Searchable, peer-reviewed, open-access proceedings from bioscience and biomedical conferences
Bioscientifica Proceedings (2019) 6 RDRRDR25 | DOI: 10.1530/biosciprocs.6.025

REDR2006 Reproduction in Domestic Ruminants VI Fetal-maternal Interactions (2 abstracts)

The effects of maternal nutrition around the time of conception on the health of the offspring

MH Oliver , AL Jaquiery , FH Bloomfield & IE Harding

Liggins Institute, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

The incidence of prematurity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease have been increasing in both the developed and developing world. Increasing numbers of human studies suggest that these serious health outcomes may have developmental origins originating from nutritional deficits in the periconceptional period, with maternal nutrition around the time of conception now shown to have important effects on the length of gestation, trajectory of fetal growth and on postnatal growth and health. Biomedical research using the pregnant sheep has been widely employed to gain a deeper understanding of the underlying mechanisms involved. There is growing awareness that this field of research has major implications for the livestock production industry. From our own studies on sheep we have evidence that maternal undernutrition during the periconceptional period results in altered fetal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPAA) development, an increased rate of premature birth, altered fetal pancreatic function, insulin signalling and amino acid metabolism, and also alterations in maternal adaptation to pregnancy. We are currently studying the postnatal consequences of these changes. Other research groups have shown that restricted nutrition of sheep in the early part of pregnancy alters postnatal muscle development, fat deposition, cardiovascular regulation and HPAA function. One aim of this review is to illustrate how biomedical research using animals such as the sheep has been used to gain a better understanding of the consequences of reduced maternal nutrition during the periconceptional period. We suggest that there are equally important consequences of this research for the livestock production industries.

© 2007 Society for Reproduction and Fertility

Article tools

My recent searches

No recent searches.