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Effects of maternal undernutrition and exercise on glucose kinetics in fetal sheep

  • B. J. Leury (a1), K. D. Chandler (a1), A. R. Bird (a1) and A. W. Bell (a1)

Abstract

Fetal glucose kinetics were measured using a combination of isotope-dilution and Fick-principle methodology in single-pregnant ewes which were either well-fed throughout, or fed at 0.3–0.4 predicted energy requirement for 7–21 d during late pregnancy. All ewes were studied while standing at rest and then while walking on a treadmill at 0.7 m/s on a 10° slope for 60 min. Underfed ewes suffered major decreases in fetal total disposal rate, fetal-placental transfer and umbilical net uptake of glucose, each of which were significantly related to declines in maternal and fetal blood glucose concentrations respectively. In well-fed ewes, fetal endogenous glucose production was negligible, as indicated by the similarity between fetal utilization rate (total glucose disposal rate minus placental uptake of fetal glucose) and umbilical net uptake of glucose, and by nearly identical fetal and maternal arterial blood specific radioactivities of maternally infused D-[2-3H]glucose. By contrast, in underfed ewes, fetal utilization rate greatly exceeded umbilical net uptake of glucose, and the fetal:maternal [3H]glucose specific activity ratio declined significantly, suggesting induction of a substantial rate of fetal endogenous glucogenesis. Exercise caused increases in fetal total glucose disposal rate and glycaemia in fed and underfed ewes. In underfed ewes only, this was accompanied by increased placental uptake of fetal glucose and umbilical net glucose uptake, unchanged fetal glucose utilization and decreased fetal endogenous glucose production. It is concluded that fetal gluconeogenesis makes a major contribution to fetal glucose requirements in undernourished ewes. Increased maternal supply of fetal glucose during exercise substitutes for rather than adds to fetal endogenous glucogenesis.

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References

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Keywords

Effects of maternal undernutrition and exercise on glucose kinetics in fetal sheep

  • B. J. Leury (a1), K. D. Chandler (a1), A. R. Bird (a1) and A. W. Bell (a1)

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