Analysis of biochemical changes in the hearts of adult intrauterine growth restricted offspring using FTIR imaging micro-spectroscopy

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Background: Growth restriction in utero, as a result of maternal malnutrition,
has been linked with impaired cardiac function in adulthood. The
aim of this study was to investigate the effect of IUGR, due to maternal
protein restriction, on the biochemical composition of hearts in adult rats.

Methods: Wistar Kyoto (WKY) dams were fed either a low protein diet
(LPD, 8Æ7% casein) or normal protein diet (NPD; 20% casein) during
pregnancy and lactation. At 18 weeks of age female offspring were perfusion
fixed and hearts collected (NPD, (n = 8); LPD (n = 7). Heart weights
and volumes were measured. The biochemical composition of the hearts
was analysed using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) imaging microspectroscopy
in deparaffinized four microns thick sections. FTIR chemical
maps of the LV demonstrate the spatial location of protein, collagen and
carbohydrate densities.

Results: Birth weights of the LPD offspring were significantly lower
compared to NPD offspring. At 18 weeks there were no significant differences
in body and heart weights or heart to body weight ratio between
the groups. Interestingly, however, the absolute heart and left ventricular
(LV) volumes were both significantly lower in LPD offspring, suggesting
differences in cardiac biochemical composition between the groups. In
support of this, FTIR analysis in the LV showed significant differences in
collagen distribution and density between NPD and LPD hearts. The LPD
hearts had a lower intensity amide-I band but overall higher optical density
in the mid infrared spectra.

Conclusion: Adult intrauterine growth restricted hearts have an altered
cardiac biochemical composition compared to hearts from offspring that
were appropriately grown in utero.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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