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Life Sci. 2012 May 22;90(19-20):785-92. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2012.04.011. Epub 2012 Apr 12.

Maternal high-sodium intake alters the responsiveness of the renin-angiotensin system in adult offspring.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Nephrology Division, Laboratory of Experimental Hypertension of the University of São Paulo School of Medicine, Sao Paulo, Brazil.



The goal of the current study was to evaluate the impact of maternal sodium intake during gestation on the systemic and renal renin-angiotensin-aldosterone-system (RAAS) of the adult offspring.


Female Wistar rats were fed high- (HSD-8.0% NaCl) or normal-sodium diets (NSD-1.3% NaCl) from 8 weeks of age until the delivery of their first litter. After birth, the offspring received NSD. Tail-cuff blood pressure (TcBP) was measured in the offspring between 6 and 12 weeks of age. At 12 weeks of age, the offspring were subjected to either one week of HSD or low sodium diet (LSD-0.16% NaCl) feeding to evaluate RAAS responsiveness or to acute saline overload to examine sodium excretory function. Plasma (PRA) and renal renin content (RRC), serum aldosterone (ALDO) levels, and renal cortical and medullary renin mRNA expression levels were evaluated at the end of the study.


TcBP was higher among dams fed HSD, but no TcBP differences were observed among the offspring. Male offspring, however, exhibited increased TcBP after one week of HSD feeding, and this effect was independent of maternal diet. Increased RAAS responsiveness to the HSD and LSD was also observed in male offspring. The baseline levels of PRA, ALDO, and cortical and medullary renin gene expression were lower but the RRC levels were higher among HSD-fed male offspring (HSDoff). Conversely, female HSDoff showed reduced sodium excretion 4 h after saline overload compared with female NSDoff.


High maternal sodium intake is associated with gender-specific changes in RAAS responsiveness among adult offspring.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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