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Title: The Influence of Maternal Early to Mid-Gestation Nutrient Restriction of Long Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Fetal Sheep

Author
item Zhou, Yunhua
item Nijland, Mark
item Miller, Myrna
item Ford, Stephen
item Nathanielsz, Peter
item Brenna, J

Submitted to: Lipids
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/17/2008
Publication Date: 6/1/2008
Citation: Zhou, Y., Nijland, M.J., Miller, M.M., Ford, S.P., Nathanielsz, P.W., Brenna, J.T. 2008. The Influence of Maternal Early to Mid-Gestation Nutrient Restriction of Long Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Fetal Sheep. Lipids. 43(6):525-531

Interpretive Summary: The restriction of maternal nutrients during pregnancy has a negative impact on development of the fetus. Using sheep as a model, ewes were fed either 50% or 100% (controls) of their daily nutrient requirements during early to mid-pregnancy (days 28-78 of gestation) This study examined the effect of the maternal nutrient restriction (MNR) on long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in maternal serum and in fetal serum and tissues. In maternal plasma arachidonic acid was increased with MNR. In the fetus, eicosapentoenoic acid was increased in the plasma and in tissues in response to MNR, and docosapentaenoic acid was increased in tissues. These results provide the first indication that MNR in early pregnancy influences the profiles of fatty acids in fetal and maternal tissues, and suggest that metabolic processes involving fatty acids may directly impact new born health.

Technical 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 (microg/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.