Suppression of trophoblast uterine spiral artery remodeling by estrogen during baboon pregnancy: impact on uterine and fetal blood flow dynamics

Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2012 May 15;302(10):H1936-44. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00590.2011. Epub 2012 Mar 16.


The present study was conducted to determine the impact of suppressing trophoblast remodeling of the uterine spiral arteries by prematurely elevating estrogen levels in the first trimester of baboon pregnancy on uterine and umbilical blood flow dynamics. Uteroplacental blood flow was assessed by Doppler ultrasonography after acute administration of saline (basal state) and serotonin on days 60, 100, and 160 of gestation (term: 184 days) to baboons in which uterine spiral artery remodeling had been suppressed by the administration of estradiol on days 25-59 of gestation. Maternal blood pressure in the basal state was increased (P < 0.01), and uterine artery diastolic notching and the umbilical artery pulsatility index and systolic-to-diastolic ratio, reflecting downstream flow impedance, were increased (P < 0.01) after serotonin administration on day 160, but not earlier, in baboons treated with estradiol in early gestation. These changes in uteroplacental flow dynamics in serotonin-infused, estradiol-treated animals were accompanied by a decrease (P < 0.05) in uterine and umbilical artery volume flow and fetal bradycardia. The results of this study show that suppression of uterine artery remodeling by advancing the rise in estrogen from the second trimester to the first trimester disrupted uteroplacental blood flow dynamics and fetal homeostasis after vasochallenge late in primate pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Estradiol / blood
  • Estrogens / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Fetus / blood supply*
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Homeostasis / drug effects
  • Homeostasis / physiology
  • Models, Animal
  • Papio / physiology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy, Animal / physiology*
  • Regional Blood Flow / drug effects*
  • Regional Blood Flow / physiology
  • Serotonin / pharmacology
  • Serotonin Receptor Agonists / pharmacology
  • Trophoblasts / drug effects*
  • Trophoblasts / physiology
  • Umbilical Arteries / physiology*
  • Uterine Artery / drug effects*
  • Uterine Artery / physiology


  • Estrogens
  • Serotonin Receptor Agonists
  • Serotonin
  • Estradiol