Placental insufficiency programs an increase in blood pressure associated with a twofold increase in serum testosterone in male growth-restricted offspring at 4 mo of age. Population studies indicate that the inverse relationship between birth weight and blood pressure is amplified with age. Thus, we tested the hypothesis that intrauterine growth restriction programs an age-related increase in blood pressure in male offspring. Growth-restricted offspring retained a significantly higher blood pressure at 12 but not at 18 mo of age compared with age-matched controls. Blood pressure was significantly increased in control offspring at 18 mo of age relative to control counterparts at 12 mo; however, blood pressure was not increased in growth-restricted at 18 mo relative to growth-restricted counterparts at 12 mo. Serum testosterone levels were not elevated in growth-restricted offspring relative to control at 12 mo of age. Thus, male growth-restricted offspring no longer exhibited a positive association between blood pressure and testosterone at 12 mo of age. Unlike hypertension in male growth-restricted offspring at 4 mo of age, inhibition of the renin-angiotensin system with enalapril (250 mg/l for 2 wk) did not abolish the difference in blood pressure in growth-restricted offspring relative to control counterparts at 12 mo of age. Therefore, these data suggest that intrauterine growth restriction programs an accelerated age-related increase in blood pressure in growth-restricted offspring. Furthermore, this study suggests that the etiology of increased blood pressure in male growth-restricted offspring at 12 mo of age differs from that at 4 mo of age.
- low birth weight
- accelerated aging
- cardiovascular risk
- blood pressure
- renin-angiotensin system
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