Being born small programs growth restriction, deficits and disease in the next generation
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Our recent data reveals that organ deficits and diseases associated with being born small are transmitted to the next generation via the maternal line in a sex-specific fashion. Fetuses from mothers born small were small and had fewer nephrons and β-cells. As adults, males only developed high blood pressure and altered glucose metabolism. Our critical finding is that the adverse maternal environment is critical to the programming next generation deficits and disease. These findings will transform the programming field and require incorporation of the adverse maternal environment into paradigms. Our current research incorporates lifestyle challenges (high fat diet, stress) as well as lifestyle interventions (exercise, good nutrition) to explore transgenerational consequences.
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