The influence of maternal early to mid-gestation nutrient restriction on long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in fetal sheep

Yunhua Zhou, Mark Nijland, Myrna Miller, Stephen Ford, Peter W. Nathanielsz, J. Thomas Brenna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

The early to mid-gestational period (days 28-78) in sheep is the period of most rapid placental development. Maternal nutrient restriction (MNR) in this phase has negative consequences on fetal growth and development, predisposing the fetus to disease in adult life. The influence of MNR on fetal tissue fatty acids has not been reported. Ewes were fed to 50% (MNR) or 100% (control fed) of total digestible nutrients from days 28 to 78 of gestation. At 78 days, fetuses were sacrificed and the fatty acids in fetal liver, lung and muscle as well as maternal and fetal plasma were analyzed. Most fatty acids were not influenced by MNR. The n-3 long chain PUFA eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n-3, EPA) concentration (μg/mg) was low and more than doubled in the MNR sheep. Similarly, docosapentaenoic acid (22:5n-3, DPA) increased by 60, 19, and 38% in liver, lung, and muscle, respectively. Neither docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3, DHA) nor any of n-6 PUFA changed. Arachidonic acid (20:4n-6; ARA) increased in MNR maternal plasma as a percent of total fatty acids only, while in MNR fetal plasma only EPA increased. These results provide the first indication that MNR in early to mid-gestation influences the profiles of LCPUFA in fetal tissues, and suggest that metabolic processes involving LCPUFA should be considered in evaluations of the impact of maternal nutriture on perinatal health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-531
Number of pages7
JournalLipids
Volume43
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2008

Keywords

  • Fatty acids
  • Lipid metabolism
  • Maternal nutrient restriction
  • Metabolism
  • N-3 Fatty acids
  • Nutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Cell Biology

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