Document Detail

Aging blunts remodeling of the uterine artery during murine pregnancy.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15219884     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: The progressive increase in uterine blood flow (UBF) during pregnancy is accommodated by morphologic changes in the uterine artery (UA) in a process defined as arterial remodeling. This process is accompanied by changes in cytoskeletal architecture of the arterial smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and surrounding extracellular matrix (ECM). Aging reduces flow-induced arterial remodeling. We studied changes in the murine UA during pregnancy and on the effects of aging on the capacity of the UA to remodel in response to pregnancy. METHODS: We determined morphologic and cytologic changes in UA from nonpregnant and pregnant mice aged 12 weeks (young) and 40 weeks (old) and correlated them with their reproductive performance. RESULTS: In young mice, pregnancy induced an early increase in UA wall mass, which preceded lumen widening. These changes were not accompanied by altered densities of elastin and collagen in the ECM of the medial layer. Smooth muscle cell proliferation increased in midpregnancy and was paralleled by a transient decrease in smoothelin and smooth muscle alpha-actin expression. In old mice, these pregnancy-dependent changes in the UA wall were either absent or markedly reduced. Although by day 11 of pregnancy litter size did not differ between both age groups, the number of viable pups in old mice by day 17 of pregnancy and at birth was 25% and 60% less than in young mice. CONCLUSION: Outward hypertrophic remodeling of the UA during pregnancy in young mice is characterized by transient phenotypic modulation and proliferation of SMCs and alterations in the composition of the ECM. In contrast, in older mice, UA remodeling is markedly reduced and accompanied with a loss of viable fetuses near term pregnancy.
Olivier W H van der Heijden; Yvonne P G Essers; Lieke H J Simkens; Quirine G A Teunissen; Louis L H Peeters; Jo G R De Mey; Guillaume J J M van Eys
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of the Society for Gynecologic Investigation     Volume:  11     ISSN:  1071-5576     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Soc. Gynecol. Investig.     Publication Date:  2004 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-06-28     Completed Date:  2005-03-07     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9433806     Medline TA:  J Soc Gynecol Investig     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  304-10     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Research Institute Growth and Development (GROW), University of Maastricht, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands.
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MeSH Terms
Aging / physiology*
Arteries / physiology*
Gestational Age
Mice, Inbred C57BL
Pregnancy, Animal / physiology*
Time Factors
Uterus / blood supply*,  cytology

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