The effect of prenatal pravastatin treatment on altered fetal programming of postnatal growth and metabolic function in a preeclampsia-like murine model

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Preeclampsia alters fetal programming and results in long-term metabolic consequences in the offspring. Pravastatin has been shown to prevent preeclampsia in animal models. Our aim was to characterize the effects of preeclampsia on fetal programming of adult growth and metabolic function, and evaluate the role of preventive pravastatin therapy, using a well characterized murine model.


CD-1 mice were injected through the tail vein with adenovirus carrying soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 (sFlt-1) and randomly allocated to pravastatin (5 mg/kg/day; sFlt-1/prav, n = 7) or water (sFlt-1, n = 6) until weaning. A control group was injected with adenovirus carrying the murine immunoglobulin G2α Fc fragment (mFc, n = 8). Male and female offspring (6–8/group) were weighed every month until 6 months of age. Intraperitoneal glucose tolerance testing was performed after 16 hours of fasting at 3 and 6 months of age; glucose and insulin responses were measured.


sFlt-1 offspring weight was lower than mFc control (P < .001) until 2 months of age for females and 5 months of age for males (P < .001). There were no differences in postnatal growth between mFc and sFlt-1/prav offspring. At 3 and 6 months, female sFlt-1 offspring had higher glucose response compared with mFc and sFlt-1/prav. Three-month-old male sFlt-1 had lower insulin response compared with mFc offspring.


Preeclampsia alters postnatal growth and metabolic function in the adult offspring in this animal model. Maternal therapy with prav prevents some of these alterations in the offspring.

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