Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/69629
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Type: Journal article
Title: Pre- and postnatal methyl deficiency in the rat differentially alters glucose homeostasis
Author: Smith, G.
Konycheva, G.
Dziadek, M.
Ravelich, S.
Patel, S.
Reddy, S.
Breier, B.
Vickers, M.
Owens, J.
Ferguson, L.
Citation: Journal of Nutrigenetics and Nutrigenomics, 2011; 4(4):175-191
Publisher: S. Karger AG
Issue Date: 2011
ISSN: 1661-6499
1661-6758
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Greg C. Smith, Galina Konycheva, Marie A. Dziadek, Susan R. Ravelich, Selina Patel, Shiva Reddy, Bernhard H. Breier, Mark H. Vickers, Julie A. Owens and Lynnette R. Ferguson
Abstract: <h4>Background/aims</h4>Early-life methyl-donor deficiency is implicated in growth restriction and later-life development of type 2 diabetes mellitus. We ascertained whether dietary methyl-donor deficiency in the mother during pregnancy or during postweaning growth in the rat would impair glucose homeostasis, insulin secretion and pancreatic endocrine development in young adults.<h4>Methods</h4>Effects of maternal methyl deficiency (90% deficiency in methionine, folate and choline) were compared with those of postweaning methyl deficiency and with control diets for effects on growth, impaired glucose tolerance, insulin secretion and pancreas development in offspring. Studies focussed on male offspring, which have been shown more susceptible to early-life influences on later disease development.<h4>Results</h4>Prenatal methyl deficiency delayed delivery, restricted birthweight by 22%, reduced litter size by 33% and increased offspring mortality to 23% shortly after birth. It reduced relative endocrine pancreatic mass in adult male offspring to 46% of endocrine mass in controls, but only mildly impaired their glucose tolerance and insulin secretion. In contrast, postweaning methyl deficiency restricted growth of male rats and reduced relative pancreatic endocrine mass (-40%), but improved their glucose tolerance, despite decreased insulin secretion.<h4>Conclusion</h4>It is clear that the global undernutrition (UN) during pregnancy in rodents alters glucose metabolism in adult offspring. It has been hypothesised that alterations in epigenetic mechanisms may underlie this phenotype. However, removing all methyl donors during pregnancy, which are essential for epigenetic processes in development, did not cause any alteration in glucose metabolism in offspring as seen in the global UN model.
Keywords: Epigenetics; Glucose tolerance; Growth restriction; Insulin secretion; Methyl donors
Rights: Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel
RMID: 0020115145
DOI: 10.1159/000330227
Appears in Collections:Obstetrics and Gynaecology publications

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