that compromise placental and fetal development. Whether maternal HFD would adversely affect amniotic fluid volume (AFV) has not been explored. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is expressed in the amnion and has been proposed as a regulator of AFV. Our aim was to investigate the effects of HFD on AFV and the associated changes in VEGF and soluble VEGF receptor 1 (sFlt‐1) expression profiles in three amnion regions of a nonhuman primate model. Further, we examined the relationships between VEGF expression and HFD‐induced changes in maternal metabolic status. Japanese macaques were maintained on control or HFD and amniotic fluid index (AFI) was measured as an ultrasonic estimate of AFV. Amniotic fluid VEGF concentrations were determined by ELISA and amnion VEGF and sFlt‐1 mRNA levels by real‐time RT‐qPCR. HFD increased maternal plasma triglyceride while glucose levels were unchanged. Maternal weight gain was found in diet‐sensitive animals whereas amniotic fluid VEGF concentration was reduced in diet‐resistant animals. HFD did not alter AFI and there was no correlation between AFI and maternal weight or amniotic fluid VEGF concentrations. VEGF mRNA levels were lowest in secondary placental amnion while sFlt‐1 mRNA were lowest in the primary placental amnion. HFD did not affect amnion VEGF or sFlt‐1 mRNA expression. These findings suggest that although maternal HFD increased maternal weight in diet‐sensitive and reduced amniotic fluid VEGF concentrations in diet‐resistant phenotype, AFV as indicated by the AFI, was not significantly affected.

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