Author(s): Wegger I, Palludan B
Abstract Share this page
Abstract The influence of maternal vitamin C deficiency on fetal development was studied in swine with a hereditary lack of ability to synthesize ascorbic acid (OD pigs). Thirteen pregnant sows homozygous (od/od) for the defect were depleted of ascorbic acid for 24 to 38 d at various stages of gestation. Six normal (OD/OD) sows were used as controls. Only a few experimental sows showed clinical symptoms of vitamin C deficiency. Nevertheless, severe pathological changes were seen in the uterus and fetuses. Characteristic findings were hemorrhages and hematomas in both fetal and maternal placenta, and general edema and subcutaneous hemorrhages in the fetuses. Similarities were noted to the abruptio placentae syndrome in women. Depletion of vitamin C resulted in a pronounced decline in ascorbic acid concentration in most maternal and fetal organs as well as in plasma and embryonic fluids. No morphological malformations were found in the fetuses, but the ossification of the skeleton was severely deranged. Macroscopically the lesions comprised swelling of the costochondral junction and separation of the epiphysial cartilage from the spongiosa in ribs and limb bones. Another characteristic finding was loosening of the periost from the cortex, often resulting in subperiosteal bleedings. Microscopically normal osteoblasts were few and the formation of osteoid defective.
This article was published in J Nutr
and referenced in Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences