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Amy Paten

Doctor of Philosophy, (Animal science)
Study Completed: 2015
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Maternal nutritional programming in the sheep: Effects on post-natal growth, mammogenesis and lactation in adult-ewe offspring

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Ms Paten''sresearch investigated developmental programming effects of maternal nutrition during early- (day 21 to 50 of gestation, sub-maintenance vs. maintenance vs. ad libitum nutrition) and mid-to-late pregnancy (day 50 to 140 of gestation, maintenance vs. ad libitum nutrition) on the post-natal growth and lactation performance of adult-ewe offspring. Ms Paten examined gene expression to identify underlying molecular mechanisms. Early pregnancy was found to be the critical programming period, such that ewe offspring exposed to maternal under- or over-nutrition during this time produced less milk during their first lactation, in comparison to ewes exposed to maternal maintenance nutrition during early pregnancy. Differences in the expression of genes associated with cell growth and division indicated that nutritional programming might alter the number of milk secretory mammary cells in adult-ewe offspring. These novel findings provide new insights into the developmental programming of the mammary gland and lactation performance. 

Professor Paul Kenyon
Dr Sam Peterson
Professor Hugh Blair
Dr Sarah Pain

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