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Exercise during pregnancy enhances vascular function via epigenetic repression of CaV1.2 channel in offspring of hypertensive rats

Li, Shanshan, Chen, Yu, Zhang, Yanyan, Zhang, Huirong, Wu, Ying, He, Hui, Gong, Lijing, Zeng, Fanxing, Shi, Lijun
Life sciences 2019 v.231 pp. 116576
DNA, DNA methylation, Western blotting, animal disease models, bisulfites, blood pressure, epigenetics, exercise, gene expression, gene expression regulation, genes, hypertension, males, mesenteric arteries, messenger RNA, myocytes, norepinephrine, pregnancy, progeny, promoter regions, protein synthesis, rats, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, sequence analysis, smooth muscle, swimming
Studies suggest that cardiovascular function in offspring can be epigenetically programmed by environmental changes during pregnancy. CaV1.2 channel plays a major role in the regulation of the vascular tone. This study investigated the effects and underlying mechanisms of exercise during pregnancy on CaV1.2 channel functional remodeling in hypertensive offspring.Exercise groups were subjected to swimming at the first day of pregnancy and on a regular schedule thereafter for 3 weeks. Their offspring (6-month-old, male) were tested for baseline blood pressure, cardiovascular response, and vascular tone of the mesenteric artery. Mesenteric artery smooth muscle cells were taken to study the whole-cell current of the CaV1.2 channel. Western blotting, RT-PCR and DNA bisulfite sequencing PCR were performed to study the protein, mRNA expression and DNA methylation of the CaV1.2 channel α1C subunit.Exercise during pregnancy reduced the pressor response to norepinephrine and Bay K8644, and the depressor response to nifedipine in offspring of hypertensive rats. The level of the CaV1.2 channel in norepinephrine-induced vasoconstrictions decreased, and the whole-cell current of the CaV1.2 channel declined in the SHR-EX group. Further studies found that exercise during pregnancy reduced the protein and mRNA expression of the CaV1.2 channel α1C subunit and upregulated DNA methylation of the Cacna1c gene promoter region in the hypertensive offspring.These data suggest that exercise during pregnancy improves vascular functional remodeling in offspring of hypertensive rats, downregulating the CaV1.2 channel function and protein expression, a change that is most likely caused by DNA methylation.