GONZALEZ paula Natalia
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The effect of maternal malnutrition during lactation on growth trajectories
GONZALEZ P; HALLGRIMSSON B; OYHENART E.
Conferencia; Improving Health for Children; 2011
Childhood malnutrition is one of the major public health problems worldwide. The environment experienced in early life can alter the normal growth trajectory and increase later disease risk. This increased disease risk may, in part, stem from the differential expression of developmental pathways in response to nutritional deficiencies. In this study we evaluated the effects of protein-energy malnutrition during postnatal ontogeny on a normal growth trajectory and the differences due to sex in the response to this environmental stress in a rat model. We analyzed four experimental groups: A) control, B) maternal malnutrition during lactation; C) malnutrition after weaning; D) malnutrition since birth to adulthood. Body weight was measured every 3 days until weaning and weekly between weaning and 63 days. To compare the growth trajectories a Gompertz model was fit for body weight by treatment and sex. The results obtained showed that maternal energy-malnutrition during lactation (B) slows down the rate of growth and reduces the maximum body weight, but increases the variation among individuals in the maximum body weight. The groups C and D showed a significant reduction in the mean and variance of the maximum body size attained. We also found that growth trajectories of males and females are not equally affected by the environmental stress.