Proceedings of The Physiological Society

Europhysiology 2018 (London, UK) (2018) Proc Physiol Soc 41, PCA067

Poster Communications

Intrauterine growth restriction as a consequence of increased maternal salt intake in mice

I. Wageringel1, A. Seniuk1, H. Ehmke1

1. Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), Hamburg, Germany.


Motivation: Low birth weight is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease in later life. Perinatal high salt intake, as typically observed in mothers consuming a "Western diet", may be a stress factor leading to intrauterine growth restriction. The aim of this study is to establish a causative linkage between high salt consumption during the perinatal period and an elevated risk for cardiovascular disease in later life. Methods: Timed mating was performed between female C57Bl/6J mice at an age of 8-12 weeks and male Balb/c mice. Female mice were either fed normal-salt diet (NS, 2.2 g Na+/kg) or high-salt diet (HS, 30 g Na+/kg). The high-salt intake started with a successful mating (HS1) or 3 weeks before mating (HS2). At gestational day 13.5, the fetal and the placental weight were taken. Minimum litter size was defined as 8 fetuses per dam. Results: Litter size did not differ between treatments. Increasing the salt intake significantly reduced fetal weights in both experimental groups as compared with the weight of the offspring from normal-salt diet fed dams (NS: 151.5±1.24 mg, n=79; HS1: 143.0±1.29 mg, n=56; HS2: 141.8±1.78 mg, n=37; p<0.0001 compared by 1-way ANOVA). Placental weights were also significantly reduced by high salt administration in both experimental groups (NS: 89.4±2.0 mg, n=25; HS1: 76.4±2.7 mg, n=13; HS2: 78.1±1.6 mg, n=21 p<0.001 compared by 1-way ANOVA). Conclusion: These data indicate that an increased maternal salt intake during pregnancy leads to growth restriction in mice on gestational day 13.5. A reduced placental weight might be an indicator of placental malfunction with consequences on nutrition of the fetus. Whether litter is small for gestational age during the whole time of pregnancy, whether we can observe a reduction in birth weight and whether we find cardiovascular consequences in later life remains to be elucidated.

Where applicable, experiments conform with Society ethical requirements