Life Lines by Dr. Dolittle

Sponsored by the American Physiological Society

Growth restriction in utero increases risk for developing insulin resistance

 

Guinea_pig_(1)

A new study published in the American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, explored how restricted growth of a fetus during pregnancy can lead to insulin resistance later in life. They studied this risk factor in guinea pigs as larger litter sizes are known to restrict the growth of developing fetuses.

Findings from the study showed that neonatal guinea pigs grow rapidly after birth to compensate for their restricted in utero growth. In addition, young adult male offspring from larger litters (4 offspring as compared to 2) developed impaired whole body insulin sensitivity as adults even before they develop high blood sugar.  In contrast, young adult female offspring from larger litters developed impaired insulin sensitivity in the liver and tended to produce more glucose compared to males from larger litters.

Sources:

Horton DM, Saint DA, Gatford KL, Kind KL, Owens JA. Sex-specific programming of adult insulin resistance in guinea pigs by variable perinatal growth induced by spontaneous variation in litter size. American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology. 316(4): R352-361, 2019.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

 

Categories: Comparative Physiology

Tags: , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s