Offspring size at weaning affects survival to recruitment and reproductive performance of primiparous gray seals.
ABSTRACT: Offspring size affects survival and subsequent reproduction in many organisms. However, studies of offspring size in large mammals are often limited to effects on juveniles because of the difficulty of following individuals to maturity. We used data from a long-term study of individually marked gray seals (Halichoerus grypus; Fabricius, 1791) to test the hypothesis that larger offspring have higher survival to recruitment and are larger and more successful primiparous mothers than smaller offspring. Between 1998 and 2002, 1182 newly weaned female pups were branded with unique permanent marks on Sable Island, Canada. Each year through 2012, all branded females returning to the breeding colony were identified in weekly censuses and a subset were captured and measured. Females that survived were significantly longer offspring than those not sighted, indicating size-selective mortality between weaning and recruitment. The probability of female survival to recruitment varied among cohorts and increased nonlinearly with body mass at weaning. Beyond 51.5 kg (mean population weaning mass) weaning mass did not influence the probability of survival. The probability of female survival to recruitment increased monotonically with body length at weaning. Body length at primiparity was positively related to her body length and mass at weaning. Three-day postpartum mass (proxy for birth mass) of firstborn pups was also positively related to body length of females when they were weaned. However, females that were longer or heavier when they were weaned did not wean heavier firstborn offspring.
Project description:While the adverse metabolic effects of exposure to obesogenic diets during both the prenatal and early postnatal period are well established, the relative impact of exposure during these separate developmental windows remains unclear. This study aimed to assess the relative contribution of exposure to a maternal cafeteria diet during pregnancy and lactation on body weight, fat mass and expression of lipogenic and adipokine genes in the offspring.Wistar rats were fed either a control chow (Control, n = 14) or obesogenic cafeteria diet (CAF, n = 12) during pregnancy and lactation. Pups were cross-fostered to another dam in either the same or different dietary group within 24 h of birth. Body weight, body fat mass and expression of lipogenic and adipokine genes in subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissues were determined in offspring at weaning and 3 weeks post-weaning.Offspring suckled by CAF dams had a lower body weight (P < 0.05), but ~ 2-fold higher percentage body fat at weaning than offspring suckled by Control dams (P < 0.01), independent of whether they were born to a Control or CAF dam. At 6 weeks of age, after all offspring were weaned onto standard chow, males and females suckled by CAF dams remained lighter (P < 0.05) than offspring suckled by Control dams, but the percentage fat mass was no longer different between groups. Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Protein-1c (SREBP-1c) mRNA expression was ~ 25% lower in offspring suckled by cafeteria dams in males at weaning (P < 0.05) and in females at 6 weeks of age (P < 0.05). Exposure to a cafeteria diet during the suckling period alone also resulted in increased adipocyte Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptor-γ (PPAR-γ) mRNA expression in females, and adiponectin and leptin mRNA expression in both sexes at weaning.The findings from this study point to the critical role of the suckling period for deposition of adipose tissue in rodents, and the potential role of altered adipocyte gene expression in mediating these effects.
Project description:Maternal under-nutrition increases the risk of developing metabolic diseases. We studied the effects of chronic maternal dietary vitamin B12 restriction on lean body mass (LBM), fat free mass (FFM), muscle function, glucose tolerance and metabolism in Wistar rat offspring. Prevention/reversibility of changes by rehabilitating restricted mothers from conception or parturition and their offspring from weaning was assessed. Female weaning Wistar rats (n?=?30) were fed ad libitum for 12 weeks, a control diet (n?=?6) or the same with 40% restriction of vitamin B12 (B12R) (n?=?24); after confirming deficiency, were mated with control males. Six each of pregnant B12R dams were rehabilitated from conception and parturition and their offspring weaned to control diet. While offspring of six B12R dams were weaned to control diet, those of the remaining six B12R dams continued on B12R diet. Biochemical parameters and body composition were determined in dams before mating and in male offspring at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months of their age. Dietary vitamin B12 restriction increased body weight but decreased LBM% and FFM% but not the percent of tissue associated fat (TAF%) in dams. Maternal B12R decreased LBM% and FFM% in the male offspring, but their TAF%, basal and insulin stimulated glucose uptake by diaphragm were unaltered. At 12 months age, B12R offspring had higher (than controls) fasting plasma glucose, insulin, HOMA-IR and impaired glucose tolerance. Their hepatic gluconeogenic enzyme activities were increased. B12R offspring had increased oxidative stress and decreased antioxidant status. Changes in body composition, glucose metabolism and stress were reversed by rehabilitating B12R dams from conception, whereas rehabilitation from parturition and weaning corrected them partially, highlighting the importance of vitamin B12 during pregnancy and lactation on growth, muscle development, glucose tolerance and metabolism in the offspring.
