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Table 2 Major impacts of foetal programming due to abnormal nutrition applied at different stages of gestation and under various experimental conditions in sheep

From: Impacts of prenatal nutrition on animal production and performance: a focus on growth and metabolic and endocrine function in sheep

Experimental conditions (gestational age and nutritional environment) Primary changes in postnatal life Reference
Growth characteristics
 Late gestational (105 d to term) overnutrition (150% energy and 110% protein) or undernutrition (50% energy and protein) + Early postnatal high-fat diet (0 d to 6 mo) Reduced birth weight due to prenatal undernutrition, but no impacts due to prenatal overnutrition; Increased abdominal and perirenal fat deposition relative to subcutaneous fat by prenatal under- and overnutrition [10]
 Late gestational (105 d to term) undernutrition (50% energy and protein) + Early postnatal high-fat diet (0 d to 6 mo) Reduced birth weight; Increased TG, ceramide and free fatty acids in liver, increased extracellular matrix content and very small adipocytes proportion in subcutaneous fat, hyperthyroidism and increased adrenal weights in prenatally undernourished adult sheep (2 yr) [9, 39, 57, 64]
 Late gestational (100 d to term) undernutrition (70% of energy requirements) Reduced birthweight (18%) and weaning weight, but no weight differences in adulthood (26 wk) [21]
 Late gestational (115 d to term) overnutrition (133% energy) Increased relative subcutaneous deposition in 1 months old lamb [7]
 Late gestational (109 d to term) undernutrition (50% of energy and protein) Lowered colostrum yield [24]
 Late gestational (105 d to term) undernutrition (50% of energy and protein) Lowered birth weight, colostrum and milk yield (lactation performance) [25]
 Mid-gestational (85 d to 115 d) undernutrition (50% of energy requirements) Decreased muscle weights in newborn lambs [33]
 Early to mid-gestational (28 d to 78 d) undernutrition (50% of requirements) Increased intramuscular fat content in skeletal muscle in 8 mo old offspring [15]
 Early to mid-gestational (30 d to 70 d) undernutrition (50% of energy requirements) Fewer fast and more slow muscle fibres in newborn lambs [33]
 Early to mid-gestational (30 d to 80 d) undernutrition (50% of energy requirements) + Postnatal obesogenic environment (restricted physical activity) from weaning (10 wk) to 1 yr Increased hepatic TG accumulation in prenatally undernourished, obese adult sheep (1 yr.) [47]
Metabolic and endocrine function
 Late gestational (105 d to term) over- (150% energy and 110% protein) or undernutrition (50% energy and protein) + Early postnatal high-fat diet (0 d to 6 mo) Reduced glucose clearance and increased glucogeneogensis in matched prenatally overnourished high-fat fed lambs; Increased cholesterol levels in mismatched prenatally undernourished high-fat diet fed lambs and adult sheep [10, 46, 56]
 Late gestational (from 105 d to term) undernutrition + Early postnatal high-fat diet (0 d to 6 mo) Reduced insulin sensitivity and increased insulin secretory responses to glucose in prenatally undernourished lambs; Poor glucose tolerance in mismatched prenatally undernourished high-fat fed lambs (mismatch group); Poor insulin clearance in prenatally undernourished high-fat fed adult sheep [45]
 Late gestational undernutrition (from 105 d to term) Reduced insulin secretory ability with increased compensatory insulin sensitivity in 19 wk. old lambs [44]
 Late gestation undernutrition (from 110 d to term) Poor glucose tolerance in adult sheep (1 yr) [59]
 Late gestational overnutrition (from 115 d to term) Increased leptin expression in subcutaneous and perirenal fat from 1 months old lamb [7]
Reproductive function
 Early gestational (0 d to 95 d) undernutrition (50% energy) Reduced ovulation rate in prenatally undernourished adult female sheep (20 mo) [71]
 Early to mid (0 d to 30 d) or mid to late (31 d to 100 d) gestational undernutrition (50% requirements) Increased number of small follicles in the ovary (early to mid-gestation undernutrition); reduced large corpora lutea (mid to late gestation undernutrition) in 10 mo old female lambs. [72]