Impacts of Maternal Obesity on Metabolic Profiles in Postpartum Ewes
McKnight, Jason Ray
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This study determined the effects of gestational obesity on the long-term metabolic status of the mother and if obesity management during or after pregnancy could attenuate these effects. At 120 days prior to estrus, 8 ewes received 100 percent of NRC nutrient requirements (control group) and 24 ewes had free access to feed (obesity induction). Beginning on day 42 of gestation, 8 obese ewes were restricted to 65 percent of NRC nutrient requirements. Following parturition, controls and all but one group of obese ewes were fed 100 percent of NRC nutrient requirements. At postpartum days (PPD) 1 and 150, glucose tolerance tests were administered to ewes. At both PPD1 and PPD150, obesity resulted in insulin resistance, impairment of whole-body glucose utilization, increased levels of circulating leptin, and altered profiles of amino acids in plasma; however, these effects were diminished in ewes receiving obesity management during or after gestation. Additionally at PPD150, obesity increased the circulating levels of ammonia and urea in ewes, which was prevented by realimentation to 100 percent NRC requirements. These results indicate that weight reduction in obese dams during pregnancy or after parturition can beneficially ameliorate the adverse effects of gestational obesity on the mother.