Hypertension Induced in Pregnant Mice by Placental Renin and Maternal Angiotensinogen

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Science  08 Nov 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5289, pp. 995-998
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5289.995


Maternal hypertension is a common complication of pregnancy and its pathophysiology is poorly understood. This phenomenon was studied in an animal model by mating transgenic mice expressing components of the human renin-angiotensin system. When transgenic females expressing angiotensinogen were mated with transgenic males expressing renin, the pregnant females displayed a transient elevation of blood pressure in late pregnancy, due to secretion of placental human renin into the maternal circulation. Blood pressure returned to normal levels after delivery of the pups. Histopathologic examination revealed uniform enlargement of glomeruli associated with an increase in urinary protein excretion, myocardial hypertrophy, and necrosis and edema in the placenta. These mice may provide molecular insights into pregnancy-associated hypertension in humans.

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