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Offspring born to ewes fed high salt during pregnancy have altered responses to oral salt loads

Digby, S.N.ORCID: 0000-0002-4115-4642, Masters, D.G., Blache, D., Hynd, P.I. and Revell, D.K. (2010) Offspring born to ewes fed high salt during pregnancy have altered responses to oral salt loads. Animal, 4 (1). pp. 81-88.

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Prenatal growth is sensitive to the direct and indirect effects of maternal dietary intake; manipulation can lead to behavioural and physiological changes of the offspring later in life. Here, we report on three aspects of how a high-salt diet during pregnancy (conception to parturition) may affect the offspring's response to high oral salt loads: (i) dietary preferences for salt; (ii) response to salt and water balance and aldosterone and arginine vasopressin (AVP) concentrations after an oral salt challenge; (iii) concentrations of insulin and leptin after an oral salt challenge. We used two groups of lambs born to ewes fed either a high-salt (13% NaCl) diet during pregnancy (S lambs; n = 12) or control animals born to ewes fed a conventional (0.5% NaCl) diet during pregnancy (C lambs; n = 12). Lambs were subjected to short- (5 min) and long-term (24 h) preference tests for a high-salt (13% NaCl) or control diet, and the response to an oral challenge with either water or 25% NaCl solution were also carried out. Weaned lambs born to ewes fed high salt during pregnancy did not differ in their preference for dietary salt, but they did differ in their physiological responses to an oral salt challenge. Results indicate that these differences reflect an alteration in the regulation of water and salt balance as the metabolic hormones, insulin and leptin, were not affected. During the first 2 h after a single salt dose, S lambs had a 25% lower water intake compared to the C lambs. S lambs had, on average, a 13% lower AVP concentration than the C lambs (P = 0.014). The plasma concentration of aldosterone was higher in the S lambs than in the C lambs (P = 0.013). Results suggest that lambs born to ewes that ingest high amounts of salt during pregnancy are programmed to have an altered thirst threshold, and blunted response in aldosterone to oral salt loads.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Copyright: © 2009 The Animal Consortium
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