A Translational Study of the Correlation Between Low Birth Weight, Hypertension, and Kidney Function Using a Rat Model

Daniels, Marcus (2015) A Translational Study of the Correlation Between Low Birth Weight, Hypertension, and Kidney Function Using a Rat Model. Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of Mika Jekabsons from Biology, University of Mississippi.

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Abstract

We studied the correlation between low birth weight, hypertension, and kidney function using a rat model. There is a strong correlation between these three phenomena especially in the Southeastern United States and in non-White populations. We hypothesized that the anti-hypertensive drugs Reserpine and Hydralazine would prevent hypertension and improve renal function in low birth weight rats. We used a rat model created by Dr. Barbara Alexander in this study. Pregnant rats were subjected to Reduced Uterine Perfusion Pressure surgery. Silver clips were placed on the abdominal aorta and uterine arteries approximately two weeks after fertilization in order to restrict blood flow to the developing fetus. The reduced nutrient availability results in slower fetal development and low birth weight offspring. Two drugs with effects on cardiovascular function were used to lower blood pressure. Hydralazine was administered via drinking water at a dose of 80mg/L initiated at 6 weeks of age until the end experiment at 12 weeks of age. Reserpine was administered via drinking water at a dose of 5mg/L initiated at 6 weeks of age until the end of experiments at 12 weeks of age. Administration of this medication constituted the “treated” rats. At 12 weeks of age, catheters were inserted to measure blood pressure and glomerular filtration rate was calculated. Mild schemia reperfusion was performed to see how the kidneys reacted to mild stress. We found that the uterine restricted rats had normal gestations, but weighted significantly less than the controls at birth. The rats gained weight at the same rate and weighed the same at the end of the study. As expected, low birth weight untreated offspring had higher blood pressure than any other group. Surprisingly, GFR/g in the uterine-restricted, unstressed, untreated animals was not significantly higher, as predicted from both the higher MAP and presumably lower nephron number in these rats. Thus, there was no evidence of significant hyperfiltration occurring, and so this seemingly cannot explain the hypertension which developed. Based on this study, I would advocate using low birth weight as a biomarker for elevated risk of hypertension and kidney disease.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Creators: Daniels, Marcus
Student's Degree Program(s): B.A. in Biology
Thesis Advisor: Mika Jekabsons
Thesis Advisor's Department: Biology
Institution: University of Mississippi
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
Depositing User: Mr Marcus Daniels
Date Deposited: 07 May 2015 15:06
Last Modified: 07 May 2015 15:06
URI: http://thesis.honors.olemiss.edu/id/eprint/304

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