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Preeclampsia is a common medical condition during pregnancy and a major cause of maternal and prenatal mortality. The present study was conducted to investigate the effects of maternal treatment with pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) in Dahl salt-sensitive rats (DSSR), a model of superimposed preeclampsia. F0 parental DSSR were treated with PETN (50 mg/kg) from the time point of mating to the end of lactation. Maternal PETN treatment improved fetal growth and had no effect on blood pressure in DSSR offspring fed with normal chow or high-salt diet. Upon high-fat diet (HFD) feeding, offspring from PETN-treated mother showed improved glucose tolerance despite similar weight gain. Unexpectedly, maternal PETN treatment significantly potentiated the HFD-induced blood pressure elevation in male DSSR offspring. Endothelium-derived hyperpolarization factor (EDHF)-mediated vasodilation was similar between NCD-fed and HFD-fed control offspring but was markedly reduced in HFD-fed PETN offspring. EDHF genes were downregulated in the vasculature of HFD-fed PETN offspring, which was associated with epigenetic changes in histone modifications. In conclusion, maternal PETN treatment in DSSR shows both beneficial and unfavorable effects. It improves fetal growth and ameliorates glucose tolerance in the offspring. Although maternal PETN treatment has no effect on blood pressure in offspring fed with normal chow or high-salt diet, the offspring is at higher risk to develop HFD-induced hypertension. PETN may potentiate the blood pressure response to HFD by epigenetic modifications of EDHF genes. KEY MESSAGES: The core findings of this article suggest that maternal PETN treatment of DSSR, a rat model of a spontaneous superimposed preeclampsia, leads to • Improvement of fetal growth; • No changes of maternal blood pressure or markers of preeclampsia; • Amelioration of HFD-induced glucose intolerance in adult offspring; • No changes in blood pressure development of the offspring on normal chow or high salt-diet; • Potentiation of blood pressure elevation of the offspring on HFD.


Andy W C Man, Min Chen, Yawen Zhou, Zhixiong Wu, Gisela Reifenberg, Andreas Daiber, Thomas Münzel, Ning Xia, Huige Li. Fetal programming effects of pentaerythritol tetranitrate in a rat model of superimposed preeclampsia. Journal of molecular medicine (Berlin, Germany). 2020 Sep;98(9):1287-1299

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PMID: 32748067

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