Intrauterine exposure to metformin: Evaluation of endothelial and perivascular adipose tissue function in abdominal aorta of adult offspring

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Abstract

The biguanide metformin (MET) has been used during pregnancy for treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome and gestational diabetes. MET crosses the placenta and maternal treatment can expose the progeny to this drug during important phases of body development. Direct vascular protective effects have been described with the treatment of metformin. Nevertheless, it is unclear whether intrauterine exposure to metformin is safe for the vascular system of offspring. Thus, the present study aimed to investigate the intrinsic effects of metformin exposure in utero in the offspring abdominal aorta reactivity, in the presence and absence of perivascular adipose tissue (PVAT) and endothelium. For this, Wistar rats were treated with metformin 293mg/kg/day (MET) or water (CTR) by gavage during the gestational period. The abdominal aorta reactivity to phenylephrine, acetylcholine, and sodium nitroprusside was evaluated in male adult offspring. It was observed that abdominal aorta relaxation was similar between MET and CTR groups in the presence or absence of PVAT. In addition, the contraction to phenylephrine was similar between MET and CTR groups in the presence and absence of PVAT and endothelium. Therefore, metformin exposure during pregnancy had no intrinsic effect on the offspring abdominal aorta PVAT and endothelial function, demonstrating it to be safe to the vascular system of the offspring.

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