Houser, Steven R.; Sabri, Abdelkarim; Mohsin, Sadia; Chen, Xiongwen; Leinwand, Leslie A. (Temple University. Libraries, 2021)
      Pregnancy induces a dramatic change in hemodynamics due to increased blood volume and metabolic demands. The adaptation of the heart leads to physiological cardiac hypertrophy remodeling in healthy individuals during pregnancy. Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is known to predispose individuals to adverse cardiovascular event. Cardiac remodeling during pregnancy in obese individuals with or without MetS remains unclear. This study first observed differences in cardiac remodeling in human patients with excess weight during pregnancy. The pathophysiology of cardiac remodeling with pregnancy was then studied in a diet-induced animal model that recapitulates features of human MetS. Female mice fed with high fat diet (HFD) (45%kcal) for 4 months had increased body weight, impaired glucose tolerance and dyslipidemia. Pregnant female mice were kept on this HFD and were compared to nonpregnant females and normal diet (10%kcal fat) controls. HFD induced early-stage MetS led to cardiac hypertrophy at term that had features of pathological hypertrophy (PH), including fibrosis and upregulation of fetal genes associated with PH. Hearts from pregnant animals on the HFD had a distinct gene expression profile that likely underlies their pathological remodeling. Post-partum mice with preexisting MetS are also more susceptible to future pathological stimuli, with exacerbated cardiac hypertrophy and impaired cardiac function. These results suggested that preexisting MetS could change physiological into pathological cardiac remodeling during pregnancy, and predispose the heart to future cardiovascular risks.