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: Meeting abstract
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
ePrint ID: 60994
Date :
Date Event
August 2006Published
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2008
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2017 17:32
Further Information:Google Scholar

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