Appraising the Preclinical Evidence of the Role of the Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System in Antenatal Programming of Maternal and Offspring Cardiovascular Health Across the Life Course

Published: March 23, 2023

Three generations of women embracign in their living room.
  • Emerging antenatal risk factors such as preeclampsia appear to increase the risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease across the life course in both the offspring and women post-pregnancy. However, the antenatal programming mechanisms responsible are complex and not completely understood, and most often involve developmental changes to the structure and function of the kidney, heart, vasculature, and brain.
  • The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) is a major regulator of maternal-fetal health via the placental interface as well as kidney and cardiovascular tissue development and ultimately structure and function. RAAS dysregulation plays a critical role in the development of pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia and programming of long-term adverse cardiovascular health in both the mother and the offspring.
  • This scientific statement synthesizes the current knowledge related to preclinical evidence of antenatal programming mechanisms of long-term maternal and offspring cardiovascular health as it relates to the role of several of the major pathways of the RAAS using well-characterized preclinical models of developmental programming.