Developmental changes in reactivity of small femoral arteries in the fetal and postnatal baboon

M. Akhtar Anwar, Kimberly Ju, Cheryl C. Docherty, Lucilla Poston, Peter W. Nathanielsz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: We evaluated in vitro responsiveness of small arteries (internal diameter, 300 μm) from the femoral vascular bed of normal fetal (0.75-1.0 gestation) and neonatal (43-46 days) baboons to investigate whether the transition from fetal to neonatal life was associated with functional alterations in vasoconstrictor and vasodilator responses. STUDY DESIGN: The maximum response and sensitivity to potassium and to the constrictor agonists norepinephrine and U46619 (a thromboxane mimetic) were studied by in vitro myography. Vasodilator responses to the endothelium-dependent dilators acetylcholine and bradykinin were also investigated. RESULTS: The maximum response to norepinephrine and U46619 and to potassium increased with gestational age, whereas the sensitivity to these vasoconstrictors was similar in all groups studied. In contrast, acetylcholine- and bradykinin-induced relaxation (median effective concentration and maximum response) did not change with age. CONCLUSION: Receptor-mediated responses to a catecholamine, a prostanoid, and 2 endothelium-dependent vasodilators are similar in the fetal and neonatal baboon. The increase in maximal constriction with development, which is probably associated with growth or maturation of vascular smooth muscle, is likely to be a functionally important aspect in the development of cardiovascular function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)707-712
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Baboon
  • Fetus
  • Neonate
  • Vascular reactivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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