Oxidative Stress Contributes to Sex Differences in Blood Pressure in Adult Growth-Restricted Offspring
Numerous experimental studies suggest that oxidative stress contributes to the pathophysiology of hypertension and, importantly, that oxidative stress plays a more definitive role in mediating hypertension in males than in females. Intrauterine growth restriction induced by reduced uterine perfusion initiated at day 14 of gestation in the rat programs hypertension in adult male growth-restricted offspring; yet, female growth-restricted offspring are normotensive. The mechanisms mediating sex differences in blood pressure in adult growth-restricted offspring are not clear. Thus, this study tested the hypothesis that sex-specific differences in renal oxidative stress contribute to the regulation of blood pressure in adult growth-restricted offspring. A significant increase in blood pressure measured by telemetry in male growth-restricted offspring (P<0.05) was associated with a marked increase in renal markers of oxidative stress (P<0.05). Chronic treatment with the antioxidant Tempol had no effect on blood pressure in male control offspring, but it normalized blood pressure (P<0.05) and renal markers of oxidative stress (P<0.05) in male growth-restricted offspring relative to male control offspring. Renal markers of oxidative stress were not elevated in female growth-restricted offspring; however, renal activity of the antioxidant catalase was significantly elevated relative to female control offspring (P<0.05). Chronic treatment with Tempol did not significantly alter oxidative stress or blood pressure measured by telemetry in female offspring. Thus, these data suggest that sex differences in renal oxidative stress and antioxidant activity are present in adult growth-restricted offspring and that oxidative stress may play a more important role in modulating blood pressure in male but not female growth-restricted offspring.
- Received February 9, 2012.
- Revision received March 4, 2012.
- Accepted April 20, 2012.
- © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.