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The effects of chronic hypoxia in utero on cardiovascular regulation in the offspring

Rook, William (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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A common consequence of the complications of pregnancy, such as preeclampsia, is reduced supply of nutrients, including oxygen, to the developing fetus. The consequences for the offspring are wide ranging, but include increased risk of cardiovascular disease. However, the mechanisms by which this occurs are poorly understood. Using a rodent model, this study has examined the regulation of blood vessels, particularly those supplying skeletal muscle, by local, endothelially-derived factors, and by the sympathetic nervous system, in adult rat offspring following chronic hypoxia in utero.
The key findings include evidence that there are chronically high levels of oxidative stress in the skeletal muscle vasculature of the offspring. Further, the density of, and the activity in the sympathetic neurones supplying skeletal muscle blood vessels is markedly increased following chronic hypoxia in utero, but the vascular sensitivity to stimulation of these neurones is reduced. Following chronic hypoxia in utero, as the rats approached middle age, they became hypertensive relative to normal rats. Thus, the present study has offered some mechanistic insight, which adds to a growing body of literature, and which may help to explain why babies born of sub-optimal pregnancies are at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease later in life.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Marshall, Janice and Coney, Andrew
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Medical & Dental Sciences
Department:School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine
Subjects:QP Physiology
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:3040
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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