Effect of Gestational Age on Maternofetal Vascular Function Following Single Maternal Engineered Nanoparticle Exposure

S. B. Fournier, S. Kallontzi, L. Fabris, C. Love, P. A. Stapleton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Normal pregnancy outcome is accomplished, in part, by rapid and expansive physiological adaptations to the systemic circulation, the extent of which is specific to gestational day (GD) and anatomical location. Pregnancy-related hemodynamic changes in uterine placental blood flow stimulate compensatory vascular signaling and remodeling that begins early and continues throughout gestation. Exposure of the maternal environment to engineered nanomaterials (ENM) during pregnancy has been shown to impact health of the dam, fetus, and adult offspring; however, the consequences of specific temporal (gestational age) and spatial (vascular location) considerations are largely undetermined. We exposed pregnant Sprague–Dawley rats to nano-TiO2 aerosols at three critical periods of fetal development (GD 4, 12, and 17) to identify vascular perturbations associated with ENM exposure at these developmental milestones. Vascular reactivity of the maternal thoracic aorta, the uterine artery, the umbilical vein, and the fetal thoracic aorta were evaluated using wire myography on GD 20. While impairments were noted at each level of the maternofetal vascular tree and at each exposure day, our results indicate the greatest effects may be identified within the fetal vasculature (umbilical vein and fetal aorta), wherein effects of a single maternal inhalational exposure to nano-TiO2 on GD 4 modified responses to cholinergic, NO, and α-adrenergic signaling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-333
Number of pages13
JournalCardiovascular Toxicology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 15 2019


  • Fetal aorta
  • Gestational exposure
  • Nanomaterials
  • Nanotoxicology
  • Umbilical vein
  • Uterine artery
  • Wire myography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Toxicology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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