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MitoQ as an antenatal antioxidant treatment improves markers of lung maturation in healthy and hypoxic pregnancy.

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Published version
Peer-reviewed

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Authors

Botting, Kimberley J 
Ford, Sage G 

Abstract

Chronic fetal hypoxaemia is a common pregnancy complication that increases the risk of infants experiencing respiratory complications at birth. In turn, chronic fetal hypoxaemia promotes oxidative stress, and maternal antioxidant therapy in animal models of hypoxic pregnancy has proven to be protective with regards to fetal growth and cardiovascular development. However, whether antenatal antioxidant therapy confers any benefit on lung development in complicated pregnancies has not yet been investigated. Here, we tested the hypothesis that maternal antenatal treatment with MitoQ will protect the developing lung in hypoxic pregnancy in sheep, a species with similar fetal lung developmental milestones as humans. Maternal treatment with MitoQ during late gestation promoted fetal pulmonary surfactant maturation and an increase in the expression of lung mitochondrial complexes III and V independent of oxygenation. Maternal treatment with MitoQ in hypoxic pregnancy also increased the expression of genes regulating liquid reabsorption in the fetal lung. These data support the hypothesis tested and suggest that MitoQ as an antenatal targeted antioxidant treatment may improve lung maturation in the late gestation fetus. KEY POINTS: Chronic fetal hypoxaemia promotes oxidative stress, and maternal antioxidant therapy in hypoxic pregnancy has proven to be protective with regards to fetal growth and cardiovascular development. MitoQ is a targeted antioxidant that uses the cell and the mitochondrial membrane potential to accumulate within the mitochondria. Treatment of healthy or hypoxic pregnancy with MitoQ, increases the expression of key molecules involved in surfactant maturation, lung liquid reabsorption and in mitochondrial proteins driving ATP synthesis in the fetal sheep lung. There were no detrimental effects of MitoQ treatment alone on the molecular components measured in the present study, suggesting that maternal antioxidant treatment has no effect on other components of normal maturation of the surfactant system.

Description

Keywords

antioxidant, fetal growth restriction, fetus, hypoxia, lung development, surfactant, Humans, Infant, Newborn, Pregnancy, Female, Animals, Sheep, Antioxidants, Hypoxia, Lung, Surface-Active Agents, Organophosphorus Compounds, Ubiquinone

Journal Title

J Physiol

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

0022-3751
1469-7793

Volume Title

Publisher

Wiley
Sponsorship
British Heart Foundation (RG/17/8/32924)