Mom’s Fault? Again!

We have gabbed several times about the effects of the intrauterine environment on our ultimate development and health. There are all the expected ways: blood flow across the placenta, sugar levels as sent to us across the placenta, medications, infections and immune antibody protection factors to just name a few. But there are many unexpected effects of the intrauterine environment on our eventual health and well being, and we’ve talked about those in a few posts as well. The newest is a piece of research designed to explain the still inexplicable puzzle of preeclampsia, the disease of high blood pressure in pregnancy. At UT Galveston, as reported in the May 2011 issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, some laboratory researchers began to study chubby pregnant mice, and an unexpected finding. The obese mice had heavier babies, babies with more fat at birth, higher blood sugars, and some of the babies actually had higher blood pressures (males only). Mice don’t get preeclampsia, but they were injected sFlt1 to induce the high blood pressure syndrome. They studied the mice as they grew up for plaque diseases in their arteries, and overall blood inflammation, and blood pressures as they grew up, as well as their blood lipids. They were able to demonstrate that the mice born to mothers that had the induced preeclampsia were more likely to have obesity and both the cardiovascular and metabolic consequences of obesity. Lots of questions: like exactly how does this research apply to the human condition known as preeclampsia, and if mild or treated will these consequences result, and what earlier interventions would be necessary in these children. So don’t be too fatalistic, it is not that we can’t fight against our nature, especially if we understand what that nature is, but another reason to understand it!


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