Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease / Volume 4 / Issue 05 / October 2013, pp 368-376
A. C. Boycea1, B. J. Palmer-Aronstena1, M. Y. Kima1 and K. J. Gibsona1 k.gibson at unsw.edu.au)
1 Department of Physiology, School of Medical Sciences, The University of New South Wales, Sydney 2052, Australia
Renin is essential for renal development and in adult kidneys vitamin D deficiency increases renin gene expression. We aimed to determine whether maternal vitamin D deficiency upregulates fetal renal renin expression, and if this is sustained. We also examined growth and the long-term renal effects in offspring on a normal diet. Female Sprague–Dawley rats in UVB-free housing were fed either vitamin D deficient chow (DEF) or normal chow from 4 weeks and mated with vitamin D replete males at 10 weeks. Fetuses were collected at E20 or dams littered and the pups were weaned onto normal chow. Kidney mRNA levels for renin, (pro)renin receptor (P)RR, transforming growth factor β 1 (TGF-β1), and nephrin were determined in E20 fetuses and in male offspring at 38 weeks. Renal function was assessed at 33 weeks (24 h, metabolic cage) in both sexes. Renal mRNA expression was upregulated for renin in fetuses (P < 0.05) and was almost doubled in adult male offspring from DEF dams (P < 0.05). Adult males had reduced creatinine clearance, solute excretion and a suppressed urinary sodium-to-potassium ratio (P < 0.05).
Female adult DEF offspring drank more and excreted more urine (P < 0.05) but creatinine clearance was not impaired.
We conclude that maternal vitamin D depletion upregulates fetal renal renin gene expression and this persists into adulthood where, in males only, there is evidence of sodium retention and compromised renal function. Importantly these effects occurred despite the animals being on a normal diet from the time of weaning onwards.