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Clin Exp Hypertens. 2018;40(5):452-460. doi: 10.1080/10641963.2017.1392557. Epub 2017 Nov 8.

Postnatal overnutrition affects metabolic and vascular function reflected by physiological and histological changes in the aorta of adult Wistar rats.

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a Department of Pharmacobiology , Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute , Mexico City , Mexico.
b Department of Nutrigenetic and Nutrigenomic , National Institute of Genomic Medicine , Mexico City , Mexico.


Rigorous nutritional care during early life leads to healthy adulthood. Cardiovascular and metabolic disorders, the most prevalent clinical challenges worldwide, are epidemiologically linked to poor nutritional habits throughout life. We aimed to understand whether postnatal overnutrition (PO) initiated during lactation affects metabolic markers and vascular function later in life. To test this hypothetical effect, we studied a PO Wistar rat model based on adjusting litter size at the third day of age to three pups and eight for the control group (C). Systemic parameters such as body weight and food intake were significantly increased in adult rats, measured up to 36 weeks. Moreover, fat mass, triglycerides, insulin and systolic blood pressure were all significantly increased in the PO group. Furthermore, we assessed whether these alterations would affect morphological and functional parameters in isolated vessels. Consistent with systemic alterations of the vasculature, contraction of thoracic aortic rings, determined by dose-response curves to norepinephrine (NE), was significantly reduced in PO rats. Histological stains revealed that the relative area of collagen was higher and the elastic fiber density was lower in the distal rings of PO rats. Altogether, our results highlight the critical importance of having a healthy neonatal nutrition to prevent harmful metabolic and vascular alterations during adulthood.


Rat; metabolic syndrome; perivascular adipose tissue; postnatal overnutrition; stiffness

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