Maternal Undernutrition Modulates Neonatal Rat Cerebrovascular Structure, Function, and Vulnerability to Mild Hypoxic-Ischemic Injury via Corticosteroid-Dependent and -Independent Mechanisms
International journal of molecular sciences
The present study explored the hypothesis that an adverse intrauterine environment caused by maternal undernutrition (MUN) acted through corticosteroid-dependent and -independent mechanisms to program lasting functional changes in the neonatal cerebrovasculature and vulnerability to mild hypoxic-ischemic (HI) injury. From day 10 of gestation until term, MUN and MUN-metyrapone (MUN-MET) group rats consumed a diet restricted to 50% of calories consumed by a pair-fed control; and on gestational day 11 through term, MUN-MET groups received drinking water containing MET (0.5 mg/mL), a corticosteroid synthesis inhibitor. P9/P10 pups underwent unilateral carotid ligation followed 24 h later by 1.5 h exposure to 8% oxygen (HI treatment). An ELISA quantified MUN-, MET-, and HI-induced changes in circulating levels of corticosterone. In P11/P12 pups, MUN programming promoted contractile differentiation in cerebrovascular smooth muscle as determined by confocal microscopy, modulated calcium-dependent contractility as revealed by cerebral artery myography, enhanced vasogenic edema formation as indicated by T2 MRI, and worsened neurobehavior MUN unmasked HI-induced improvements in open-field locomotion and in edema resolution, alterations in calcium-dependent contractility and promotion of contractile differentiation. Overall, MUN imposed multiple interdependent effects on cerebrovascular smooth muscle differentiation, contractility, edema formation, flow-metabolism coupling and neurobehavior through pathways that both required, and were independent of, gestational corticosteroids. In light of growing global patterns of food insecurity, the present study emphasizes that infants born from undernourished mothers may experience greater risk for developing neonatal cerebral edema and sensorimotor impairments possibly through programmed changes in neonatal cerebrovascular function.
Franco, Patsy Naomi; Durrant, Lara M.; Doan, Coleen; Carreon, Desirelys; Beltran, Alejandra; Jullienne, Amandine; Obenaus, Andre; and Pearce, William J., "Maternal Undernutrition Modulates Neonatal Rat Cerebrovascular Structure, Function, and Vulnerability to Mild Hypoxic-Ischemic Injury via Corticosteroid-Dependent and -Independent Mechanisms" (2021). LLU Faculty Publications. 320.