Placentas from Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats and Control Strain Wistar-Kyoto Rats

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Placentas from spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) were compared to those of control strain Wistar-Kyoto rats (WKY) at 15, 18 and 20 days of gestation using light microscopic techniques. Placental lesions similar to those in pregnant hypertensive women were absent in both strains; however, other abnormalities were noted. Hemorrhage at the lateral edges of the decidua basalis appeared to be more extensive in the SHR than WKY at 15 days. At the same time, bloody vaginal discharges were noted in 18% of the SHR. Leukocytic encapsulation of 20-day placentas with viable fetuses was noted in two SHR dams but not in any WKY. It is thought that these differences may be related to the high maternal blood pressure in the SHR or to hormonal imbalance associated with the stress response in the SHR due to frequent monitoring of blood pressure.

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