Research ArticleMARFAN SYNDROME

Oxytocin antagonism prevents pregnancy-associated aortic dissection in a mouse model of Marfan syndrome

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Science Translational Medicine  01 May 2019:
Vol. 11, Issue 490, eaat4822
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aat4822

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Dissecting a risk of Marfan syndrome

Marfan syndrome is an autosomal dominant connective tissue disorder associated with manifestations in multiple organ systems. The aorta is a key site affected by this syndrome, and female patients are at risk for aortic dissection associated with pregnancy and childbirth. Traditionally, this risk has been ascribed to labor-induced stress, but Habashi et al. noted that aortic dissection often occurs relatively late postpartum, prompting them to examine possible additional explanations. Using mouse models of Marfan syndrome, the researchers discovered that oxytocin, the hormone involved in milk letdown, plays a key role in aortic dissection, and identified several potential approaches for preventing this complication.

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