Implication of maternal nitrogen balance in the regulation of circulating levels of insulin-like growth factor-I in human pregnancy.
Nutrition plays an important role in regulating the circulating levels of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I). We have demonstrated that reduced nitrogen balance is related to changes in serum IGF-I levels but not serum growth hormone levels in pregnant rats. In the present study, we investigated the effects of changes in nitrogen balance on serum IGF-I levels in normal and malnourished pregnant women (defined as having negative nitrogen balance). Forty-eight pregnant women (threatened miscarriage and premature labor, 39; pre-eclampsia, 3; hyperemesis, 3; ileus, 2; bleeding from the colon, 1) and 19 non-pregnant women admitted in Kobe University Hospital were enrolled in this study. Blood samples of normal pregnant controls were also obtained from 172 healthy pregnant women attending the outpatient clinic. Serum IGF-I levels and nitrogen balance were measured serially in 9 pregnant women with threatened miscarriage and premature labor and 9 malnourished pregnant women out of 48 pregnant women. Serum IGF-I and urinary nitrogen levels were measured by radioimmunoassay with acid-ethanol extraction and the Dumas method, respectively. Nitrogen balance was expressed as the difference between daily nitrogen intake and nitrogen excretion assessed by urinary nitrogen levels. Serum IGF-I levels in normal pregnant controls significantly increased in the third trimester of pregnancy compared with non-pregnant controls. No difference in serum IGF-I levels in any trimester of pregnancy was observed between normal pregnant controls and pregnant women with threatened miscarriage and premature labor. There was no significant difference in nitrogen balance between the pregnant women with threatened miscarriage and premature labor and non-pregnant controls. In the longitudinal study, no correlation was found between the changes in serum IGF-I levels and those in nitrogen balance in the 9 pregnant women with threatened premature labor (daily nitrogen balance > 0 g/day) on the basis of linear regression analysis. On the other hand, the changes in serum IGF-I levels in the 9 malnourished pregnant women were significantly correlated with those in nitrogen balance (y = 1.72x + 17.5; r = 0.60; P < 0.05: linear regression analysis). These results indicate that maternal nutritional states have a major effect on serum IGF-I levels in malnourished pregnant women, but not in pregnant women with daily nitrogen balance > 0 g/day. Serum IGF-I levels can be a potent index of nutritional states under malnutrition during human pregnancy. (+info)
Adult growth hormone treatment reduces hypertension and obesity induced by an adverse prenatal environment.
The discovery of a link between an adverse in utero environment and the propensity to develop metabolic and cardiovascular disease in adult life is one of the most important advances in epidemiological research of recent Years. Increasing experimental evidence suggests that alterations in the fetal environment may have long-term consequences for the development of metabolic disorders in adult life. This process has been termed 'fetal programming' and we have shown that undernutrition of the mother during gestation leads to development of the metabolic syndrome X during adult life. Striking metabolic similarities exist between syndrome X and untreated GH deficiency (GHD). In the present study we have investigated the effects of GH treatment on blood pressure and metabolic parameters. Virgin Wistar rats (age 75+/-5 days, n=20 per group) were time-mated and randomly assigned to receive food either ad libitum (AD) or 30% of AD intake (UN) throughout pregnancy. At weaning, male offspring were assigned to one of two diets (control or hypercaloric (30% fat)). Systolic blood pressure was measured at day 100 and following twice daily treatment with recombinant bovine GH for 21 days. GH treatment increased body weights in all treated animals but significantly reduced retroperitoneal and gonadal fat pad weights. Following GH treatment, systolic blood pressure was markedly decreased in all UN offspring. Saline-treated animals showed no change in systolic blood pressure over the treatment period. GH treatment increased heart-to-body weight ratio in all GH-treated animals. Our data demonstrated that GH treatment reduces hypertension and improves cardiovascular function in animals exposed to adverse environmental conditions during fetal or postnatal life. (+info)
Gender-specific programming of insulin secretion and action.
