Vitamin D supplementation reduces some AT1-AA-induced downstream targets implicated in preeclampsia including hypertension

Jessica L. Faulkner, Lorena M. Amaral, Denise C. Cornelius, Mark W. Cunningham, Tarek Ibrahim, Autumn Heep, Nathan Campbell, Nathan Usry, Kedra Wallace, Florian Herse, Ralf Dechend, Babbette LaMarca

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13 Scopus citations


Autoantibodies to the ANG II type I receptor (AT1-AA) are associated with preeclampsia (PE). We found that vitamin D supplementation reduced AT1-AA and blood pressure (MAP) in the RUPP rat model of PE. However, it was undetermined whether the decrease in AT1-AA was the mechanism whereby vitamin D lowered MAP or if it were through factors downstream of AT1-AA. Uterine artery resistance index, placental ET-1, and soluble FMS-like tyrosine kinase-1 are increased with AT1-AA-induced hypertension and are considered markers of PE in pregnant women. Therefore, we hypothesized that vitamin D would reduce PE factors during AT1- AA-induced hypertension and could lower blood pressure in a model of hypertension during pregnancy without PE features. Either ANG II (50 ng·kg-1·day) or AT1-AA (1:40) was infused from gestational day (GD) 12–19. vitamin D2 (VD2, 270 IU/day) or vitamin D3 (VD3, 15 IU/day) was administered orally from GD14–GD18. MAP (mmHg) increased in AT1-AA (121 _ 4) and ANG II (113 ± 1)-infused pregnant rats compared with normal pregnant rats (NP) (101 ± 2) but was lower in AT1-AA+VD2 (105 ± 2), AT1-AA+VD3 (109 ± 2), ANG II+VD2 (104 ± 4), and ANG II+VD3 (104 ± 3). VD2 and/or VD3 improved PE features associated with AT1-AA during pregnancy, while ANG II did not induce such features, supporting the hypothesis that AT1-AA induces PE features during pregnancy, and these are improved with vitamin D. In this study, we demonstrate that vitamin D improved many factors associated with PE and reduced blood pressure in a hypertensive model without PE features, indicating that vitamin D could be beneficial for various hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R125-R131
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017


  • Hypertension
  • Inflammation
  • Pregnancy


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