Alpha-ketoglutarate partially protects newborns from metabolic changes evoked by chronic maternal exposure to glucocorticoids
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Department of Biochemistry and Animal Physiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Agricultural University, Lublin, Poland
Department of Comparative Anatomy and Anthropology, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Lublin, Poland
Department of Cell and Organism Biology, Lund University,Lund, Sweden
Corresponding author
Ewa Śliwa   

Department of Animal Physiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Agricultural University, Akademicka 12, 20-950 Lublin,
J Pre Clin Clin Res. 2007;1(1):55-59
Foetal and neonatal time is very important for the growth and development of the mechanisms involved in the programming of metabolic processes in adult life. In foetal life, critical developmental time-windows for different key factors determining the programming of metabolic processes persisting for a longer time in later life were discovered. Dexamethasone (Dex), a synthetic glucocorticoid is administered in pregnancy to reduce mortality in preterm infants. However, other studies did not examine the effects of maternal simultaneous dexamethasone treatment with alpha-ketoglutarate (AKG) on glucose, total cholesterol, triacylglycerol and other metabolic markers in the blood serum of newborns. This study shows that exposure to maternal dexamethasone excess during the last 45 days of pregnancy resulted in reduced body weight by 26% in newborns. Moreover, when dexamethasone was administered with AKG, body weight was reduced by only 13.5% when compared with the control group. Total cholesterol concentrations in sows and their newborns in the Dex groups were higher by 81% and 79% compared with the control values in sows and in newborns, respectively. Triacylglycerol serum concentrations were higher by 54% in sows from the Dex group and 58% in newborn piglets born by these mothers. Glucose concentration was higher by 142% in newborns after maternal dexamethasone treatment, compared with the control group. Serum glucose concentration remained unchanged in sows after simultaneous dexamethasone administration with AKG, but in newborns a 2-fold increase was observed. These foetal metabolic changes after maternal treatment with dexamethasone might be linked not only with long lasting metabolic disturbances, but also with more frequent coronary heart and cardiovascular diseases in later life. Our results indicate that maternal AKG administration to sows during the last 45 days of pregnancy protects newborns from metabolic disturbances induced by dexamethasone acting at this time and influencing developmental programming of metabolic processes which may persist or appear in later life.
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