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ARS Home » Plains Area » Clay Center, Nebraska » U.S. Meat Animal Research Center » Nutrition, Growth and Physiology » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #398149

Research Project: Optimizing Nutrient Management and Efficiency of Beef Cattle and Swine

Location: Nutrition, Growth and Physiology

Title: Maternal nutrition and developmental programming of offspring

item REYNOLDS, LAWRENCE - North Dakota State University
item DINIZ, WELLISON - Auburn University
item Crouse, Matthew
item CATON, JOEL - North Dakota State University
item DAHLEN, CARL - North Dakota State University
item BOROWICZ, PAWEL - North Dakota State University
item WARD, ALISON - North Dakota State University

Submitted to: Reproduction, Fertility and Development
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/7/2022
Publication Date: 11/1/2022
Citation: Reynolds, L.P., Diniz, W.J., Crouse, M.S., Caton, J.S., Dahlen, C.R., Borowicz, P.P., Ward, A.K. 2022. Maternal nutrition and developmental programming of offspring. Reproduction, Fertility and Development. 35(2):19-26.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Developmental programming is the concept that ‘stressors’ during development (i.e. pregnancy, the perinatal period and infancy) can cause long-term changes in gene expression, leading to altered organ structure and function. Such long-term changes are associated with an increased risk of a host of chronic pathologies, or non-communicable diseases including abnormal growth and body composition, behavioural or cognitive dysfunction, metabolic abnormalities, and cardiovascular, gastro-intestinal, immune, musculoskeletal and reproductive dysfunction. Maternal nutrition during the periconceptual period, pregnancy and postnatally can have profound in'uences on the developmental program. Animal models, including domestic livestock species, have been important for de'ning the mechanisms and consequences of developmental programming. One of the important observations is that maternal nutritional status and other maternal stressors (e.g. environmental temperature, high altitude, maternal age and breed, multiple fetuses, etc.) early in pregnancy and even periconceptually can affect not only embryonic/fetal development but also placental development. Indeed, altered placental function may underlie the effects of many maternal stressors on fetal growth and development. We suggest that future directions should focus on the consequences of developmental programming during the offspring’s life course and for subsequent generations. Other important future directions include evaluating interventions, such as strategic dietary supplementation, and also determining how we can take advantage of the positive, adaptive aspects of developmental programming.