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The influence of protein restriction imposed at various stages of pregnancy on fetal and placental development


The effect of protein restriction on fetal and placental growth was investigated. Pregnant rats were maintained on an isocaloric diet containing either 23% or 5% protein. The diet was imposed either from days 1-21 of gestation or from days 7-21 of gestation. Fetal body development was assessed. Fetal brain and placental growth were determined by both analysis of organ DNA, RNA and protein and differential radiochemical labelling procedures. Maternal protein restriction inhibited fetal growth. Brain weight was reduced due to a significant decrease in cellular content. Brain cell size was significantly increased and may have accounted for the reduction in cell concentration. Placental growth was similarly impaired. These data demonstrate impaired fetal and placental growth following decreased maternal dietary protein intake. Severity of growth retardation increased with the duration of malnutrition. The results also suggest that malnutrition may affect the rate of development, causing premature cessation of cell division and early cell differentiation.

Type Journal
ISBN 0017-4793 (Print)
Authors Koshy, T. S.;Sara, V. R.;King, T. L.;Lazarus, L. :
Publisher Name Growth
Published Date 1975-01-01
Published Volume 39
Published Issue 4
Published Pages 497-506
Status Published in-print
URL link to publisher's version