Programming of intermediate metabolism in young lambs affected by late gestational maternal undernourishment

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Sanne Husted, Mette Olaf Nielsen, Malin Plumhoff Tygesen, Alishir Kiani, D. Blache, K.L. Ingvartsen

Effects of moderate maternal undernourishment during late gestation on the intermediary metabolism and maturational changes in young lambs were investigated. 20 twin-bearing sheep, bred to two different rams, were randomly allocated the last 6 wk of gestation to either a NORM diet [barley, protein supplement, and silage ad libitum ˜ 15 MJ metabolizable energy (ME/day] or a LOW diet (50% of ME intake in NORM, offered exclusively as silage ¨7 MJ ME/day). Post partum, ewes were fed to requirement. After weaning, lambs were fed concentrate and hay ad libitum. At 10 and 19 wk of age, lambs wee subjected to an intravenous glucose tolerance test (IGTT) followed by 24 h of fasting. Heat energy (HE) was determined in a respiration chamber at 9 or 20 wk of age. LOW lambs had a lower birth weight and continued to be lighter throughout the experiment. Glucose tolerance did not differ between groups. However, 19-wk-old LOW lambs secreted less insulin during IGTT, released more NEFA, and tended to have lower leptin during fasting than NORM. Surprisingly, several metabolite and hormone responses during IGTT and fasting were greatly influenced by the paternal heritage. In conclusion, when lambs entered adolescence (19 wk) programming effects of late prenatal malnutrition on the glucose-insulin homeostasis and metabolism were manifested: LOW lambs had less insulin-secretory capacity, but this was apparently compensated for by increased target tissue sensitivity for insulin, and adipose lipolytic capacity increased during fasting. Thereby, glucose may be spared throguh increased lipid oxidationn, but overall energetic efficiency is apparently deteriorated rather than improved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)E548-E557
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2007

    Research areas

  • LIFE - glucose tolerance, insulin sensibility, undernutrition

ID: 8094841