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Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2008 Jun;294(6):R2008-13. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00737.2007. Epub 2008 Mar 26.

Role of maternal glucocorticoid inducible kinase SGK1 in fetal programming of blood pressure in response to prenatal diet.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, University of Tübingen, Gmelinstrasse 5, Tübingen, Germany.


Maternal stress and malnutrition modify intrauterine fetal development with impact on postnatal blood pressure, nutrient, water, and electrolyte metabolism. The present study explored the possible involvement of maternal serum- and glucocorticoid-inducible kinase (SGK)-1 in fetal programming of blood pressure. To this end, wild-type (sgk1(+/+)) male mice were mated with SGK1 knockout (sgk1(-/-)) female mice, and sgk1(-/-) males with sgk1(+/+) females, resulting in both cases in heterozygotic (sgk1(-/+)) offspring. Following prenatal protein restriction, the offspring of sgk1(+/+) mothers gained weight significantly slower and had significantly higher blood pressure after birth. Moreover, a sexual dimorphism was apparent in fasting blood glucose and plasma corticosterone concentrations, with higher levels in female offspring. In contrast, prenatal protein restriction of sgk1(-/-) mothers had no significant effect on postnatal weight gain, blood pressure, plasma glucose concentration, or corticosterone levels, irrespective of offspring sex. Plasma aldosterone concentration, urinary flow rates, and urinary excretions of Na(+) and K(+) were not significantly modified by either maternal genotype or nutritional manipulation. In conclusion, maternal signals mediated by SGK1 may play a decisive role in fetal programming of hypertension induced by prenatal protein restriction.

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