Project description:Background:In animals with altricial offspring, most growth occurs after birth and may be optimized by post-natal maternal care. Maternal effects on growth may be influenced by individual characteristics of the mothers, such as social status, individual investment strategies and the length of association with offspring. The prolonged juvenile dependence seen in humans is a distinctive life history adaptation, which may have evolved to facilitate sustained somatic and brain growth.In chimpanzees, offspring are typically weaned at approximately 4?years old, yet immature individuals continue to associate with their mothers for up to 10?years beyond weaning. Whether this lengthy association or the individual characteristics of mothers influences growth patterns in this species is not clear.The relationship between urinary creatinine and specific gravity is an established non-invasive measure of muscle mass in humans and chimpanzees. We analysed the urinary creatinine and specific gravity of 1318 urine samples from 70 wild chimpanzees from the Taï Forest, Ivory Coast aged 4 to 15?years. Results:We showed a clear increase in urinary creatinine levels with age in both males and females, replicating established growth curves in this species and reaffirming this measure as a reliable proxy for lean body mass. Comparing those who experience maternal loss (orphans) with non-orphan chimpanzees, maternal presence beyond weaning age and into late juvenility positively influenced offspring muscle mass throughout ontogeny such that orphans had significantly less muscle mass than age-matched non-orphans. In age-matched offspring with mothers, those with high-ranking mothers had greater muscle mass. Accounting for variation in muscle mass attributable to maternal presence, we found no effect of maternal investment (length of inter birth interval, from own birth to birth of following sibling) on offspring muscle mass. Conclusion:Chimpanzee mothers have an extended and multi-faceted influence on offspring phenotypes. Our results suggest that maternal investment extends beyond lactation and into early adulthood and has clear benefits to offspring physical development. Therefore, prolonged juvenile dependence, although unique in its form in human societies, may be a trait with deeper evolutionary origins.
Project description:Exposure to maternal obesity during early development programmes adverse metabolic health in rodent offspring. We assessed the relative contributions of obesity during pregnancy and suckling on metabolic health post-weaning. Wistar rat offspring exposed to control (C) or cafeteria diet (O) during pregnancy were cross-fostered to dams on the same (CC, OO) or alternate diet during suckling (CO, OC) and weaned onto standard chow. Measures of offspring metabolic health included growth, adipose tissue mass, and 12-week glucose and insulin concentrations during an intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test (ipGTT). Exposure to maternal obesity during lactation was a driver for reduced offspring weight post-weaning, higher fasting blood glucose concentrations and greater gonadal adiposity (in females). Males displayed insulin resistance, through slower glucose clearance despite normal circulating insulin and lower mRNA expression of PIK3R1 and PIK3CB in gonadal fat and liver respectively. In contrast, maternal obesity during pregnancy up-regulated the insulin signalling genes IRS2, PIK3CB and SREBP1-c in skeletal muscle and perirenal fat, favouring insulin sensitivity. In conclusion exposure to maternal obesity during lactation programmes offspring adiposity and insulin resistance, overriding exposure to an optimal nutritional environment in utero, which cannot be alleviated by a nutritionally balanced post-weaning diet.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Ventilator-dependent patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) who are difficult to wean from invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) have been increasing in number. However, data on the clinical outcomes of difficult-to-wean patients are lacking. We aimed to evaluate clinical outcomes in patients discharged from the ICU with tracheostomy and ventilator dependency. METHODS:We retrospectively investigated clinical course and survival in patients requiring home mechanical ventilation (HMV) with a tracheostomy and difficulty weaning from IMV during medical ICU admission from September 2013 through August 2016 at Severance Hospital, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea. RESULTS:Of 84 difficult-to-wean patients who were started on HMV in the medical ICU, 72 survived, were discharged from the ICU, and were included in this analysis. HMV was initiated after a median of 23 days of IMV, and the successful weaning rate was 46% (n=33). In-hospital mortality rate was significantly lower in the successfully weaned group than the unsuccessfully weaned group (0% vs. 23.1%, respectively; P=0.010). Weaning rates were similar according to primary diagnosis, but high body