Being born small is associated with an increased risk of visceral obesity and insulin resistance in adult life. We have investigated the effect of IUGR on adipogenic and lipogenic gene expression in visceral fat in the lamb at 3 wk of age. Perirenal fat mass, but not adipocyte size was greater in females than males, independent of birth weight. Plasma insulin concentrations during the first 24 h after birth predicted the size of the adipocytes and expression of adiponectin in visceral adipose tissue in both males and females. In females, plasma nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA) concentrations during the first 24 h after birth were directly related to peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) mRNA expression in the perirenal fat depot at 3 wk of age. In the males, in contrast to the females, PPARγ and leptin expression in perirenal visceral fat were significantly lower in IUGR compared with control lambs. Thus, the early nutritional environment programs adipocyte growth and gene expression in visceral adipose tissue. The differential effect of sex and IUGR on PPARγ and leptin expression in visceral fat may be important in the subsequent development of visceral obesity and the insulin resistant phenotype in later life.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health