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Int J Biol Sci 2007; 3(1):12-19. doi:10.7150/ijbs.3.12

Research Paper

Increased Susceptibility to Metabolic Alterations in Young Adult Females Exposed to Early Malnutrition

María del Carmen Miñana-Solis1, Carolina Escobar1 2

1. Departamento de Anatomía, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México, D. F. 04510
2. Dirección General de Investigación, Universidad Veracruzana, Xalapa Ver.

Abstract

Early malnutrition during gestation and lactation modifies growth and metabolism permanently. Follow up studies using a nutritional rehabilitation protocol have reported that early malnourished rats exhibit hyperglycemia and/or hyperinsulinemia, suggesting that the effects of early malnutrition are permanent and produce a “programming” effect on metabolism. Deleterious effects have mainly been observed when early-malnutrition is followed by a high-carbohydrate or a high-fat diet.

The aim of this study was to evaluate whether following a balanced diet subsequent to malnutrition can deter the expression of metabolic disease and lead rats to exhibit metabolic responses, similar to those of well-nourished controls.

Young rats, born from dams malnourished during gestation and lactation with a low protein diet, were provided with a regular balanced chow diet upon weaning. At 90 days of age, the effects of rehabilitation were determined under three different feeding conditions: ad libitum, fasting or fasting-reefed satiated.

Early-malnourished rats showed an increased rate of body weight gain. Males under ad libitum conditions showed an elevated concentration of hepatic glycogen and low values of insulin. In the fasting-reefed satiated condition, only early-malnourished females showed an alteration in glucose response and glucagon level, compared with their well-nourished controls.

Data indicate that a balanced diet along life after early malnutrition can mask the expression of metabolic disorders and that a metabolic challenges due to a prolonged fasting and reefed state unmask metabolic deficiencies in early-malnourished females.

Keywords: nutritional rehabilitation, diabetes, metabolic programming, hormones

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How to cite this article:
Miñana-Solis MdC, Escobar C. Increased Susceptibility to Metabolic Alterations in Young Adult Females Exposed to Early Malnutrition. Int J Biol Sci 2007; 3(1):12-19. doi:10.7150/ijbs.3.12. Available from http://www.ijbs.com/v03p0012.htm