Insulin secretion and glucose tolerance were studied in 20-week-old male and female offspring of rat dams maintained on an isocaloric 20% or 8% protein diet during pregnancy and lactation after transfer to the same diet at weaning. Protein-restricted male and female offspring were also weaned onto a 20% protein diet. In males, post-absorptive insulin concentrations were suppressed by protein restriction from conception to adulthood (by 41%; P<0.001); however, basal insulin levels were 2.6-fold higher (P<0.001) if protein restriction was limited to gestation and lactation. Post-absorptive insulinaemia in females was unaffected by early or sustained protein restriction, but was lower than for males in the control group and the group exposed to protein restriction during early life alone (by 40% (P<0.001) and 52% (P<0.001) respectively). Plasma insulin/blood glucose ratios were higher in males compared with females in both control and early protein-restricted groups (1.6-fold (P<0.05) and 2.3-fold (P<0.001) respectively). A positive linear relationship existed between mean ambient insulin and glucose concentrations in males (r=1.0) and females (r=0.9), but the gradient was 12.4-fold greater (P<0.01) in males. beta-Cell function was evaluated after intravenous glucose challenge. In males, the acute insulin response and the suprabasal 30-min area under the insulin curve were dramatically higher in rats exposed to protein restriction during gestation and lactation alone (2.6- and 2.8-fold respectively; P<0.001). In contrast, these parameters were lowered by extending the exposure to protein restriction to adulthood in males, and by either early or prolonged exposure to protein restriction in females. The insulin resistance index was increased (2.5-fold; P<0.001) in male, but not female, rats exposed to protein restriction during gestation and lactation alone, and was not increased by extending the period of protein restriction to adulthood in either sex. Thus the data have demonstrated gender-specific lowering of insulin sensitivity due to protein restriction during early life only. The insulinogenic index (insulin response in relation to prevailing glycaemia) was increased in male, but not female, rats exposed to protein restriction during gestation and lactation alone (3.0-fold; P<0.001). A modest decline in insulin secretion in the female groups exposed to protein restriction until either the end of lactation or adulthood was compensated by increased insulin sensitivity, as demonstrated by significant decreases in the insulin resistance index in both groups (by 48% and 52% respectively; P<0.05). Glucose disappearance rates did not differ between the male and female control or early protein-restricted groups but were higher in both male (31%; P<0.05) and female groups (46%; P<0.001) exposed to protein restriction from conception to adulthood. Marked gender differences in glucose-stimulated insulin secretion were not associated with gender differences with respect to glucose tolerance. Our data therefore demonstrated that exposure to protein restriction during early life alone leads to relative insulin resistance and hyperinsulinaemia in adulthood, but this relationship is gender specific, observed only in males, and glucose tolerance is maintained. (+info)
Gender-linked hypertension in offspring of lard-fed pregnant rats.
Epidemiological studies suggest an association between maternal nutrition and offspring cardiovascular disease. We previously demonstrated endothelial dysfunction and abnormal aortic fatty acid composition in adult female offspring of rats fed animal lard during pregnancy. We have now further investigated this model. Female Sprague-Dawley rats were fed a control breeding diet (5.3% fat) or a diet rich in lard (25.7% fat) 10 days before and throughout pregnancy and lactation. Male and female offspring were implanted with radiotelemeters for recording of blood pressure, heart rate, and activity at 80, 180, and 360 days of age. Reactivity to acetylcholine and to nitric oxide were assessed in isolated small mesenteric arteries from 80- and 180-day-old littermates. Systolic blood pressure (awake phase) was raised in female offspring (180 days: offspring of control, 130.7+/-1.6 mm Hg, n=5, versus offspring of lard-fed, 138.1+/-2.9, n=5, P=0.029; 360 days: offspring of control, 129.7+/-3.7 mm Hg, n=6, versus offspring of lard-fed, 142.1+/-3.2, n=6, P=0.005). Diastolic blood pressure was also raised at 180 days (offspring of control, 87.6+/-1.0 mm Hg, n=5, versus offspring of lard-fed, 94.7+/-2.6, n=5, P=0.011). Blood pressure was not raised in male offspring. Endothelium-dependent relaxation to acetylcholine was blunted in male and female offspring of lard-fed dams (80 and 180 days). Feeding a diet rich in lard to pregnant rats leads to gender-related cardiovascular dysfunction in normally fed offspring. (+info)
Renal function and angiotensin AT1 receptor expression in young rats following intrauterine exposure to a maternal low-protein diet.
Recent studies have proposed a link between impaired nephrogenesis, decreased activity of the renin-angiotensin system and the onset of hypertension in rats exposed in the uterus to a maternal low-protein diet. However, there is no detailed information about renal function in this model; hence the aim of the present study was to assess renal function in young (4-week-old) rats exposed in the uterus to a maternal low-protein diet. Pregnant Wistar rats were fed isocalorific diets containing either 18% (normal protein; offspring denoted NP rats) or 9% (low protein; offspring denoted LP rats) (w/w) protein from conception until birth. At 4 weeks of age, male offspring were anaesthetized and prepared for the study of renal function, during which animals received saline alone, a bolus of enalapril (5 mg.kg(-1)) or a bolus of enalapril followed by an infusion of angiotensin II (30 ng.min(-1).kg(-1)). Under control conditions, renal haemodynamic and tubular function did not differ. However, when challenged with angiotensin II, LP rats responded with a greater decrease in glomerular filtration rate than did NP rats [NP, 2.0+/-0.2 ml.min(-1).g(-1) kidney weight ( n =9); LP, 1.0+/-0.2 ml.min(-1).g(-1) kidney weight ( n =5); P <0.05]. Renal electrolyte excretion did not differ. LP rats had significantly fewer glomeruli than NP rats ( P <0.01). Renal angiotensin II AT(1) receptor expression was increased ( P <0.01) by 24% in LP rats. It is concluded that blood pressure may be elevated in LP rats in order to maintain glomerular filtration rate against a background of fewer nephrons. Increased AT(1) receptor expression, which may arise as a result of the direct effect of protein restriction or in response to the reported decrease in renal tissue angiotensin II concentration, could also contribute to the elevated blood pressure of this model. (+info)
Maternal undernutrition from early- to mid-gestation leads to growth retardation, cardiac ventricular hypertrophy, and increased liver weight in the fetal sheep.
Early gestation is critical for placentomal growth, differentiation, and vascularization, as well as fetal organogenesis. The fetal origins of adult disease hypothesis proposes that alterations in fetal nutrition and endocrine status result in developmental adaptations that permanently change structure, physiology, and metabolism, thereby predisposing individuals to cardiovascular, metabolic, and endocrine disease in adult life. Multiparous ewes were fed to 50% (nutrient restricted) or 100% (control fed) of total digestible nutrients from Days 28 to 78 of gestation. All ewes were weighed weekly and diets adjusted for individual weight loss or gain. Ewes were killed on Day 78 of gestation and gravid uteri recovered. Fetal body and organ weights were determined, and numbers, morphologies, diameters, and weights of all placentomes were obtained. From Day 28 to Day 78, restricted ewes lost 7.4% of body weight, while control ewes gained 7.5%. Maternal and fetal blood glucose concentrations were reduced in restricted versus control pregnancies. Fetuses were markedly smaller in the restricted group than in the control group. Further, restricted fetuses exhibited greater right- and left-ventricular and liver weights per unit fetal weight than control fetuses. No treatment differences were observed in any gross placentomal measurement. However, caruncular vascularity was enhanced in conceptuses from nutrient-restricted ewes but only in twin pregnancies. While these alterations in fetal/placental development may be beneficial to early fetal survival in the face of a nutrient restriction, their effects later in gestation as well as in postnatal life need further investigation. (+info)
Do low-income lone mothers compromise their nutrition to feed their children?
BACKGROUND: Women who live in disadvantaged circumstances in Canada exhibit dietary intakes below recommended levels, but their children often do not. One reason for this difference may be that mothers modify their own food intake to spare their children nutritional deprivation. The objective of our study was to document whether or not low-income lone mothers compromise their own diets to feed their children. METHODS: We studied 141 low-income lone mothers with at least 2 children under the age of 14 years who lived in Atlantic Canada. Women were identified through community organizations using a variety of recruitment strategies. The women were asked weekly for 1 month to recall their food intake over the previous 24 hours; they also reported their children's (n = 333) food intake. Mothers also completed a questionnaire about "food insecurity," that is, a lack of access to adequate, nutritious food through socially acceptable means, during each interview. RESULTS: Household food insecurity was reported by 78% of mothers during the study month. Mothers' dietary intakes and the adequacy of intake were consistently poorer than their children's intake overall and over the course of a month. The difference in adequacy of intake between mothers and children widened from Time 1, when the family had the most money to purchase food, to Time 4, when the family had the least money. The children experienced some improvement in nutritional intake at Time 3, which was possibly related to food purchases for them associated with receipt of the Child Tax Benefit Credit or the Goods and Services Tax Credit. INTERPRETATION: Our study demonstrates that low-income lone mothers compromise their own nutritional intake in order to preserve the adequacy of their children's diets. (+info)
Does the interaction between maternal folate intake and the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase polymorphisms affect the risk of cleft lip with or without cleft palate?
Periconceptional folic acid supplementation may reduce the risk of cleft lip with or without cleft palate (CL(P)). Polymorphisms in the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene reduce availability of 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, the predominant circulating form of folate. To determine the effect of MTHFR C677T and MTHFR A1298C genotypes and haplotypes on CL(P) risk and the interaction with maternal periconceptional dietary folate and folic acid supplement intake, the authors conducted a case-control triad study in the Netherlands (1998-2000) among 179 CL(P) and 204 control families. Infant and parental MTHFR C677T and MTHFR A1298C genotypes and haplotypes were not associated with CL(P) risk in the case-control and transmission disequilibrium test analyses. Mothers carrying the MTHFR 677TT genotype and who either did not use folic acid supplements periconceptionally or had a low dietary folate intake, or both, had an increased risk of delivering a CL(P) child (odds ratio (OR) = 5.9, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.1, 30.9; OR = 2.8, 95% CI: 0.7, 10.5; OR = 10.0, 95% CI: 1.3, 79.1, respectively). No supplement use, low dietary folate intake, and maternal MTHFR 1298CC genotype increased the risk of CL(P) offspring almost sevenfold (OR = 6.5, 95% CI: 1.4, 30.2). Thus, the detrimental effect of low periconceptional folate intake on the risk of giving birth to a CL(P) child was more pronounced in mothers with the MTHFR 677TT or MTHFR 1298CC genotype. (+info)