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Role of Nitric Oxide Synthase on Blood Pressure Regulation and Vascular Function in Pregnant Rats on a High-Fat Diet.

Palei AC, Spradley FT, Granger JP.

Am J Hypertens. 2017 Mar 1;30(3):240-248.

PMID: 28391290

Ana Carolina T. Palei (USA)

1) Summarize your work in one sentence.

Since the mechanisms linking obesity and preeclampsia are unclear, this study sought to investigate whether the effects of high-fat feeding on vascular function and blood pressure in pregnant rats are mediated through the nitric oxide system.

2) Summarize your findings in one sentence.

We found that pregnant rats fed a high-fat diet were protected against hypertension by improving nitric oxide-mediated vascular function; however, other pathways are probably more relevant for blood pressure regulation in these animals, because non-selective inhibition of the nitric oxide synthases increased blood pressure equally in high-fat diet and normal diet dams.

3) Which were the more important methods you used in this work? If it is not a traditional method you can briefly explain the concept of that methodology.

After feeding female rats with either a normal diet or a moderate high-fat diet prior and during pregnancy, we assessed conscious mean arterial pressure via an indwelling carotid catheter and ex vivo vascular function via wire myography at the end of gestation. Importantly, we applied for the first time a direct technique to measure blood pressure, while previous studies evaluating the effect of high-fat diet on blood pressure in pregnant rodents have used plethysmography.

 4) What did you learn from this paper, what was your take-home message?

From our series of studies focusing on the role of obesity and metabolic factors in the development of hypertension during pregnancy, we learned that high-fat diet alone does not alter blood pressure and that excessive metabolic disturbances are necessary to cause hypertension in pregnant rats. Our data might explain why not all obese pregnant women develop preeclampsia and go on to have normal gestations.


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