Sex and twinning influence early gestation undernutrition effects on sheep offspring growth

Cleal, J.K., Poore, K.R., Newman, J.P., Noakes, D., Hanson, M.A. and Green, L.R. (2006) Sex and twinning influence early gestation undernutrition effects on sheep offspring growth. Early Human Development, 82, (8), p.550. (doi:10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2006.06.003).


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Objectives: Multiple pregnancy affects size at birth and
growth pattern from as early as 8 weeks gestation (Iffy et
al., 1983. Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol. 146, 970—972). Male
embryos grow at a greater rate than females (Pedersen,
1980. Br. Med. J. 281, 1253). We hypothesised that
moderate maternal undernutrion in early gestation will
have a greater effect on male offspring growth, particularly
if combined with the increased constraint of being a twin.
Methods: Welsh Mountain ewes received 100% (C, n =41) or
50% nutrient requirements (U, n =47) from 1 to 31 days
gestation (dGA), and 100% thereafter. Ewes were weighed
weekly and blood samples were collected at 1, 30, and 65
dGA for cortisol analysis (Immulite analyser, DPC).
Results: At day 31, U ewes had gained less weight than C
ewes and had a lower plasma cortisol concentration
( p b0.05). During 1—31 dGA, twin bearing ewes gained less
weight than singleton bearing ewes. At birth, twins were
smaller than singleton lambs ( p b0.05). Weight gained
between birth and 12 weeks old and weight at 12 weeks
old were greater in U males compared to C males, an effect
that was predominantly in twins ( p b0.01). Data were
analysed by ANOVA.
Conclusion: The increased constraint of being a twin and a
male embryo in a nutrient-restricted intrauterine environment
induces a phenotype more likely to gain weight in a
good postnatal environment.
Supported by the British Heart Foundation.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2006.06.003
Additional Information: Abstracts of the 4th World Congress on Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD), 13–16 September 2006, Educatorium, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands (H-08)
ISSNs: 0378-3782 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: time, sheep, england, undernutrition, growth
Subjects: R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
Q Science > QP Physiology
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Medicine
ePrint ID: 60994
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
August 2006Published
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2008
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:43

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