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Results from previous studies indicate that maternal overnutrition during late gestation predisposes foals to metabolic disease, however, specific mechanisms resulting in disease remain unknown. Quarter Horse mares (n = 16), were randomly assigned to dietary treatments, beginning on gestational day 235, and consisted of a control group (CON- diet meeting nutrient requirement; n = 8) or an overfed diet (HIGH; n = 8) where mares received an additional 40 % above CON. On gestational days 285 and 315, an intravenous glucose tolerance test (FSIGTT) was conducted. Following parturition, foals were separated from the mare, prohibited from nursing, and an FSIGTT was conducted at 2 h postpartum. Foals were immediately euthanized and tissues preserved for analyses. There was no effect of treatment on foal BW (P = 0.50), pancreas weight (P = 0.60), or FSIGTT area under the curve for glucose (P = 0.80) and insulin (P = 0.70). Colocalization of -amylase to isolate pancreatic islets of Langerhans indicated increased islet number and size in foals from HIGH mares (P < 0.01). Immunofluoresent analysis of insulin, glucagon, and somatostatin indicate no difference in intensity of staining (P> 0.10). Foals exposed to overnutrition during peak fetal growth had altered pancreatic islet development that may lead to adult-onset metabolic disease.
author list (cited authors)
Bradbery, A. N., Coverdale, J. A., Hartz, C. J., Millican, A. A., Goehring, M. S., Fikes, K. K., ... Satterfield, M. C