Collins, H. E., Fulghum, K., McNally, L., Foster, M., Brittian, K., Uchida, S., … Hill, B. (2020). Abstract 526: Unraveling the Molecular Signature of Pregnancy Induced Hypertrophy.
Collins, Helen E, K. Fulghum, Lindsey McNally, M. Foster, K. Brittian, Shizuka Uchida, M. Nystoriak, Steven P Jones, and B. Hill. “Abstract 526: Unraveling the Molecular Signature of Pregnancy Induced Hypertrophy” (2020).
Collins, Helen E., et al. Abstract 526: Unraveling the Molecular Signature of Pregnancy Induced Hypertrophy. 2020.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in pregnant and postpartum women. During pregnancy, the maternal heart rapidly adapts to the increasing physiological and metabolic demands of the growing fetus. This adaptation often takes the form of a physiological hypertrophy in which the maternal heart grows to increase cardiac output; however, the molecular processes underlying pregnancy-induced hypertrophy (PIH) are poorly understood. The goal of this study was to examine the transcriptomic and metabolic signatures associated with the structural and functional adaptations of the heart to pregnancy. Therefore, we performed timed pregnancy studies in 12-week-old female FVB/NJ mice, which were distributed into the following groups: non-pregnant control (NP; n = 14), mid-pregnancy (MP, 6d pregnant; n = 11), late-pregnancy (LP, 16d pregnant; n = 13), and 1-wk post birth (PB; n = 8). Heart weight to tibia length were higher in MP (7.77±1.02 mg/mm; p <0.05), LP (7.84±0.87 mg/mm; p <0.05), and PB mice (9.86±1.14 mg/mm; p <0.05) compared with NP mice (6.54±0.74 mg/mm). The sustained increase in PB heart weight was associated with increased myocyte cross sectional area, consistent with cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. Compared with NP hearts, echocardiographic measurements suggest significant increases in both end diastolic (36.0±5.1 vs 61.2±5.9 μl; p <0.05) and systolic LV volume (9.4±3.8 vs 21.0±1.4 μl; p <0.05) in PB hearts. These changes in PB hearts were associated with a significant increase in LV mass and a decline in ejection fraction. In LP and PB hearts, we also found higher expression of markers of hypertrophy ( Nppa, Nppb, Myh7 ). Subsequent RNA-seq analyses revealed enrichment in genes involved in cell proliferation, cytokinesis, and transcription in MP hearts; in metabolism genes in LP hearts; and in fibrotic and extracellular matrix genes in PB hearts. Together, these findings reveal the key molecular signature underlying the structural and functional adaptation of the heart during pregnancy and parturition, and may shed light on the molecular processes underlying PIH.