Rapid communication: Reduced maternal nutrition during early-to mid-gestation elevates newborn lamb plasma cortisol concentrations and eliminates the neonatal leptin surge

Ashley M. Smith, Chris L. Pankey, John F. Odhiambo, Adel B. Ghnenis, Peter W. Nathanielsz, Stephen P. Ford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Human epidemiological and animal studies show that maternal nutrient reduction (MNR) and maternal overnutrition/obesity (MO) alter fetal growth and development, predisposing offspring (F1) to endocrine and appetite dysregulation. Compared to F1 of control-fed ewes, F1 of MO ewes display hypercortisolemia at birth and fail to exhibit the neonatal leptin surge implicated in lifelong appetite regulation. Here, we determined if MNR also elevates newborn lamb plasma cortisol and eliminates the neonatal leptin surge. Starting 30 d prior to conception, nullipa-rous control (CON, n = 6) ewes ate 100% NRC recommendations through parturition. Nutrient-reduced (NR, n = 6) ewes ate a CON diet through day 27 of gestation. From gestational days 28 to 78, NR ewes ate 50% of the CON diet before realimentation to 100% NRC recommendations. Jugular blood was collected daily from lambs from birth (day 0) through postnatal day 10, to determine plasma cortisol and leptin. Newborn NR plasma cortisol concentrations were increased (P < 0.0001) vs. CON and were similar to concentrations in MO lambs. Plasma leptin concentrations were similar between groups through postnatal day 7. The leptin surge, seen in CON lambs on postnatal days 8 to 10 was not present in NR lambs. These data show that, similar to MO lambs, early pregnancy MNR elevates newborn lamb plasma cortisol and eliminates the neonatal leptin surge. In the light of the similar elevation of neonatal cortisol in MNR and MO lambs, we conclude that cortisol plays a central role in regulating the neonatal lamb leptin surge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2640-2645
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of animal science
Volume96
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Early-to mid-gestation
  • Fetal programming
  • Hypercortisolemia
  • Maternal nutrient reduction
  • Maternal nutrition
  • Neonatal leptin surge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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