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Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 1999 Sep;86(1):89-97.

Induction of preeclampsia like phenomena by stimulation of sympathetic nerve with cold and fasting stress.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Shizuoka, Japan.


The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of cold-stress, fasting stress and cold plus fasting stress on the sympathetic nerve activity. Pregnant and nonpregnant rats were kept in cold environment (0 degrees C), or fasting condition (12 h), and cold plus fasting condition for 2 weeks. Their plasma corticotrophin releasing factor (CRF), catecholamines, insulin levels, and platelets were measured, and histological examinations were performed. In cold plus fasting stress rats, a significant increased CRF, epinephrine (E), norepinephrine (NE), and insulin levels with decreased platelet count (P<0.0001) were observed compared with control. Histological study revealed that diffused enlarged glomeruli with fibrin deposition in the kidney, hemostasis, ischemic necrosis and fibrin deposition in liver and swelling along with hemorrhagic necrosis in adrenal gland of cold plus fasting stress rats. The biochemical and histological changes in cold plus fasting, cold-stressed or fasting rats were similar to human preeclampsia. The findings observed in cold plus fasting stress rats were more pronounced either than cold-stressed or fasting group. These results demonstrate that cold plus fasting stress is an intense stimulator of sympathetic nervous system than either cold stress or fasting.

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