Effects of early gestational undernutrition on fetal growth, organ development, and placentomal composition in the bovine.

N. M. Long, K. A. Vonnahme, B. W. Hess, P. W. Nathanielsz, S. P. Ford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

60 Scopus citations

Abstract

Fetal intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is known to negatively affect offspring health postnatally. This study evaluated the impacts of early gestational undernutrition followed by realimentation on bovine fetal and placental growth. Thirty multiparous beef cows bred to a single sire and gestating female fetuses were fed to meet NRC recommendations (control; n = 15) or fed below NRC recommendations (68.1% of NE(m) and 86.7% of MP recommendations; nutrient restricted, NR; n = 15) from d 30 to 125 of gestation. On d 125 of gestation, 10 control and 10 NR cows were necropsied. The remaining 5 NR cows were realimented to achieve similar BW and BCS with the remaining 5 control cows by d 190 of gestation; both groups were necropsied at d 245 of gestation. Fetal weight at d 125 of gestation was 948 +/- 14 g (n = 10) for control cows; however, fetal weights of NR cows fell into 2 distinct groups: NR non-IUGR cows had fetal weights similar to control cows (974 +/- 20 g, n = 6), whereas fetal weights of NR IUGR cows were reduced (773 +/- 23 g, n = 4; P < 0.01). Fetal brain weight as a percentage of fetal weight was increased (approximately 11%; P < 0.01) in the NR IUGR fetuses compared with fetuses from the other 2 groups, which were similar. Fetal heart weight as a percentage of fetal weight also tended to be increased (approximately 10%; P = 0.08) in NR IUGR fetuses compared with control fetuses. Nutrient-restricted IUGR cows exhibited reduced (P < 0.01) cotyledonary weights compared with NR non-IUGR and control cows, which were similar (192 +/- 27 vs. 309 +/- 22, and 337 +/- 17 g, respectively). Total placentome surface area also tended to be reduced (P = 0.07) in NR IUGR cows compared with NR non-IUGR and control cows, which again were similar (685.0 +/- 45.6 vs. 828.7 +/- 37.2 and 790.7 +/- 28.9 mm(2), respectively). On d 245 of gestation, fetal weights and caruncle weight were similar for NR and control cows; cotyledonary weights, however, were reduced in NR vs. control cows (1,430 +/- 133 vs. 2,137 +/- 133 g, P < 0.01). Decreased fetal growth in NR IUGR cows on d 125 of gestation was associated with decreased cotyledonary weights and reduced placentomal surface areas. The return of NR cows to a BW and BCS similar to that of control cows through realimentation beginning on d 126 resulted in similar fetal weights of NR and control cows by d 245 of gestation. Thus, a bout of fetal IUGR may go undetected if cows undernourished during early gestation receive feed supplementation in the second half of gestation to assure normal birth weight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1950-1959
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of animal science
Volume87
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of early gestational undernutrition on fetal growth, organ development, and placentomal composition in the bovine.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this