Programmed hypertension: kidney, brain or both? Academic Article uri icon


  • The results from numerous epidemiological studies suggested that there was a link between low birth weight (low for gestational age) and development of high blood pressure in adulthood. More recently, it has been shown that one important determinant is the early exposure of the developing fetus to excess glucocorticoid (GC). Hypertension develops in adult sheep and rats that are exposed to excess GC at a stage in gestation when both kidney and brain are still extremely primitive organs. Here, we propose that permanent changes in gene expression and function of these two organs could be crucial in the development of adult-onset hypertension as a result of prenatal GC exposure.

publication date

  • November 1, 2002