Clinical and experimental investigations have been demonstrated that the low birth weight can contribute to development of cardiovascular diseases in later life. Although the factors involved in this effects are not yet fully elucidated changes, such as, reduced vascular compliance, characterized by incompleted vasculogenesis and microvascular rarefaction capacity and alteration in modulator endothelial cells, characteristics observed due to low birth weight, may contribute directly to development and/or maintenance of both hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Recently, it was demonstrated that low birth weight may promote negative adaptations in the functional properties of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs). Given the above, and considering that these cells participate in the maintenance process and vascular integrity, we hypothesized that changes in EPCs induced by fetal programming can be one of the mechanisms involved in the development of disease in long-term. Moreover, the beneficial effects of exercise training on the properties of EPCs have been reported in various pathological conditions and in numerous experimental models. However, so far little is known about the beneficial effects of aerobic exercise on fetal programming models, especially regarding the EPCs. Therefore, in an attempt to elucidate this important issue, we hypothesized that aerobic exercise can normalize the harmful effects of fetal programming, and that the EPCs could be one link between fetal programming and later development of cardiovascular disease. Based on these considerations, this project will evaluate the possible beneficial adaptations induced by aerobic exercise on the characteristics of EPCs, as well as, in the angiogenic process of skeletal muscle in the adult offspring of rats submitted to fetal programming by intrauterine malnutrition.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: