Perinatal Research Laboratory

Wake Forest, United States

Perinatal Research Laboratory

Wake Forest, United States
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Massmann G.A.,Perinatal Research Laboratory | Zhang J.,Perinatal Research Laboratory | Seong W.J.,Perinatal Research Laboratory | Seong W.J.,Kyungpook National University | And 3 more authors.
American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology | Year: 2017

Exposure to glucocorticoids in utero is associated with changes in organ function and structure in the adult. The aims of this study were to characterize the effects of antenatal exposure to glucocorticoids on glucose handling and the role of adipose tissue. Pregnant sheep received betamethasone (Beta, 0.17 mg/kg) or vehicle 24 h apart at 80 days of gestation and allowed to deliver at term. At 9 mo, male and female offspring were fed at either 100% of nutritional allowance (lean) or ad libitum for 3 mo (obese). At 1 yr, they were chronically instrumented under general anesthesia. Glucose tolerance was evaluated using a bolus of glucose (0.25 g/kg). Adipose tissue was harvested after death to determine mRNA expression levels of angiotensinogen (AGT), angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) 1, ACE2, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPAR-γ). Data are expressed as means ± SE and analyzed by ANOVA. Sex, obesity, and Beta exposure had significant effects on glucose tolerance and mRNA expression. Beta impaired glucose tolerance in lean females but not males. Superimposed obesity worsened the impairment in females and unmasked the defect in males. Beta increased ACE1 mRNA in females and males and AGT in females only (P < 0.05 by three-way ANOVA). Obesity increased AGT in females but had no effect on ACE1 in either males or females. PPAR-γ mRNA exhibited a significant sex (F = 42.8; P < 0.01) and obesity (F = 6.9; P < 0.05) effect and was significantly higher in males (P < 0.01 by three-way ANOVA). We conclude that adipose tissue may play an important role in the sexually dimorphic response to antenatal glucocorticoids. © 2017 the American Physiological Society.


Li Volti G.,University of Catania | Galvano F.,University of Catania | Frigiola A.,Perinatal Research Laboratory | Guccione S.,University of Catania | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry | Year: 2010

Human milk contains biological factors that are involved in a newborn's growth and immune system regulation. By integrating standard biochemical experimental protocols with computational methods, the present study investigates the presence of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), a cytoprotective enzyme, in human milk at different levels of maturation and in milk formulae. Furthermore, we evaluated cytokine and glutathione S-transferase (GSH) levels. Samples were collected from colostrum (on Day 1 after birth), from transition milk (on Postdelivery Days 7 and 14) and from mature milk (on Day 30 after delivery) in 14 healthy women. HO-1 protein, GSH and cytokines levels were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and flow cytometry. HO-1 protein levels were significantly higher in colostrum (1.33 ng/ml; 5th centile 0.92; 95th centile 2.38) and in transition milk at 14 days (0.97 ng/ml; 5th centile 0.87; 95th centile 1.45) than in mature milk (0.9 ng/ml; 5th centile 0.8; 95th centile 1.38). Levels of HO-1 in milk formulae were similar to those in colostrum. No significant differences in GSH content were observed in mature milk, transition milk and colostrum, whereas significantly higher GSH levels were observed in milk formulae. No significant levels of cytokines, with the exception of interleukin-8, were found. Computational studies on the possible interactions between HO-1 and CD91 were carried out by a battery of softwares, namely, GRAMM (version 1.03), DALI, CLUSTALW (version 2.0), PatchDock and FireDock, mutually counterchecking and validating each other. The computational results, the strong convergence (to the same "solution") of which finally leads to an "experimental-like" character, showed that HO-1 may bind to CD91, thus suggesting its major role as a new chaperokine in immune response regulation. These findings, which connect and integrate biochemical data and computational data interpretation, represent a synergistic and powerful means of conducting biological research. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.


Lee J.-H.,Perinatal Research Laboratory | Lee J.-H.,Chonbuk National University | Zhang J.,Perinatal Research Laboratory | Flores L.,Perinatal Research Laboratory | And 3 more authors.
American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology | Year: 2013

Antenatal steroid administration is associated with multiple cardiometabolic alterations, including hypertension; however, the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon are unclear. The aim of the present study was to ascertain, in vivo, the contribution of the endothelin system to the development of hypertension in the adult offspring and the signaling pathway involved. Pregnant sheep were treated with two doses of betamethasone (n = 23) or vehicle (n = 22) at 80 days (~0.55) gestation and allowed to deliver at term. Adult sheep were chronically instrumented under general anesthesia to place vascular catheters and a femoral artery flow probe. Blood pressure and flow were recorded continuously, and femoral artery vascular resistance was calculated before and during administration of endothelin 1 (ET-1). Selective blockers (dantrolene, BQ123, niacinamide) or saline were administered simultaneously. Betamethasone-exposed animals exhibited a significant elevation in mean blood pressure (female: 98 ± 1.8 vs. 92 ± 2.1; males: 97 ± 3.4 vs. 90 ± 2.3; mmHg; P < 0.05). ET-1 elicited a significant increase in blood pressure (F = 56.4; P < 0.001) and in vascular resistance (F = 44.3; P = 0.001) in all groups. A betamethasone effect in the vascular resistance response to ET-1 (F = 25.7; P < 0.001) was present in females only, and the effect was partially blunted by niacinamide (F = 6.6; P < 0.01). Combined administration of niacinamide and BQ123, as well as of dantrolene abolished the betamethasone effect on vascular resistance. No significant differences in mRNA expression of ETA or ETB in endothelial or smooth muscle cells of resistance-size arteries were observed. We conclude that the betamethasone effect on vascular resistance is mediated by an enhanced response to ET-1 through ETA receptor via the cyclic ADPR/ryanodine pathway. © 2013 the American Physiological Society.

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