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Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) exerts a negative impact on developing cardiomyocytes and emerging evidence suggests activation of oxidative stress pathways plays a key role in this altered development. Here, we provided pregnant guinea pig sows with PQQ, an aromatic tricyclic o-quinone that functions as a redox cofactor antioxidant, during the last half of gestation as a potential antioxidant intervention for IUGR-associated cardiomyopathy.
Pregnant guinea pig sows were randomly assigned to receive PQQ or placebo at mid gestation and fetuses were identified as spontaneous IUGR (spIUGR) or normal growth (NG) near term yielding four cohorts: NG ± PQQ and spIUGR ± PQQ. Cross sections of fetal left and right ventricles were prepared and cardiomyocyte number, collagen deposition, proliferation (Ki67) and apoptosis (TUNEL) were analyzed.
Cardiomyocyte endowment was reduced in spIUGR fetal hearts when compared to NG; however, PQQ exerted a positive effect on cardiomyocyte number in spIUGR hearts. Cardiomyocytes undergoing proliferation and apoptosis were more common in spIUGR ventricles when compared with NG animals, which was significantly reduced with PQQ supplementation. Similarly, collagen deposition was increased in spIUGR ventricles and was partially rescued in PQQ-treated spIUGR animals.
The negative influence of spIUGR on cardiomyocyte number, apoptosis, and collagen deposition during parturition can be suppressed by antenatal administration of PQQ to pregnant sows. These data identify a novel therapeutic intervention for irreversible spIUGR-associated cardiomyopathy.
There is a strong relationship between low birth weight (LBW) and an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD). In postnatal life, LBW offspring are becoming more commonly exposed to the additional independent CVD risk factors, such as an obesogenic diet. However, how an already detrimentally programmed LBW myocardium responds to a secondary insult, such as an obesogenic diet (western diet; WD), during postnatal life is ill defined. Herein, we aimed to determine in a pre-clinical guinea pig model of CVD, both the independent and interactive effects of LBW and a postnatal WD on the molecular pathways that regulate cardiac growth and metabolism. Uterine artery ablation was used to induce placental insufficiency (PI) in pregnant guinea pigs to generate LBW offspring. Normal birth weight (NBW) and LBW offspring were weaned onto either a Control diet or WD. At ˜145 days after birth (young adulthood), male and female offspring were humanely killed, the heart weighed and left ventricle tissue collected. The mRNA expression of signalling molecules involved in a pathological hypertrophic and fibrotic response was increased in the myocardium of LBW male, but not female offspring, fed a WD as was the mRNA expression of transcription factors involved in fatty acid oxidation. The mRNA expression of glucose transporters was downregulated by LBW and WD in male, but not female hearts. This study has highlighted a sexually dimorphic cardiac pathological hypertrophic and fibrotic response to the secondary insult of postnatal WD consumption in LBW offspring.
Advanced imaging techniques are enhancing research capacity focussed on the developmental origins of adult health and disease (DOHaD) hypothesis, and consequently increasing awareness of future health risks across various subareas of DOHaD research themes. Understanding how these advanced imaging techniques in animal models and human population studies can be both additively and synergistically used alongside traditional techniques in DOHaD-focussed laboratories is therefore of great interest. Global experts in advanced imaging techniques congregated at the advanced imaging workshop at the 2019 DOHaD World Congress in Melbourne, Australia. This review summarizes the presentations of new imaging modalities and novel applications to DOHaD research and discussions had by DOHaD researchers that are currently utilizing advanced imaging techniques including MRI, hyperpolarized MRI, ultrasound, and synchrotron-based techniques to aid their DOHaD research focus.
Currently, there is limited knowledge on how health care providers perceive and understand the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD), which may impact how they inform patients and their families throughout the perinatal period. This qualitative descriptive study explored if and how health care providers counsel on in utero programming and future health outcomes with parents, both preconception and during pregnancy. One-on-one, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 23 health care providers from varying health disciplines including obstetrics and gynaecology, midwifery, paediatrics, endocrinology and internal medicine. Audiotaped interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using inductive thematic analysis. Three themes were identified: Knowledge about DOHaD, Counselling on DOHaD in Practice Settings and Impact of DOHaD on Health. Health care providers not only expressed excitement over the potential health benefits of DOHaD counselling but also indicated barriers to knowledge translation, including a lack of knowledge among providers and a disconnect between basic scientists and practitioners. All health care providers expressed concerns on how and when to introduce the concept of DOHaD when counselling patients and called for the development of practice guidelines. Counselling on DOHaD needs to be framed in a way that is empowering, minimising the potential of coercion and guilt. More interaction and collaboration are needed between health care providers and researchers to identify strategies to support knowledge translation generated from DOHaD research into practice settings.
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