Extensive epidemiological and experimental evidence suggests the nutritional environment in which a developing conceptus is exposed is a major factor determining later cardiovascular disease. In this review a consideration of the extent to which altered maternal/fetal nutritional environments may predispose toward later anomalies in blood pressure control and hypertension will be undertaken. In particular, a focus will be on potentially novel mechanistic pathways through which early-mid gestational undernutrition may impact upon fetal/adult adipocyte, renal and brain function, that act to increase the risk of later hypertension developing. Within the review we shall also present an opinion on the differing animal models that are currently employed to address developmental programming and introduce a conceptual framework that synthesises current available evidence.
Keywords: Maternal Nutrition, Angiotensin II, Blood Pressure, Hypertension
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