Permanent cardiac sarcomere changes in a rabbit model of intrauterine growth restriction

  • I. T
  • A. G
  • P. G
  • et al.
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Background: Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) induces fetal cardiac remodelling and dysfunction, which persists postnatally and may explain the link between low birth weight and increased cardiovascular mortality in adulthood. However, the cellular and molecular bases for these changes are still not well understood. We tested the hypothesis that IUGR is associated with structural and functional gene expression changes in the fetal sarcomere cytoarchitecture, which remain present in adulthood., Methods and Results: IUGR was induced in New Zealand pregnant rabbits by selective ligation of the utero-placental vessels. Fetal echocardiography demonstrated more globular hearts and signs of cardiac dysfunction in IUGR. Second harmonic generation microscopy (SHGM) showed shorter sarcomere length and shorter A-band and thick-thin filament interaction lengths, that were already present in utero and persisted at 70 postnatal days (adulthood). Sarcomeric M-band (GO: 0031430) functional term was over-represented in IUGR fetal hearts., Conclusion: The results suggest that IUGR induces cardiac dysfunction and permanent changes on the sarcomere.




I., T., A., G.-T., P., G.-C., F., C., F., G.-G., B., B., … I., A.-R. (2014). Permanent cardiac sarcomere changes in a rabbit model of intrauterine growth restriction. PLoS ONE. United States: Public Library of Science. Retrieved from

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