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Revista Colombiana de Cardiología

Print version ISSN 0120-5633


RAMIREZ, Robinson. Fetal programming of adult arterial hypertension: cellular and molecular mechanisms. Rev. Colomb. Cardiol. [online]. 2013, vol.20, n.1, pp.21-22. ISSN 0120-5633.

Metabolic changes in utero establish long-term physiological and structural patterns which can "program" health in adulthood, theory popularly known as "Barker hypothesis". The fetal programming implies that during critical periods of prenatal growth, some changes in hormonal and nutritional environment of the embryo can alter fetal genome expression in tissues with physiological and metabolic functions in adulthood. Evidence suggests that pathologies like vascular disease (eg, hypertension), metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes mellitus, may "be programmed" during the early stages of fetal development and manifest in later stages, when interacting with lifestyle and other conventional acquired risk factors with the environment. The aim of this review is to present additional evidence to support the association between low birth weight with the increased prevalence of arterial hypertension in adulthood. We review endothelial function, oxidative stress, insulin resistance and mitochondrial function, as possible cellular and molecular mechanisms.

Keywords : fetal programming; cardiovascular disease; hypertension.

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