Research Repository

See what's under the surface

The effect of feeding a low iron diet prior to and during gestation on fetal and maternal iron homeostasis in two strains of rat

Cornock, Ruth; Gambling, Lorraine; Langley-Evans, Simon C.; McArdle, Harry J.; McMullen, Sarah

Authors

Ruth Cornock

Lorraine Gambling

Simon C. Langley-Evans

Harry J. McArdle

Sarah McMullen

Abstract

Background
Iron deficiency anaemia during pregnancy is a global problem, with short and long term consequences for maternal and child health. Animal models have demonstrated that the developing fetus is vulnerable to maternal iron restriction, impacting on postnatal metabolic and blood pressure regulation. Whilst long-term outcomes are similar across different models, the commonality in mechanistic events across models is unknown. This study examined the impact of iron deficiency on maternal and fetal iron homeostasis in two strains of rat.

Methods
Wistar (n=20) and Rowett Hooded Lister (RHL, n=19) rats were fed a control or low iron diet for 4 weeks prior to and during pregnancy. Tissues were collected at day 21 of gestation for analysis of iron content and mRNA/protein expression of regulatory proteins and transporters.

Results
A reduction in maternal liver iron content in response to the low iron diet was associated with upregulation of transferrin receptor expression and a reduction in hepcidin expression in the liver of both strains, which would be expected to promote increased iron absorption across the gut and increased turnover of iron in the liver. Placental expression of transferrin and DMT1+IRE were also upregulated, indicating adaptive responses to ensure availability of iron to the fetus. There were considerable differences in hepatic maternal and fetal iron content between strains. The higher quantity of iron present in livers from Wistar rats was not explained by differences in expression of intestinal iron transporters, and may instead reflect greater materno-fetal transfer in RHL rats as indicated by increased expression of placental iron transporters in this strain.

Conclusions
Our findings demonstrate substantial differences in iron homeostasis between two strains of rat during pregnancy, with variable impact of iron deficiency on the fetus. Whilst common developmental processes and pathways have been observed across different models of nutrient restriction during pregnancy, this study demonstrates differences in maternal adaptation which may impact on the trajectory of the programmed response.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date May 1, 2013
Journal Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology
Electronic ISSN 1477-7827
Publisher Humana Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Issue 32
Article Number 32
Institution Citation Cornock, R., Gambling, L., Langley-Evans, S. C., McArdle, H. J., & McMullen, S. (2013). The effect of feeding a low iron diet prior to and during gestation on fetal and maternal iron homeostasis in two strains of rat. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, 11(32), doi:10.1186/1477-7827-11-32
DOI https://doi.org/10.1186/1477-7827-11-32
Publisher URL http://www.rbej.com/content/11/1/32
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

Files

McMullenFeeding.pdf (743 Kb)
PDF

Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0




Downloadable Citations