Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Early life stress may take early toll on heart function

Date:
February 21, 2013
Source:
Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University
Summary:
Early life stress like that experienced by ill newborns appears to take an early toll of the heart, affecting its ability to relax and refill with oxygen-rich blood, researchers report.

This image shows Dr. Catalina Bazacliu, Georgia Regents University, who showed that early life stress may take early toll on heart function.
Credit: Phil Jones, GRU Photographer

Early life stress like that experienced by ill newborns appears to take an early toll of the heart, affecting its ability to relax and refill with oxygen-rich blood, researchers report.

Related Articles


Rat pups separated from their mothers a few hours each day, experienced a significant decrease in this basic heart function when -- as life tends to do -- an extra stressor was added to raise blood pressure, said Dr. Catalina Bazacliu, neonatologist at the Medical College of Georgia and Children's Hospital of Georgia at Georgia Regents University. Bazacliu worked under the mentorship of Dr. Jennifer Pollock, biochemist in the Section of Experimental Medicine in the MCG Department of Medicine.

The relaxation and filling rate remained low in the separation model, although decreases stabilized by ages two and six months, as the rats neared middle age. Both the model and controls experienced decreases in those functions that come naturally with age.

Interestingly, the force with which the heart ejected blood remained unchanged with the additional stressor, angiotensin II, a powerful constrictor of blood vessels. Echocardiography was used to evaluate heart function.

"We expected the heart's ability to relax and refill to lag behind in our model," said Bazacliu, whose research earned her a Young Investigator Award from the Southern Society for Pediatric Research. She is reporting her findings Feb. 22 during the Southern Regional Meetings in New Orleans, sponsored by the society as well as several other groups including the Southern Section of the American Federation for Medical Research.

"We believe these babies may be at increased risk for cardiovascular disease and we are working to understand exactly what puts them at risk," Bazacliu said. She believes hers is the first animal study of this aspect of heart function.

Dr. Analia S. Loria, assistant research scientist in Pollock's lab and also a co-author on the new abstract, has shown that the blood pressure of maternally separated rats goes up more in response to angiotensin II and their heart rates go higher as well. Normally, a compensatory mechanism drives the heart rate down a little when blood pressure goes up.

Work by others has shown persistent blood vessel changes in the early stress model, including increased contraction and reduced relaxation when similarly stressed.

Longitudinal studies in humans have shown long-term cardiovascular implications, such as babies born to mothers during the Dutch famine of World War II, growing up at increased risk for cardiovascular disease as well as diabetes, obesity and other health problems.

Bazacliu's earlier studies in a similar animal model indicated that babies whose growth was restricted in utero by conditions such as preeclampsia -- maternal high blood pressure during pregnancy -- were at increased risk of cardiovascular disease as adults. This was true whether the babies were born prematurely or at full term. Increased pressure during development reduces blood flow from mother to baby; reduced nutrition and oxygen to the baby is considered an environmental stress.

Bazacliu's interest in early life stress grew out of the reality that, while obviously intended to save premature and otherwise critically ill newborns, neonatal intensive care units can further stress these babies. "All the procedures we must do, the separation from the mother, the environment, even though the babies need the help, it represents a stress." NICUs such as the one at Children's Hospital of Georgia work to minimize negative impact with strategies such as open visiting hours, minimalizing noise and other family-centered care strategies.

Bazacliu came to MCG in 2011 from the University of Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University. "Early life stress may take early toll on heart function." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130221104330.htm>.
Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University. (2013, February 21). Early life stress may take early toll on heart function. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130221104330.htm
Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University. "Early life stress may take early toll on heart function." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130221104330.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins