Pre- and postnatal nutritional histories influence reproductive maturation and ovarian function in the rat


Sloboda, Deborah M., Howie, J. Howie, Pleasants, Anthony, Gluckman, Peter D. and Vickers, Mark H. (2009) Pre- and postnatal nutritional histories influence reproductive maturation and ovarian function in the rat. PLoS One, 4, (8(e6744)), 1-8. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006744).

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Description/Abstract

Background

While prepubertal nutritional influences appear to play a role in sexual maturation, there is a need to clarify the potential contributions of maternal and childhood influences in setting the tempo of reproductive maturation. In the present study we employed an established model of nutritional programming to evaluate the relative influences of prenatal and postnatal nutrition on growth and ovarian function in female offspring.
Methods

Pregnant Wistar rats were fed either a calorie-restricted diet, a high fat diet, or a control diet during pregnancy and/or lactation. Offspring then were fed either a control or a high fat diet from the time of weaning to adulthood. Pubertal age was monitored and blood samples collected in adulthood for endocrine analyses.
Results

We report that in the female rat, pubertal timing and subsequent ovarian function is influenced by the animal's nutritional status in utero, with both maternal caloric restriction and maternal high fat nutrition resulting in early pubertal onset. Depending on the offspring's nutritional history during the prenatal and lactational periods, subsequent nutrition and body weight gain did not further influence offspring reproductive tempo, which was dominated by the effect of prenatal nutrition. Whereas maternal calorie restriction leads to early pubertal onset, it also leads to a reduction in adult progesterone levels later in life. In contrast, we found that maternal high fat feeding which also induces early maturation in offspring was associated with elevated progesterone concentrations.
Conclusions

These observations are suggestive of two distinct developmental pathways leading to the acceleration of pubertal timing but with different consequences for ovarian function. We suggest different adaptive explanations for these pathways and for their relationship to altered metabolic homeostasis.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 1932-6203 (print)
Related URLs:
Subjects: R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Medicine > Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
ePrint ID: 73561
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2010
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2014 14:56
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/73561

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