Parenteral administration of twin-bearing ewes with L-arginine enhances the birth weight and brown fat stores in sheepReportar como inadecuado

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, 2:684

Amino AcidsBiomedical and Life Sciences


The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of parenteral administration of L-arginine Arg to well-fed twin-bearing ewes from day d 100 of pregnancy to birth on fetal growth, body composition and neonatal behavior. Ewes received an i.v. bolus of either 345 μmol Arg-HCl-kg bodyweight or saline solution control 3 times a day. At d 140 of pregnancy, Arg-supplemented and control ewes were euthanized and fetal weight and fetal organ weight recorded, and maternal and fetal plasma concentrations of amino acids, hormones and metabolites analyzed. A subset of ewes was allowed to lamb and birth weight, body dimensions and behavior of the lambs in the first 2 hoursh following birth recorded and blood samples collected. At d 140 of pregnancy, fetal weight internal organ weights were unaffected by treatment with the exception of brown fat stores which were increased by 16% in fetuses from Arg-supplemented ewes relative to controls P < 0.05. At birth, there was an interaction P = 0.06 between treatment and sex for birth weight of the lamb. The ewe lambs from Arg-supplemented ewes were 12% P < 0.05 heavier at birth compared with controls whereas birth weight of male lambs did not differ. These results indicate that maternal Arg supplementation enhanced brown fat stores in the fetus and countered some effect of fetal growth restriction due to litter size in female lambs. Increasing birth weight of female lambs and enhancing brown fat stores of all lambs may have important implications for lamb survival and postnatal growth.

KeywordsSheep Fetal Birth weight Arginine Amino acids AbbreviationsArgL-Arginine



Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-2193-1801-2-684 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Sue McCoard - Francisco Sales - Nina Wards - Quentin Sciascia - Mark Oliver - John Koolaard - Danitsja van der Linden


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