Researchers explore effects of preeclampsia on risk of devel
Mary Elizabeth Hartnett, MD, and colleagues at the John A. Moran Center and Department of Pediatrics at the University of Utah and Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, were looking for a way to tease apart the effects of preeclampsia on the risk of developing retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), an eye disease found in premature infants. Their results, and the model they developed, were published February 14, 2017, in Scientific Reports.

In this report, researchers reduced blood flow to the placenta in some of the pregnant rats to create a condition called uteroplacental insufficiency (UPI), which is present in maternal preeclampsia. Other pregnant rats, the controls, underwent a sham procedure that did not cause UPI. UPI in the mother rats caused the offspring to have poor growth. All pregnant rats delivered full-term pups. Pups born to the mother rats with UPI and those born to the controls were exposed to variable oxygen, simulating a premature infant at risk for ROP.

Researchers then looked to see if the restricted blood flow caused by preeclampsia and changes in oxygen levels had any effect on weight gain or development of abnormal retinal blood vessel growth.Researchers also looked at whether growth factors needed for retina development came from the mother or if they were produced by the pups. Growth factor levels were the same in preeclampsia and control female rats and did not align with levels in pups. But the pups from the preeclampsia mothers produced greater amounts of certain growth factors, particularly erythropoietin.

http://www.news-medical.net/news/20170215/Researchers-explore-effects-of-preeclampsia-on-risk-of-developing-ROP-in-premature-infants.aspx
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