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Effects of maternal protein restriction on the morphophysiology of the adrenal gland of young rats: development, proliferation and cell death

Grant number: 22/06040-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2022
Effective date (End): December 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Morphology - Histology
Principal Investigator:Luis Antonio Justulin Junior
Grantee:Luisa Annibal Barata
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IBB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Botucatu. Botucatu , SP, Brazil


Adverse conditions during pregnancy and/or lactation can cause several problems in the offspring, affecting several organs and systems, an effect called fetal programming. Maternal protein restriction models (MPR) demonstrate several negative consequences in many systems, in early life development. The MPR decreases the number of nephrons, alters hypothalamic neurons and increases the incidence of cancer and prostate, in addition to altering important hormones such as corticosterone. Thus, the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis is very important for the regulation of fetal and postnatal development, through the release of hormones such as cortisol (corticosterone), aldosterone and androgens, regulating catabolic processes, hydroelectrolytic balance and sexual factors. The adrenals, therefore, are essential at the systemic level, and negative effects on them, such as the MPR, can trigger changes that can be maintained until senility. Therefore, the objective of this project is to evaluate the effects of MPR on adrenal morphophysiology of post-weaning rats (post natal day - PND - 21st), emphasizing hormone and developmental receptors. For this, male Sprague Dawley rats submitted to MPR will be used, divided into 2 groups: rats born to mothers fed a normoproteic diet (CTR, 17% protein) or low protein diet (GLLP, 6%) during pregnancy and lactation). In 21st PND, the animals will be euthanized. The adrenals will be collected for morphological analysis, RT-qPCR and immunostaining for apoptosis factors, autophagy and hormone receptors. The expected results are that MPR affects the HPA axis, altering the morphophysiology of the adrenal in early life which can lead to cellular stress and susceptibility to possible more expressive changes throughout life and senility. (AU)

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