Interpretive Summary: Low birth weight and reduced postnatal nutrition lead to cardiac dysfunction in piglets
By: Ashley C McPeek, Breanna Patton, Daniel A Columbus, T Dylan Olver, Lucas A Rodrigues, Jade M Sands, Lynn P Weber, David P Ferguson
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in humans, and in addition to the known modifiable risk factors, evidence suggests early life undernutrition increases heart disease risk in adulthood. Specifically, low birth weight (LBW) has been linked to poor infant cardiac development which could be made worse by an inadequate postnatal diet. Globally, 160 million children under the age of five experience a poor nutritive environment leading to growth-restriction highlighting the need for continued research. Using a pig model, the present investigation examined the effects of LBW and a restricted diet during postnatal life on cardiac structure and function in preweaning and post-weaning piglets. The most important findings were (1) nutrient-restricted piglets had reduced cardiac function at 28 d old but refeeding reversed cardiac dysfunction at 56 d, indicating that nutrient-induced cardiac dysfunction can be reversed, and (2) LBW pigs presented with cardiac dysfunction at 56 d regardless of feeding level, suggesting potential for an increased risk of heart disease in adulthood with LBW.
Read the full article in the Journal of Animal Science.