Fetal intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) results in increased placental resistance to blood flow, fetal hypertension and increased pulsatility [1]. These hemodynamic changes have been shown to lead to vascular remodeling in adolescents and adults [2, 3] but have received little study of its effect during this critical period of vascular formation. Epidemiological studies link IUGR to cardiovascular disease in adulthood [4], but the reason for this is not clearly understood. Here, we examine a large elastic artery for developmental alterations under hypertensive conditions. We hypothesize that fetal hypertension induces abdominal aorta (AA) stiffening in the fetal ovine model of IUGR and that the increased systemic artery stiffness is due to altered extracellular matrix (ECM) composition and structural changes.

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