Skeletal muscle protein accretion rates and hindlimb growth are reduced in late gestation intrauterine growth‐restricted fetal sheep
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KEY POINTS: Adults who were affected by intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) suffer from reductions in muscle mass, which may contribute to insulin resistance and the development of diabetes. We demonstrate slower hindlimb linear growth and muscle protein synthesis rates that match the reduced hindlimb blood flow and oxygen consumption rates in IUGR fetal sheep. These adaptations resulted in hindlimb blood flow rates in IUGR that were similar to control fetuses on a weight-specific basis. Net hindlimb glucose uptake and lactate output rates were similar between groups, whereas amino acid uptake was significantly lower in IUGR fetal sheep. Among all fetuses, blood O2 saturation and plasma glucose, insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1 were positively associated and norepinephrine was negatively associated with hindlimb weight. These results further our understanding of the metabolic and hormonal adaptations to reduced oxygen and nutrient supply with placental insufficiency that develop to slow hindlimb growth and muscle protein accretion. ABSTRACT: Reduced skeletal muscle mass in the fetus with intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) persists into adulthood and may contribute to increased metabolic disease risk. To determine how placental insufficiency with reduced oxygen and nutrient supply to the fetus affects hindlimb blood flow, substrate uptake and protein accretion rates in skeletal muscle, late gestation control (CON) (n = 8) and IUGR (n = 13) fetal sheep were catheterized with aortic and femoral catheters and a flow transducer around the external iliac artery. Muscle protein kinetic rates were measured using isotopic tracers. Hindlimb weight, linear growth rate, muscle protein accretion rate and fractional synthetic rate were lower in IUGR compared to CON (P < 0.05). Absolute hindlimb blood flow was reduced in IUGR (IUGR: 32.9 ± 5.6 ml min-1 ; CON: 60.9 ± 6.5 ml min-1 ; P < 0.005), although flow normalized to hindlimb weight was similar between groups. Hindlimb oxygen consumption rate was lower in IUGR (IUGR: 10.4 ± 1.4 μmol min-1 100 g-1 ; CON: 14.7 ± 1.3 μmol min-1 100 g-1 ; P < 0.05). Hindlimb glucose uptake and lactate output rates were similar between groups, whereas amino acid uptake was lower in IUGR (IUGR: 1.3 ± 0.5 μmol min-1 100 g-1 ; CON: 2.9 ± 0.2 μmol min-1 100 g-1 ; P < 0.05). Blood O2 saturation (r2 = 0.80, P < 0.0001) and plasma glucose (r2 = 0.68, P < 0.0001), insulin (r2 = 0.40, P < 0.005) and insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 (r2 = 0.80, P < 0.0001) were positively associated and norepinephrine (r2 = 0.59, P < 0.0001) was negatively associated with hindlimb weight. Slower hindlimb linear growth and muscle protein synthesis rates match reduced hindlimb blood flow and oxygen consumption rates in the IUGR fetus. Metabolic adaptations to slow hindlimb growth are probably hormonally-mediated by mechanisms that include increased fetal norepinephrine and reduced IGF-1 and insulin.
author list (cited authors)
Rozance, P. J., Zastoupil, L., Wesolowski, S. R., Goldstrohm, D. A., Strahan, B., Cree‐Green, M., ... Brown, L. D.