Stress-induced decrease of uterine blood flow in sheep is mediated by alpha 1-adrenergic receptors

Michelle Dreiling, Sabine Bischoff, Rene Schiffner, Sven Rupprecht, Michael Kiehntopf, Harald Schubert, Otto W. Witte, Peter W. Nathanielsz, Matthias Schwab, Florian Rakers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Prenatal maternal stress can be transferred to the fetus via a catecholamine-dependent decrease of uterine blood flow (UBF). However, it is unclear which group of adrenergic receptors mediates this mechanism of maternal–fetal stress transfer. We hypothesized that in sheep, alpha 1-adrenergic receptors may play a key role in catecholamine mediated UBF decrease, as these receptors are mainly involved in peripheral vasoconstriction and are present in significant number in the uterine vasculature. After chronic instrumentation at 125 ± 1 days of gestation (dGA; term 150 dGA), nine pregnant sheep were exposed at 130 ± 1 dGA to acute isolation stress for one hour without visual, tactile, or auditory contact with their flockmates. UBF, blood pressure (BP), heart rate (HR), stress hormones, and blood gases were determined before and during this isolation challenge. Twenty-four hours later, experiments were repeated during alpha 1-adrenergic receptor blockage induced by a continuous intravenous infusion of urapidil. In both experiments, ewes reacted to isolation with an increase in serum norepinephrine, cortisol, BP, and HR as typical signs of activation of sympatho-adrenal and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Stress-induced UBF decrease was prevented by alpha 1-adrenergic receptor blockage. We conclude that UBF decrease induced by maternal stress in sheep is mediated by alpha 1-adrenergic receptors. Future studies investigating prevention strategies of impact of prenatal maternal stress on fetal health should consider selective blockage of alpha 1-receptors to interrupt maternal–fetal stress transfer mediated by utero-placental malperfusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-551
Number of pages5
JournalStress
Volume19
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • adrenergic receptors
  • isolation stress
  • Placenta
  • prenatal programming
  • sheep
  • stress transfer
  • urapidil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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