"We think early life stress increases sensitivity to a hormone known to increase your blood pressure and increases your cardiovascular risk in adult life," said Dr. Jennifer Pollock, biochemist in the Vascular Biology Center at the Medical College of Georgia and corresponding author on the study published online in Hypertension.
The studies in a proven model of chronic behavioral stress – separating rat pups from their mother three hours daily for two weeks – showed no long-term impact on key indicators of cardiovascular disease such as increased blood pressure, heart rate or inflammation in blood vessel walls.
But when the rats reached adulthood, an infusion of the hormone angiotensin II resulted in rapid and dramatic increases in all key indicators in animals that experienced early life stress. Stress activates the renin-angiotensin system which produces angiotensin II and is a major regulator of blood vessel growth and inflammation – both heavily implicated in heart disease. "They cannot adapt to stress as well as a normal animal does," Dr. Pollock said. Within a few days, for example, blood pressure was nearly twice as high in the early-stress animals.
Next steps include determining the mechanism that translates early life stress into cardiovascular risk; they suspect it results in genetic alterations at a vulnerable time in development. "Hormones can modulate gene expression and, during stress, you have very high levels of stress hormone," Dr. Loria said.
To further test the findings. they are blocking the angiotensin II receptor in rats to see if that decreases the cardiovascular impact in animals with early life stress. And, to more closely mimic what happens in real life, they are feeding high-fat diets to the rats to see if, like the angiotensin II infusions, it exaggerates cardiovascular disease risk. Receptor blockers are commonly used in cardiovascular patients who have high levels of angiotensin II.
The scientists also will be studying gender differences in response to early life stress since their initial studies were in male rats. Psychological studies indicate that females are less impacted by early life stress and the scientists predict they will find similar results in the cardiovascular response.
The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health and an American Heart Association postdoctoral fellowship.
Toni Baker | EurekAlert!
Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy