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Articles by M. J Zhu
Total Records ( 2 ) for M. J Zhu
  Y Huang , X Yan , M. J Zhu , R. J McCormick , S. P Ford , P. W Nathanielsz and M. Du
 

Maternal obesity (MO) is increasing at an alarming rate. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of MO on fibrogenesis in fetal skeletal muscle during maturation in late gestation. Nonpregnant ewes were assigned to a control diet (Con; fed 100% of NRC nutrient recommendations, n = 6) or obesogenic diet (OB; fed 150% of NRC recommendations, n = 6) from 60 days before conception, and fetal semitendenosus (St) muscle was sampled at 135 days of gestation (term 148 days). Total concentration and area of collagen in cross-sections of muscle increased by 27.0 ± 6.0 (P < 0.05) and 105.1 ± 5.9% (P = 0.05) in OB compared with Con fetuses. The expression of precursor TGF-β was 177.3 ± 47.6% higher, and concentration of phospho-p38 74.7 ± 23.6% was higher (P < 0.05) in OB than in CON fetal muscle. Increases of 327.9 ± 168.0 (P < 0.05) and 188.9 ± 82.1% (P < 0.05), respectively, were observed for mRNA expression of Smad7 and fibronectin in OB compared with Con muscles. In addition, enzymes involved in collagen synthesis, including lysyl oxidase, lysyl hydroxylase 2b, and prolyl 4-hydroxylase-1, were increased by 350.2 ± 90.0 (P < 0.05), 236.5 ± 25.2 (P < 0.05), and 82.0 ± 36.2% (P = 0.05), respectively, in OB muscle. In conclusion, MO-enhanced fibrogenesis in fetal muscle in late gestation was associated with upregulation of the TGF-β/p38 signaling pathway. Enhanced fibrogenesis at such an early stage of development is expected to negatively affect the properties of offspring muscle because muscle fibrosis is a hallmark of aging.

  Y Huang , X Yan , J. X Zhao , M. J Zhu , R. J McCormick , S. P Ford , P. W Nathanielsz , J Ren and M. Du
 

Maternal obesity (MO) has harmful effects on both fetal development and subsequent offspring health. The impact of MO on fetal myocardium development has received little attention. Fibrogenesis is regulated by the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β)/p38 signaling pathway. Using the well-established model of MO in pregnant sheep, we evaluated the effect of MO on TGF-β/p38 and collagen accumulation in fetal myocardium. Nonpregnant ewes were assigned to a control diet [Con, fed 100% of National Research Council (NRC) nutrient recommendations] or obesogenic diet (OB, fed 150% of NRC recommendations) from 60 days before conception. Fetal ventricular muscle was sampled at 75 and 135 days of gestation (dG). At 75 dG, the expression of precursor TGF-β was 39.9 ± 9.9% higher (P < 0.05) in OB than Con fetal myocardium, consistent with the higher content of phosphorylated Smad3 in OB myocardium. The phosphorylation of p38 tended to be higher in OB myocardium (P = 0.08). In addition, enhanced Smad complexes were bound to Smad-binding elements in 75 dG OB fetal myocardium measured by DNA mobility shift assay (130.2 ± 26.0% higher, P < 0.05). Similar elevation of TGF-β signaling was observed in OB fetal myocardium at 135 dG. Total collagen concentration in OB was greater than Con fetal myocardium (2.42 ± 0.16 vs. 1.87 ± 0.04%, P < 0.05). Matrix metalloproteinase-9 and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-3 were higher in the Con group compared with OB sheep (43.86 ± 16.01 and 37.23 ± 7.97% respectively, P < 0.05). In summary, MO results in greater fetal heart connective tissue accumulation associated with an upregulated TGF-β/p38 signaling pathway at late gestation; such changes would be expected to negatively impact offspring heart function.

 
 
 
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