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Role of the pre- and post-natal environment in developmental programming of health and productivity



Role of the pre- and post-natal environment in developmental programming of health and productivity



Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 354(1-2): 54-59



The concept that developmental insults (for example, poor pre- or postnatal nutrition) can have long-term consequences on health and well-being of the offspring has been termed developmental programming. In livestock, developmental programming affects production traits, including growth, body composition, and reproduction. Although low birth weight was used as a proxy for compromised fetal development in the initial epidemiological studies, based on controlled studies using livestock and other animal models in the last two decades we now know that developmental programming can occur independently of any effects on birth weight. Studies in humans, rodents, and livestock also have confirmed the critical role of the placenta in developmental programming. In addition, the central role of epigenetic regulation in developmental programming has been confirmed. Lastly, relatively simple therapeutic/management strategies designed to 'rescue' placental development and function are being developed to minimize the effects of developmental programming on health and productivity of humans, livestock, and other mammals.

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Accession: 055614352

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 22154989

DOI: 10.1016/j.mce.2011.11.013


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