mass index (BMI), low Acute Physiologic Assessment and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II score at ICU admission, and absence of neuromuscular disease were associated with weaning success. After a median follow-up of 4.6 months (range, 1-27 months) for survivors, 3-month (n=64) and 6-month (n=59) survival rates were 82.5% and 72.2%, respectively. Survival rates were higher in the successfully weaned group than the unsuccessfully weaned group at 3 months (96.4% vs. 69.0%; P=0.017) and 6 months (84.0% vs. 62.1%; P=0.136) following ICU discharge. CONCLUSIONS:In summary, 46% of patients who started HMV were successfully weaned from the ventilator in general wards. High BMI, low APACHE II score, and absence of neuromuscular disease were factors associated with weaning success.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) may program metabolic alterations affecting physiological functions and lead to diseases in later life. The adipose tissue is an important organ influencing energy homeostasis. The present study was aimed at exploring the consequences of IUGR on the retroperitoneal adipose tissue of adult male and female rats, using a proteomic approach. METHODS AND RESULTS:Pregnant Wistar rats were fed with balanced chow, either ad libitum (control group) or restricted to 50 % of control intake (restricted group) during the whole gestation. The offspring were weaned to ad libitum chow and studied at 4 months of age. Retroperitoneal fat was analyzed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis followed by mass spectrometry. Both male and female restricted groups had low body weight at birth and at weaning but normal body weight at adulthood. The restricted males had normal fat pads weight and serum glucose levels, with a trend to hyperinsulinemia. The restricted females had increased fat pads weight with normal glucose and insulin levels. The restricted males showed up-regulated levels of proteasome subunit ? type 3, branched-chain-amino-acid aminotransferase, elongation 1- alpha 1, fatty acid synthase levels, cytosolic malate dehydrogenase and ATP synthase subunit alpha. These alterations point to increased proteolysis and lipogenesis rates and favoring of ATP generation. The restricted females showed down-regulated levels of L-lactate dehydrogenase perilipin-1, mitochondrial branched-chain alpha-keto acid dehydrogenase E1, and transketolase. These findings suggest impairment of glycemic control, stimulation of lipolysis and inhibition of proteolysis, pentose phosphate pathway and lipogenesis rates. In both genders, several proteins involved in oxidative stress and inflammation were affected, in a pattern compatible with impairment of these responses. CONCLUSIONS:The proteomic analysis of adipose tissue showed that, although IUGR affected pathways of substrate and energy metabolism in both males and females, important gender differences were evident. While IUGR males displayed alterations pointing to a predisposition to later development of obesity, the alterations observed in IUGR females pointed to a metabolic status of established obesity, in agreement with their increased fat pads mass.
Project description:Maternal overnutrition has been implicated in affecting the offspring by programming metabolic disorders such as obesity and diabetes, by mechanisms that are not clearly understood. This study aimed to determine the long-term impact of maternal high-fat (HF) diet feeding on epigenetic changes in the offspring's hypothalamic Pomc gene, coding a key factor in the control of energy balance. Further, it aimed to study the additional effects of postnatal overnutrition on epigenetic programming by maternal nutrition.Eight-week-old female Sprague-Dawley rats were fed HF diet or low-fat (LF) diet for 6 weeks before mating, and throughout gestation and lactation. At postnatal day 21, samples were collected from a third offspring and the remainder were weaned onto LF diet for 5 weeks, after which they were either fed LF or HF diet for 12 weeks, resulting in four groups of offspring differing by their maternal and postweaning diet.With maternal HF diet, offspring at weaning had rapid early weight gain, increased adiposity, and hyperleptinemia. The programmed adult offspring, subsequently fed LF diet, retained the increased body weight. Maternal HF diet combined with offspring HF diet caused more pronounced hyperphagia, fat mass, and insulin resistance. The ARC Pomc gene from programmed offspring at weaning showed hypermethylation in the enhancer (nPE1 and nPE2) regions and in the promoter sequence mediating leptin effects. Interestingly, hypermethylation at the Pomc promoter but not at the enhancer region persisted long term into adulthood in the programmed offspring. However, there were no additive effects on methylation levels in the regulatory regions of Pomc in programmed offspring fed a HF diet.Maternal overnutrition programs long-term epigenetic alterations in the offspring's hypothalamic Pomc promoter. This predisposes the offspring to metabolic disorders later in life.
