May 27, 2022

Male and female offspring born from complicated pregnancies show profoundly different response to heart drug

A new U of A study indicates that the effect of hypoxia on a fetus has sex-specific implications for the treatment of cardiovascular disease later in life.

Fetal hypoxia occurs when the fetus (due to certain pathological conditions) is deprived of an adequate supply of oxygen in the womb.

“Our research has shown that being born from a complicated pregnancy where the fetus does not have an optimum oxygen supply leads to being susceptible to chronic cardiovascular disease later in life,” says lead investigator Sandy Davidge, who is a distinguished university professor in the departments of obstetrics and gynecology and physiology and the executive director of the Women and Children’s Health Research Institute.

Cardiovascular diseases affect the heart and blood vessels and are the leading cause of death globally.

The Davidge laboratory’s most recent study, led by her PhD student, Nataliia Hula, shows that prenatal hypoxia affects the cardiac endothelin system differently in female and male adult offspring.

Read the full article on the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry’s website