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Food Animal Practice


Maternal stressors that affect fetal development result in “developmental
programming,” which is associated with increased risk of various chronic
pathologic conditions in the offspring, including metabolic syndrome;
growth abnormalities; and reproductive, immune, behavioral, or cognitive
dysfunction that can persist throughout their lifetime and even across subsequent

Developmental programming thus can lead to poor
health, reduced longevity, and reduced productivity. Current research
aims to develop management and therapeutic strategies to optimize fetal
growth and development and thereby overcome the negative consequences
of developmental programming, leading to improved health,
longevity, and productivity of offspring.

Cellular Mechanisms and Epigenetic Changes: Role of Nutrition in Livestock 249
Ahmed Elolimy, Mario Vailati-Riboni, Yusheng Liang, and Juan J. Loor
In the context of physiologic responses that determine the growth, development,
and health status of livestock, the role of epigenetics and the underlying
cellular mechanisms it affects remain to be fully elucidated.
Although recent work has provided evidence that maternal dietary energy
level, carbohydrate type, or intestinal supply of methyl donors can elicit
molecular changes in tissues of the embryo, fetus, or neonate, there are
few data linking epigenetics with biochemical and physiologic outcomes.
Therefore, efforts linking the epigenome with physiologic and developmental
outcomes offer exciting opportunities for discoveries that can
impact efficiency of nutrient use and well-being of livestock.
Overgrowth Syndrome 265
Yahan Li, Callum G. Donnelly, and Rocío Melissa Rivera
Large offspring syndrome (LOS) is a fetal overgrowth condition in bovines
most often observed in offspring conceived with the use of assisted reproductive
technologies (ART). Phenotypes observed in LOS include, overgrowth,
enlarged tongues, umbilical hernias, muscle and skeleton
malformations, abnormal organ growth and placental development.
Although LOS cases have only been reported to be associated with
ART, fetal overgrowth can occur spontaneously in cattle (S-LOS). S-LOS
refers to oversized calves that are born at normal gestation lengths.
ART-induced LOS has been characterized as an epigenetic syndrome,
more specifically, a loss-of-imprinting condition. We propose that S-LOS
is also a loss-of-imprinting condition.

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