Maternal protein-energy malnutrition during early pregnancy in sheep impacts the fetal ornithine cycle to reduce fetal kidney microvascular development.
Bottom Line: PEM had little measureable effect on maternal and fetal macronutrient balance (glucose, total protein, total amino acids, and lactate were unaffected) or on fetal growth.PEM decreased maternal and fetal urea concentration, which blunted fetal ornithine availability and affected fetal hepatic polyamine production.For the first time in a large animal model, we associated these nutritional effects with reduced micro- but not macrovascular development in the fetal kidney.
Affiliation: School of Veterinary Medicine and Science.Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus
Mentions: Maternal weight and body condition score (BCS) at artificial insemination (d 0 of gestation) were similar between groups (pooled mean for weight, 56.3±0.5 kg; for BCS, 2.5±0.1 U) and did not deviate significantly from this level to d 65 (at d65: CP, weight=61.2±1.1 kg, BCS=2.7±0.1 U; LP, weight=58.9±1.0 kg, BCS=2.5±0.1 U). From similar initial concentrations in maternal plasma at d 0, plasma NEFAs, glucose, and lactate significantly increased, and plasma triglycerides and albumin showed a strong statistical trend to be increased, whereas plasma urea significantly decreased through early gestation in LP relative to CP ewes (Fig. 1). Despite a 50% reduction in dietary crude protein, maternal plasma amino acid concentrations did not differ between treatment groups, although some variation with time was noted (Table 2). Plasma osmolality also did not differ between groups at d 0 (pooled mean, 303±2 mOsmol/kg H2O) but was, on average, significantly increased in LP vs. CP ewes from d 28 onward (pooled mean, 323±4 vs. 303±4 mOsmol/kg H2O, respectively; P<0.001).