Objective: This work aimed to study the effect of uteroplacental circulation restriction on endothelial kidney damage in a fetal rabbit model. Methods: New Zealand rabbits were subjected to 40% to 50% of uteroplacental artery ligation at day 25 of pregnancy. After 5 days, surviving fetuses were harvested by cesarean section. The gene and protein expressions of selected enzymes associated with nitric oxide production and oxidative stress were analyzed in fetal kidney homogenates. Results: The placenta weight (6.06 ± 0.27, p < 0.0319) and fetal body (19.90 ± 1.03, p < 0.0001) were significantly reduced in the uteroplacental circulation restriction group. The kidneys from restricted fetuses presented a mild vascular congestion and glomerular capillary congestion, without inflammation or hypertrophy. We found endothelial nitric oxide synthase phosphorylation inhibition (0.23 ± 0.13, p < 0.012) and arginase-2 (0.29 ± 0.14, p < 0.023) protein induction in fetal kidneys of the circulation restriction group. Finally, the kidneys from circulation-restricted fetuses showed increased inducible nitric oxide synthase messenger RNA (mRNA) (2.68 ± 0.24, p < 0.01) and reduced heme oxygenase-1 mRNA (23 ± 1.3, p < 0.003), with increased reactive oxygen species (1.69 ± 0.09, p < 0.001) and nitrotyrosine protein (1.74 ± 0.28, p < 0.003) levels, without changes in Nox mRNA. Conclusion: We describe significant deregulation of vascular activity and oxidative damage in kidneys of fetal rabbits that have been exposed to restriction of the uterine circulation.
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© 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.