Metabolomic Analysis Reveals Differences in Umbilical Vein Plasma Metabolites between Normal and Growth-Restricted Fetal Pigs during Late Gestation

China AgriculturalUniversity, Beijing, China.
Journal of Nutrition (Impact Factor: 4.23). 04/2012; 142(6):990-8. DOI: 10.3945/jn.111.153411
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) remains a major problem for both human health and animal production due to its association with high rates of neonatal morbidity and mortality, low efficiency of food utilization, permanent adverse effects on postnatal growth and development, and long-term health and productivity of the offspring. However, the underlying mechanisms for IUGR are largely unknown. In this study, one IUGR fetus and one normal body weight (NBW) fetus were obtained from each of 9 gilts at each of 2 gestational ages (d 90 and 110). Metabolomes of umbilical vein plasma in IUGR and NBW fetuses were determined by MS, while hormones, amino acids, and related metabolites in maternal and fetal plasma were measured using assay kits and chromatographic methods. Metabolites (including glucose, urea, ammonia, amino acids, and lipids) in umbilical vein plasma exhibited a cluster of differences between IUGR and NBW fetuses on d 90 and 110 of gestation. These changes in the IUGR group are associated with disorders of nutrient and energy metabolism as well as endocrine imbalances, which may contribute to the retardation of fetal growth and development. The findings help provide information regarding potential mechanisms responsible for IUGR in swine and also have important implications for the design of effective strategies to prevent, diagnose, and treat IUGR in other mammalian species, including humans.

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    • "On the basis of utilization of amino acids for protein synthesis, the maternal supply of amino acids differs both quantitatively and qualitatively with advancing gestation. Arginine, containing four nitrogen atoms per molecule, is the most abundant nitrogen carrier in fetus, while glutamine is the most abundant nitrogen supplier in porcine umbilical vein during late gestation (Table 1) (Lin et al. 2012). Thus, the rate of fetal glutamine accretion is the greatest throughout the gestation in pigs (Wu et al. 1999). "
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    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) occurs when fetal growth rate falls below the genetic potential and affects a significant number of pregnancies, but still no therapy has been developed for this pregnancy disease. This article reviews the most recent findings concerning maternal characteristics and behaviours predisposing to IUGR as well as maternal early markers of the disease. A comprehensive understanding of factors associated with IUGR will help in providing important tools for preventing and understanding adverse outcomes. RECENT FINDINGS: Maternal nutritional status, diet and exposure to environmental factors are increasingly acknowledged as potential factors affecting fetal growth both by altering nutrient availability to the fetus and by modulating placental gene expression, thus modifying placental function. SUMMARY: Assessing nutritional and environmental factors associated with IUGR, and the molecular mechanisms by which they may have a role in the disease onset, is necessary to provide comprehensive and common guidelines for maternal care and recommended behaviours. Moreover, maternal genetic predispositions and early serum markers may allow a better and more specific monitoring of high risk pregnancies, optimizing the timing of delivery.
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