Objectives to study the effect of chronic hypoxia during pregnancy on the expression of ACE and the receptors of AngII (AT1R, AT2R) in cerebral cortex from rat offspring.
Methods Maternal hypoxic model was established in Sprague Dawley rats. The expression of ACE at the mRNA level was detected by RT-PCR and the expression of the receptors of AngII (AT1R, AT2R) were determined at the protein level by Western-blot in the offspring.
Results The mRNA expression of ACE in cerebral cortex was significantly increased in the offspring of hypoxic exposure group compared to the controls (p < 0.05), while the level of of AT1R protein was significantly decreased and AT2R protein significantly increased in the offspring of hypoxic exposure group. The above changes still persist as age increase.
Conclusions Prenatal hypoxia enhances the expression of ACE and AT2R, and inhibits that of AT1R in cerebral cortex from the offspring. That might be associated with neuronal degeneration or apoptosis in cerebral cortex.