Published online by Cambridge University Press: 13 September 2011
Rodents, particularly rats, are used in the majority of intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) research. An important tool that is lacking in this field is the ability to impose IUGR on transgenic mice. We therefore developed a novel mouse model of chronic IUGR using U-46619, a thromboxane A2 (TXA2) analog, infusion. TXA2 overproduction is prevalent in human pregnancies complicated by cigarette smoking, diabetes mellitus and preeclampsia. In this model, U-46619 micro-osmotic pump infusion in the last week of C57BL/6J mouse gestation caused maternal hypertension. IUGR pups weighed 15% less, had lighter brain, lung, liver and kidney weights, but had similar nose-to-anus lengths compared with sham pups at birth. Metabolically, IUGR pups showed increased essential branched-chain amino acids. They were normoglycemic yet hypoinsulinemic. They showed decreased hepatic mRNA levels of total insulin-like growth factor-1 and its variants, but increased level of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator-1 alpha. IUGR offspring were growth restricted from birth (P1) through postnatal day 21 (P21). IUGR males caught up with sham males in weight by P28, whereas IUGR females caught up with sham females by P77. IUGR males surpassed sham males in weight by P238. In summary, we have a non-brain sparing IUGR mouse model that has a relative ease of surgical IUGR induction and exhibits features similar to the chronic IUGR offspring of humans and other animal models. As transgenic technology predominates in mice, this model now permits the imposition of IUGR on transgenic mice to interrogate mechanisms of fetal origins of adult disease.
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