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Mette Olaf Nielsen

Prenatal over‐ and undernutrition differentially program small intestinal growth, angiogenesis, absorptive capacity, and endocrine function in sheep

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  • Prabhat Khanal, Nord University
  • ,
  • Anne Marie Dixen Axel, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Sina Safayi, Rush University, United States
  • Vibeke Sødring Elbrønd, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Mette Olaf Nielsen
The aim was to test the hypothesis that prenatal under‐ and overnutrition in late gestation can program small intestinal (SI) growth, angiogenesis, and endocrine function to predispose for a hyperabsorptive state, thereby increasing the susceptibility to the adverse effects of an early postnatal obesogenic diet. Twin‐pregnant ewes were exposed to adequate (NORM), LOW (50% of NORM), or HIGH (150% energy and 110% protein of NORM) diets through the last trimester (term ~147 days). From 3 days to 6 months of age, their lambs were fed either a moderate (CONV) or a high‐carbohydrate high‐fat (HCHF) diet. At 6 months of age, responses in plasma metabolites and insulin to refeeding after fasting were determined and then different segments of the SI were sampled at autopsy. Prenatal overnutrition impacts were most abundant in the duodenum where HIGH had increased villus amplification factor and lowered villi thickness with increased IRS‐1 and reduced GH‐R expressions. In jejunum, HIGH lambs had an increased expression of Lactate gene and amplified when exposed to HCHF postnatally. Specifically, in LOW, sensitivity to HCHF was affected in ileum. Thus, the mismatching LOW‐HCHF nutrition increased expressions of angiogenic genes (VEGF, VEGF‐R1, ANGPT1, RTK ) and increased mucosa layer (tunica mucosa ) thickness but reduced muscle layer (Tunica muscularis ) thickness. The SI is a target of prenatal nutritional programming, where late gestation overnutrition increased and shifted digestive capacity for carbohydrates toward the jejunum, whereas late gestation undernutrition predisposed for ileal angiogenesis and carbohydrate and fat hyperabsorptive capacity upon subsequent exposure to postnatal obesogenic diet.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14498
JournalPhysiological Reports
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

    Research areas

  • absorption, angiogenesis, intestinal development, postnatal overfeeding, prenatal malnutrition

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