Differential protein input in the maternal diet alters the skeletal muscle transcriptome in fetal sheep

Creative Commons License


MAMMALIAN GENOME, vol.31, pp.309-324, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 31
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00335-020-09851-3
  • Journal Name: MAMMALIAN GENOME
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.309-324
  • Erciyes University Affiliated: Yes


Maternal nutrition during pregnancy is one of the major intrauterine environmental factors that influence fetal development by significantly altering the expression of genes that might have a consequence on the physiological, morphological, and metabolic performance of the offspring in the postnatal period. The impact of maternal dietary protein on the expression of genes in sheep fetal skeletal muscle development is not well understood. The current study aims to investigate the impact of high and low maternal dietary protein on the holistic mRNA expression in the sheep fetal skeletal muscle. Dams were exposed to an isoenergetic high-protein diet (HP, 160-270 g/day), low-protein diet (LP, 73-112 g/day), and standard protein (SP, 119-198 g/day) diets during pregnancy. Fetal skeletal muscles were obtained at the 105th day of pregnancy and mRNA expression profiles were evaluated using Affymetrix GeneChip (TM) Ovine Gene 1.0 ST Array. The transcriptional analysis revealed a total of 323, 354, and 14 genes were differentially regulated (fold change > 2 and false discovery rate <= 0.05) in HP vs. SP, LP vs. HP, and SP vs. LP, respectively. Several myogenic genes, including MYOD1, MYH2, MYH1, are significantly upregulated, while genes related to the immune system, such as CXCL11, HLA-E, CXCL10, CXCL9, TLRs, are significantly downregulated in the fetal muscle of the HP group compared to those of SP and LP group. Bioinformatic analysis revealed that the majority of these genes are involved in pathways related to the immune system and diseases. The results of our study demonstrate that both augmented and restricted dietary proteins in maternal diet during pregnancy alter the expression of genes as well as the offspring's genetic marks.