Sonnet S Jonker

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During fetal life the myocardium expands through replication of cardiomyocytes. In sheep, cardiomyocytes begin the process of becoming terminally differentiated at about 100 gestation days out of 145 days term. In this final step of development, cardiomyocytes become binucleated and stop dividing. The number of cells at birth is important in determining the(More)
While the fetal heart grows by myocyte enlargement and proliferation, myocytes lose their capacity for proliferation in the perinatal period after terminal differentiation. The relationship between myocyte enlargement, proliferation, and terminal differentiation has not been studied under conditions of combined arterial and venous hypertension, as occurs in(More)
Studies in altricial rodents attribute dramatic changes in perinatal cardiomyocyte growth, maturation, and attrition to stimuli associated with birth. Our purpose was to determine whether birth is a critical trigger controlling perinatal cardiomyocyte growth, maturation and attrition in a precocial large mammal, sheep (Ovis aries). Hearts from 0-61 d(More)
Chronic anaemia increases the workload of the growing fetal heart, leading to cardiac enlargement. To determine which cellular process increases cardiac mass, we measured cardiomyocyte sizes, binucleation as an index of terminal differentiation, and tissue volume fractions in hearts from control and anaemic fetal sheep. Fourteen chronically catheterized(More)
Angiotensin II (Ang II) is an important regulator of cardiovascular function in adult vertebrates. Although its role in regulating the adult system has been extensively investigated, the cardiovascular response to Ang II in embryonic vertebrates is relatively unknown. We investigated the potential of Ang II as a regulator of cardiovascular function in(More)
Immature contractile cardiomyocytes proliferate to rapidly increase cell number, establishing cardiomyocyte endowment in the perinatal period. Developmental changes in cellular maturation, size and attrition further contribute to cardiac anatomy. These physiological processes occur concomitant with a changing hormonal environment as the fetus prepares(More)
Interstitial fluid fluxes are much greater in the fetus than in the adult, and filtration rates are increased over control in most tissues of the anaemic fetus. Increased capillary filtration may lead to cardiac oedema which, in turn, severely impacts cardiac function. Mechanisms that underlie these differences in flux are incompletely understood. One(More)
The role of cortisol in regulating cardiac myocyte growth in the near-term fetal sheep is unknown. We hypothesized that cortisol would suppress cardiomyocyte proliferation and stimulate cardiomyocyte binucleation and enlargement, signs of terminal differentiation. Cardiomyocyte dimensions and percent binucleation were determined in isolated cardiac myocytes(More)
Umbilicoplacental embolization (UPE) in sheep has been used to investigate the effects of placental insufficiency on fetal development. However, its specific effects on the heart have been little studied. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of placental insufficiency, induced by UPE, on cardiomyocyte size, maturation and proliferation.(More)
The generation of new myocytes is an essential process of in utero heart growth. Most, or all, cardiac myocytes lose their capacity for proliferation during the perinatal period through the process of terminal differentiation. An increasing number of studies focus on how experimental interventions affect cardiac myocyte growth in the fetal sheep.(More)