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Intergenerational effects of birth weight on glucose tolerance and reproductive performance

Corson, A. M., Laws, J., Litten, J. C., Lean, I. J. and Clarke, L. (2009) Intergenerational effects of birth weight on glucose tolerance and reproductive performance. Animal, 3 (4). pp. 579-591. ISSN 1751-7311

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1017/s1751731108003510


Women who were themselves small-for-gestational age (SGA) are at a greater risk of adulthood diseases such as non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), and twice at risk of having an SGA baby themselves. The aim of this study was to examine the intergenerational pig. Low (L) and normal (N) birth weight female piglets were followed throughout their first pregnancy (generation 1 (0)). After they had given birth, the growth and development of the lightest (I) and heaviest (n) female piglet from each litter were monitored until approximately 5 months of age (generation 2 (G2)). A glucose tolerance test (GTT) was conducted on G1 pig at similar to 6 months of age and again during late pregnancy; a GTT was also conducted on G2 pigs at similar to 4 months of age. G1 L offspring exhibited impaired glucose metabolism in later life compared to their G1 N sibling but in the next generation a similar scenario was only observed between I and n offspring born to G1 L mothers. Despite G1 L mothers showing greater glucose intolerance in late pregnancy and a decreased litter size, average piglet birth weight was reduced and there was also a large variation in litter weight; this suggests that they were, to some extent, prioritising their nutrient intake towards themselves rather than promoting their reproductive performance. There were numerous relationships between body shape at birth and glucose curve characteristics in later life, which can, to some extent, be used to predict neonatal outcome. In conclusion, intergenerational effects are partly seen in the pig. It is likely that some of the intergenerational influences may be masked due to the pig being a litter-bearing species.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
ID Code:8417
Uncontrolled Keywords:developmental programming, glucose tolerance, low birth weight, porcine, biomedical model, reproductive performance, insulin-resistance, thrifty phenotype, growth, pregnancy, cohort, fetal, size, pigs, age, consequences

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