Right ventricular systolic pressure load alters myocyte maturation in fetal sheep

A. Barbera, G. D. Giraud, M. D. Reller, J. Maylie, M. J. Morton, K. L. Thornburg

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Abstract

The effects of right ventricular (RV) systolic pressure (RVSP) load on fetal myocyte size and maturation were studied. Pulmonary artery (PA) pressure was increased by PA occlusion from mean 47.4 ± 5.0 (±SD) to 71 ± 13.6 mmHg (P < 0.0001) in eight RVSP-loaded near-term fetal sheep for 10 days. The maximal pressure generated by the RV with acute PA occlusion increased after RVSP load: 78 ± 7 to 101 ± 15 mmHg (P < 0.005). RVSP-load hearts were heavier (44.7 ± 8.4 g) than five nonloaded hearts (31.8 ± 0.2 g; P < 0.03); heart-to-body weight ratio (10.9 ± 1.1 and 6.5 ± 0.9 g/kg, respectively; P < 0.0001). RVSP-RV myocytes were longer (101.3 ± 10.2 μm) than nonloaded RV myocytes (88.2 ± 8.1 μm; P < 0.02) and were more often binucleated (82 ± 13%) than nonloaded myocytes (63 ± 7%; P < 0.02). RVSP-loaded myocytes had less myofibrillar volume than did nonloaded hearts (44.1 ± 4.4% and 56.1 ± 2.6%; P < 0.002). We conclude that RV systolic load 1) leads to RV myocyte enlargement, 2) has minor effects on left ventricular myocyte size, and 3) stimulates maturation (increased RV myocyte binucleation). Myocyte volume data suggest that RV systolic loading stimulates both hyperplastic and hypertrophic growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R1157-R1164
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Volume279
Issue number4 48-4
StatePublished - Dec 10 2000

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Keywords

  • Cytomorphometry
  • Fetal cardiac function
  • Myocyte growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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