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Impaired growth during fetal life can reprogramme heart development and increase the risk for long-term cardiovascular dysfunction. It is uncertain if the developmental window during which the heart is vulnerable to reprogramming as a result of inadequate nutrition extends into the postnatal period. We found that adult female mice that had been undernourished only from birth to 3 wk of age had disproportionately smaller hearts compared to males with thinner ventricle walls and more mononucleated cardiomyocytes. In females, but not males, cardiac diastolic function, and heart rate responsiveness to adrenergic stimulation were limited and maximal exercise capacity was compromised. These data suggest that the developmental window during which the heart is vulnerable to reprogramming by inadequacies in nutrient intake may extend into postnatal life and such individuals could be at increased risk for a cardiac event as a result of strenuous exercise.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: The Journal of physiology
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