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Reprod Sci. 2016 Feb;23(2):219-27. doi: 10.1177/1933719115602773. Epub 2015 Sep 3.

Maternal Nutrient Restriction in Guinea Pigs as an Animal Model for Inducing Fetal Growth Restriction.

Author information

1
Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Physiology and Pharmacology, and Pediatrics, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada.
2
Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Physiology and Pharmacology, and Pediatrics, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada brichar1@uwo.ca.

Abstract

We determined the impact of moderate maternal nutrient restriction (MNR) in guinea pigs on pregnancy outcomes, maternal/fetal growth parameters, and blood analytes to further characterize the utility of this model for inducing fetal growth restriction (FGR). Thirty guinea pig sows were fed ad libitum (Control) or 70% of the control diet prepregnant switching to 90% at midpregnancy (MNR). Animals were necropsied near term with weights obtained on all sows, fetuses, and placenta. Fetal blood sampling and organ dissection were undertaken in appropriate for gestational age (AGA) fetuses from Control litters and FGR fetuses from MNR litters using > or < 80 g which approximated the 10th percentile for the population weight distribution of the Control fetuses. MNR fetal demise rates (1/43) were extremely low in contrast to that seen with uterine artery ligation/ablation models, albeit with increased preterm delivery in MNR sows (3 of 15). We confirm that MNR fetuses are smaller and have increased placental/fetal weight ratios as often seen in human FGR infants. We provide justification for using a fetal weight threshold for categorizing AGA Control and FGR-MNR cohorts reducing population variance, and show that FGR-MNR fetuses have asymmetrical organ growth, and are polycythemic and hypoglycemic which are also well associated with moderate FGR in humans. These findings further support the utility of moderate MNR in guinea pigs for inducing FGR with many similarities to that in humans with moderate growth restriction whether resulting from maternal undernourishment or placental insufficiency.

KEYWORDS:

animal models; fetal growth restriction; maternal undernourishment

PMID:
26342049
DOI:
10.1177/1933719115602773
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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