Project description:Male fertility and sperm quality are negatively impacted by obesity. Furthermore, recent evidence has shown that male offspring from obese rat mothers also have reduced sperm quality and fertility. Here, we extend work in this area by comparing the effects of both maternal obesity and offspring post-weaning diet-induced obesity, as well as their combination, on sperm quality in mice. We additionally tested whether administration of the NAD+-booster nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) can ameliorate the negative effects of obesity and maternal obesity on sperm quality. We previously showed that intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of NMN can reduce the metabolic deficits induced by maternal obesity or post-weaning dietary obesity in mice. In this study, female mice were fed a high-fat diet (HFD) for 6 weeks until they were 18% heavier than a control diet group. Thereafter, HFD and control female mice were mated with control diet males, and male offspring were weaned into groups receiving control or HFD. At 30 weeks of age, mice received 500 mg/kg body weight NMN or vehicle PBS i.p. for 21 days. As expected, adiposity was increased by both maternal and post-weaning HFD but reduced by NMN supplementation. Post-weaning HFD reduced sperm count and motility, while maternal HFD increased offspring sperm DNA fragmentation and levels of aberrant sperm chromatin. There was no evidence that the combination of post-weaning and maternal HFD exacerbated the impacts in sperm quality suggesting that they impact spermatogenesis through different mechanisms. Surprisingly NMN reduced sperm count, vitality and increased sperm oxidative DNA damage, which was associated with increased NAD+ in testes. A subsequent experiment using oral NMN at 400 mg/kg body weight was not associated with reduced sperm viability, oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction or increased NAD+ in testes, suggesting that the negative impacts on sperm could be dependent on dose or mode of administration.
Project description:Lactation is a critical period during which maternal sub- or over-nutrition affect milk composition and offspring development that can have lasting health effects. The consequences of moderate high-fat, high-simple carbohydrate diet (WD) consumption by rat dams, during gestation and lactation, on milk composition and offspring blood lipidome and its growth, at weaning, were investigated by using a comprehensive lipidomic study on mass-spectrometric platform combined to targeted fatty- and free amino-acids analysis. This holistic approach allowed clear-cut differences in mature milk-lipidomic signature according to maternal diet with a similar content of protein, lactose and leptin. The lower WD-milk content in total fat and triglycerides (TGs), particularly in TGs-with saturated medium-chain, and higher levels in both sphingolipid (SL) and TG species with unsaturated long-chain were associated to a specific offspring blood-lipidome with decreased levels in TGs-containing saturated fatty acid (FA). The sexual-dimorphism in the FA-distribution in TG (higher TGs-rich in oleic and linoleic acids, specifically in males) and SL species (increased levels in very long-chain ceramides, specifically in females) could be associated with some differences that we observed between males and females like a higher total body weight gain in females and an increased preference for fatty taste in males upon weaning.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The probability of weaning and of long-term survival of chronically mechanically ventilated cancer patients is unknown, with incomplete information available to guide therapeutic decisions. We sought to determine the probability of weaning and overall survival of cancer patients requiring long-term mechanical ventilation in a specialized weaning unit. METHODS:A single-institution retrospective review of patients requiring mechanical ventilation outside of a critical care setting from 2008 to 2012 and from January 1 to December 31, 2018, was performed. Demographic and clinical data were recorded, including cancer specifics, comorbidities, treatments, and outcomes. Overall survival was determined using the Kaplan-Meier approach. Time to weaning was analyzed using the cumulative incidence function, with death considered a competing risk. Prognostic factors were evaluated for use in prospective evaluations of weaning protocols. RESULTS:Between 2008 and 2012, 122 patients required mechanical ventilation outside of a critical care setting with weaning as a goal of care. The cumulative incidence of weaning after discharge from the intensive care unit was 42% at 21?days, 49% at 30?days, 58% at 60?days, 61% at 90?days, and 61% at 120?days. The median survival was 0.16?years (95% CI, 0.12 to 0.33) for those not weaned and 1.05?years (95% CI, 0.60 to 1.34) for those weaned. Overall survival at 1?year and 2?years was 52 and 32% among those weaned and 16 and 9% among those not weaned. During 2018, 36 patients at our institution required mechanical ventilation outside of a critical care setting, with weaning as a goal of care. Overall, with a median follow-up of 140?days (range, 0-425?days; average, 141?days), 25% of patients requiring long-term mechanical ventilation (9 of 36) are alive. CONCLUSIONS:Cancer patients can be weaned from long-term mechanical ventilation, even after prolonged periods of support. Implementation of a resource-intensive weaning program did not improve rates of successful weaning. No clear time on mechanical ventilation could be identified beyond which weaning was unprecedented. Short-term overall survival for these patients is poor.