Gestational protein restriction in mice has pronounced effects on gene expression in newborn offspring's liver and skeletal muscle; protective effect of taurine

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We examined gene expression changes in liver and skeletal muscle of newborn mice subjected to a maternal low protein (LP) or normal protein (NP) diet during pregnancy, with or without taurine supplementation in the drinking water. LP offspring had a 40% lower birthweight than NP offspring, whereas it was reduced by only 20% with taurine supplementation. Microarray gene expression analysis revealed significant changes in 2012 genes in liver and 967 genes in skeletal muscle of LP offspring. By unknown mechanisms, taurine partially or fully prevented 30 and 46% of these expression changes, respectively. Mitochondrial genes, in particular genes associated with oxidative phosphorylation, were more abundantly changed in LP offspring, with primarily up-regulation in liver but down-regulation in skeletal muscle. In both tissues, citrate synthase activity remained unchanged. Taurine preferentially rescued changes in genes concerned with fatty acid metabolism in liver and with oxidative phoshorylation and tri carboxylic acid (TCA) cycle in skeletal muscle. Conclusion: Gestational protein restriction resulted in lower birthweight associated with significant gene expression changes, which was different in liver and muscle of offspring. However, a major part of the birthweight decrease and the expression changes were prevented by maternal taurine supplementation, implying taurine is a key component in metabolic fetal programming. ABBREVIATIONS:
Original languageEnglish
JournalPediatric Research
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)47-53
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010

ID: 16863207