Fetal leptin is a signal of fat mass independent of maternal nutrition in ewes fed at or above maintenance energy requirements

Article


Muhlhausler, B. S., Roberts, C. T., McFarlane, J. R., Kauter, K. G. and McMillen, I. C.. 2002. "Fetal leptin is a signal of fat mass independent of maternal nutrition in ewes fed at or above maintenance energy requirements." Biology of Reproduction. 67 (2), pp. 493-499. https://doi.org/10.1095/biolreprod67.2.493
Article Title

Fetal leptin is a signal of fat mass independent of maternal nutrition in ewes fed at or above maintenance energy requirements

ERA Journal ID22121
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsMuhlhausler, B. S. (Author), Roberts, C. T. (Author), McFarlane, J. R. (Author), Kauter, K. G. (Author) and McMillen, I. C. (Author)
Journal TitleBiology of Reproduction
Journal Citation67 (2), pp. 493-499
Number of Pages7
Year2002
Place of PublicationMadison, WI. United States
ISSN0006-3363
1529-7268
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1095/biolreprod67.2.493
Web Address (URL)http://www.biolreprod.org/content/67/2/493.full.pdf+html
Abstract

In adults, circulating leptin concentrations are dependent on body fat content and on current nutritional status. However, the relationships among maternal nutrient intake, fetal adiposity, and circulating leptin concentrations before birth are unknown. We investigated the effects of an increase in nutrient intake in the pregnant ewe on fetal adiposity and plasma leptin concentrations during late gestation. Between 115 and 139-141 days gestation (term = 147 ± 3 days gestation), ewes were fed a diet calculated to provide either maintenance (control, n = 6) or ∼155% of maintenance requirements (well.fed, n = 8). The fetal fat depots (perirenal and interscapular) were dissected, and the relative proportion of unilocular and multilocular adipocytes in each depot was determined. Maternal plasma glucose and leptin concentrations were significantly increased in well-fed ewes. Fetal plasma glucose concentrations were also higher in the well-fed group (115-139 days gestation: control, 1.65 ± 0.14 mmol/L; well-fed, 2.00 ± 0.14 mmol/L; F = 5.76, P < 0.04). There was no effect of increasing maternal feed intake on total fat mass, the relative mass of unilocular fat, or fetal plasma leptin concentrations (115-139 days gestation: control, 5.2 ± 0.8 ng/ml; well-fed, 4.7 ±0.7 ng/ml). However, in both the control and well-fed groups fetal plasma leptin concentrations (y) were positively correlated with the relative mass of unilocular fat (x): y = 1.51x + 1.70; (R = 0.76, P< 0.01). Thus, fetal leptin may play a role as a signal of unilocular fat mass in the fetus when maternal nutrient intake is at or above maintenance requirements.

Keywordspregnancy; glucose; leptin; insulin; maternal nutrition; sheep production
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020310999. Zoology not elsewhere classified
300303. Animal nutrition
310909. Animal physiology - cell
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Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Adelaide
University of New England
University of South Australia
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