Hemodynamic properties & arterial structure in male rat offspring with fetal hypothyroidism
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Thyroid hormones (THs) play a crucial role in the development of different systems during fetal life; fetal hypothyroidism (FH) is associated with reduced cardiac function and dimensions in neonates. The aim of this study is to determine whether TH deficiency during fetal life is associated with arterial structural and hemodynamic changes during adulthood. Hypothyroidism was induced by adding 0.025% 6-propyl-2-thiouracil in drinking water throughout pregnancy, while controls consumed only tap water. Hemodynamic parameters, cross-sectional area, intima-media thickness (IMT), and density of nuclei of smooth muscle cells and endothelial cells (ECs) in the aorta and mesenteric arteries were measured. Compared to controls, in the FH group, baseline systolic blood pressure (105.7 ±} 3.1 vs. 87.9 ±} 3.3 mm Hg, p < 0.01), diastolic blood pressure (64.4 ±} 1.7 vs. 53.2 ±} 2.1 mm Hg, p < 0.05), and mean arterial pressure (80.9 ±} 2.1 vs. 67.1 ±} 2.1 mm Hg, p < 0.01) were significantly lower. In addition, in the FH group, intensity and latency of response to phenylephrine were significantly lower and longer, respectively, as were the IMT and density of ECs in the aorta and superior mesenteric arteries. In conclusion, this study showed that TH deficiency during fetal life can have long-lasting functional and histological effects, which can compromise cardiovascular function during adulthood.