Author(s): Attig L, Brisard D, Larcher T, Mickiewicz M, Guilloteau P,
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Abstract Babies with intra-uterine growth restriction (IUGR) are at increased risk for experiencing negative neonatal outcomes due to their general developmental delay. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of a short postnatal leptin supply on the growth, structure, and functionality of several organs at weaning. IUGR piglets were injected from day 0 to day 5 with either 0.5 mg/kg/d leptin (IUGRLep) or saline (IUGRSal) and euthanized at day 21. Their organs were collected, weighed, and sampled for histological, biochemical, and immunohistochemical analyses. Leptin induced an increase in body weight and the relative weights of the liver, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, and small intestine without any changes in triglycerides, glucose and cholesterol levels. Notable structural and functional changes occurred in the ovaries, pancreas, and secondary lymphoid organs. The ovaries of IUGRLep piglets contained less oogonia but more oocytes enclosed in primordial and growing follicles than the ovaries of IUGRSal piglets, and FOXO3A staining grade was higher in the germ cells of IUGRLep piglets. Within the exocrine parenchyma of the pancreas, IUGRLep piglets presented a high rate of apoptotic cells associated with a higher trypsin activity. In the spleen and the Peyer's patches, B lymphocyte follicles were much larger in IUGRLep piglets than in IUGRSal piglets. Moreover, IUGRLep piglets showed numerous CD79(+) cells in well-differentiated follicle structures, suggesting a more mature immune system. This study highlights a new role for leptin in general developmental processes and may provide new insight into IUGR pathology.
This article was published in PLoS One
and referenced in Journal of Pregnancy and Child Health