Maternal nutrient restriction predisposes ventricular remodeling in adult sheep offspring

Wei Ge, Nan Hu, Lindsey A. George, Stephen P. Ford, Peter W. Nathanielsz, Xiao Ming Wang, Jun Ren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Maternal nutrient restriction during pregnancy is associated with the development of a "thrifty phenotype" in offspring, conferring increased prevalence of metabolic diseases in adulthood. To explore the possible mechanisms behind heart diseases in adulthood following maternal nutrient restriction, dams were fed a nutrient-restricted (NR: 50%) or control (100%) diet from 28 to 78 days of gestation. Both groups were then fed 100% of requirements to lambing. At 6 years of age, female offspring of NR and control ewes of similar weight and body condition were subjected to ad libitum feeding of a highly palatable diet for 12 weeks. Cardiac geometry, post-insulin receptor signaling, autophagy and proinflammatory cytokines were evaluated in hearts from adult offspring. Our results indicated that maternal nutrient restriction overtly increased body weight gain and triggered cardiac remodeling in offspring following the 12-week ad libitum feeding. Phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS1) was increased in left but not right ventricles from NR offspring. Levels of signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 were up-regulated in left ventricles, whereas expression of tumor necrosis factor-α and toll-like receptor-4 was enhanced in right ventricles, in adult offspring of maternal nutrition-restricted ewes. No significant differences were found in pan-IRS1, pan-AMP-dependent protein kinase (AMPK), pan-Akt, phosphorylated AMPK, phosphorylated Akt, glucose transporter 4, phosphorylated mammalian target of rapamycin, Beclin-1 and microtubule-associated protein 1 light-chain 3 II proteins in left and right ventricles between the control and NR offspring. These data revealed that maternal nutrient restriction during early to mid gestation may predispose adult offspring to cardiac remodeling possibly associated with phosphorylation of IRS1 as well as proinflammatory cytokines but not autophagy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1258-1265
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nutritional Biochemistry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • Gestation
  • Insulin signaling
  • Nutrition restriction
  • Offspring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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