Decreasing maternal nutrient intake during the final third of pregnancy in previously overnourished adolescent sheep: effects on maternal nutrient partitioning and feto-placental development.Placenta 2012; 33(2):114-21P
When pregnant adolescent sheep are overnourished during pregnancy normal nutrient partitioning priorities to the gravid uterus are altered, leading to impaired placental development and fetal growth restriction. We hypothesized that decreasing dietary intake in overnourished dams during the final third of gestation may reverse this inappropriate nutrient partitioning in favor of the fetus. Adolescent ewes were offered control (C; n = 12) or high (H; n = 20) dietary intakes to induce normal vs. compromised placental development. Ten ewes receiving the H intake were switched to a low intake at d90 of gestation (HL). Between d90 to 130, HL dams lost weight and adiposity, and metabolic hormones and glucose at d130 were less than H and similar to C. In spite of these maternal changes, at d130 fetal bodyweight was equivalent in HL and H groups and ∼20% less than in C. A greater degree of brain sparing was evident in HL fetuses and glucose and insulin concentrations were more perturbed than in H fetuses. Relative to C, placentome weight was reduced by 46 and 32% in H and HL and the fetal:placentome weight ratio was H > HL > C. Placental vascular morphology was largely unaffected by maternal diet during late gestation but mRNA expression of five angiogenic genes was up-regulated in the fetal cotyledon of HL pregnancies, commensurate with blood vessel remodeling. Nevertheless, overfeeding to promote maternal anabolic growth during adolescent pregnancy impairs feto-placental development that cannot be rescued by reducing maternal intake during the final third of gestation.