Skip Navigation LinksHome > September 2013 - Volume 56 - Issue 3 > Maturation and Differentiation of the Fetal Vasculature
Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology:
doi: 10.1097/GRF.0b013e31829e5bc9
Fetal Origins of Adult Disease

Maturation and Differentiation of the Fetal Vasculature

PEARCE, WILLIAM J. PhD*; KHORRAM, OMID MD, PhD

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Abstract

Rapid postnatal growth and differentiation of fetal arterial smooth muscle is coordinated by a cacophony of growth factors, one of the most important of which is vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). In fetal arterial smooth muscle, VEGF influences both the expression and intracellular organization of contractile proteins and helps mediate hypoxic vascular remodeling. Numerous factors influence the expression of VEGF and its receptors, including chronic hypoxia, maternal food restriction, glucocorticoids, and miRNA. Continued study of the coupling between VEGF and transcription factors such as myocardin that govern smooth muscle differentiation, offers great promise for better clinical management of neonates at risk for cardiovascular dysregulation.

© 2013, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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