Evidence of altered biochemical composition in the hearts of adult intrauterine growth-restricted rats

Vladislava Zohdi, Bayden R Wood, James T Pearson, Keith R Bambery, Mary Jane Black

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PURPOSE: Epidemiological studies clearly link intrauterine growth restriction with increased risk of cardiac disease in adulthood. The mechanisms leading to this increased risk are poorly understood; remodeling of the myocardium is implicated. The aim was to determine the effect of early life growth restriction on the biochemical composition of the left ventricular myocardium in adult rats. METHODS: Wistar Kyoto dams were fed either a low protein diet (LPD; 8.7 casein) or normal protein diet (NPD; 20 casein) during pregnancy and lactation; from weaning, the offspring were fed normal rat chow. At 18 weeks of age, the biochemical composition of the hearts of NPD control (n = 9) and LPD intrauterine growth-restricted (n = 7) offspring was analyzed using Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) micro-spectroscopy. RESULTS: Body weights at postnatal day 4 were significantly lower and remained lower throughout the experimental period in the LPD offspring compared to controls. FTIR analysis of the infrared absorption spectra across the whole fingerprint region (1,800-950 cm(-1)) demonstrated wider variation in absorbance intensity in the LPD group compared to controls. In particular, there were marked differences detected in the protein (1,540 cm(-1)), lipid (1,455 and 1,388 cm(-1)), proteoglycan (1,228 cm(-1)) and carbohydrate (1,038 cm(-1)) bands, indicating increased lipid, proteoglycan and carbohydrate content in the growth-restricted myocardium. CONCLUSION: In conclusion, changes in the biochemical composition of the myocardium provide a likely mechanism for the increased vulnerability to cardiovascular disease in offspring that were growth restricted in early life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)749 - 758
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Nutrition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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