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Mette Olaf Nielsen

Depot and sex‐specific implications for adipose tissue expandability and functional traits in adulthood of late prenatal and early postnatal malnutrition in a precocial sheep model

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  • Sharmila Ahmad
  • Lise Kirstine Lyngman, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Morteza Mansouryar, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Rajan Dhakal, Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Jørgen Steen Agerholm, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Prabhat Khanal, Nord University
  • ,
  • Mette Olaf Nielsen
The aim was to investigate long‐term, tissue and sex‐specific impacts of pre and postnatal malnutrition on expandability and functional traits of different adipose tissues. Twin‐pregnant ewes were fed NORM (~requirements), LOW (50% of NORM) or HIGH (150%/110% of energy/protein) diets the last 6 weeks prepartum (term ~147‐days). Lambs received moderate, low‐fat (CONV) or high‐carbohydrate‐high‐fat (HCHF) diets from 3 days until 6 months of age, and thereafter CONV diet. At 2½ years of age (adulthood), histomorphometric and gene expression patterns were characterized in subcutaneous (SUB), perirenal (PER), mesenteric (MES), and epicardial (EPI) adipose tissues. SUB had sex‐specific (♂<♀) upper‐limits for adipocyte size and cell‐number indices, irrespective of early life nutrition. PER mass and contents of adipocytes were highest in females and HIGH♂, whereas adipocyte cross‐sectional area was lowest in LOW♂. Pre/postnatal nutrition affected gene expression sex‐specifically in SUB + PER, but unrelated to morphological changes. In PER, LOW/LOW♂ were specific targets of gene expression changes. EPI was affected by postnatal nutrition, and HCHF sheep had enlarged adipocytes and upregulated expressions for adipogenic and lipogenic genes. Conclusion: upper‐limits for SUB expandability were markedly lower in males. Major targets for prenatal malnutrition were PER and males. LOW♂ had the lowest PER expandability, whereas HIGH♂ had an adaptive advantage due to increased hypertrophic ability equivalent to females. Fixed expandability in SUB meant PER became a determining factor for MES and ectopic fat deposition, rendering LOW♂ particularly predisposed for obesity‐associated metabolic risks. EPI, in contrast to other tissues, was targeted particularly by early postnatal obesity, resulting in adipocyte hypertrophy in adulthood.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14600
JournalPhysiological Reports
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

    Research areas

  • early life malnutrition, epicardial adipose tissue, gene expression, mesenteric adipose tissue, perirenal adipose tissue, subcutaneous adipose tissue

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