Objective To evaluate the role of prenatal chronic hypoxia on cardiac function in adult rabbits offspring via echocardiography.
Methods 16 New Zealand rabbits were divided randomly into two groups: prenatal chronic hypoxia group (12% O2, n=8) and normal oxygen group (21% O2, n=8). After delivery, two male offspring of each maternal rabbit were selected and breast-fed for 3 months. Then they were randomly divided into high-fat diet and normal diet respectively. Therefore, four groups were included: Prenatal Chronic Hypoxia with High Fat Diet (n=8), Non-Prenatal Chronic Hypoxia with High Fat Diet (n=8), Prenatal Chronic Hypoxia with Normal Diet (n=8) and Normal Control (n=8). At 6 months of age, the offspring rabbits were undergoing echocardiography examination for left ventricular (LV) dimensions, shortening fraction, ejection fraction and Tei index, and cardiocyte caspase−3 activity detection.
Results Prenatal chronic hypoxia induced a thickening of interventricular septum (main effect is 0.66 mm, p<0.01), decrease in ejection fraction of left ventricle (main effect is –4.84%, p<0.05), increase of Tei index (main effect is 0.08, p<0.01) and cardiocyte caspase−3 activity (main effect is 0.47 unit, p<0.05) in 6-month-old prenatal chronic hypoxia offspring. All these effects were aggravated significantly when hyperlipaemia was imposed (p<0.05).
Conclusions Echocardiography is a useful tool to evaluate the role of prenatal chronic hypoxia on cardiac function in adult rabbits offspring. Prenatal chronic hypoxia leads to cardiac dysfunction in adult rabbits offspring. This effect is aggravated by hyperlipoidemia.
- Prenatal chronic hypoxia
- cardiac function