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Leg weakness (LW) issues are a great concern for pig breeding industry. And it also has a serious impact on animal welfare. To dissect the genetic architecture of limb-and-hoof firmness in commercial pigs, a genome-wide association study was conducted on bone mineral density (BMD) in three sow populations, including Duroc, Landrace and Yorkshire. The BMD data were obtained by ultrasound technology from 812 pigs (including Duroc 115, Landrace 243 and Yorkshire 454). In addition, all pigs were genotyped using genome-by-sequencing and a total of 224 162 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were obtained. After quality control, 218 141 SNPs were used for subsequent genome-wide association analysis. Nine significant associations were identified on chromosomes 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12 and 18 that passed Bonferroni correction threshold of 0.05/(total SNP numbers). The most significant locus that associated with BMD (P value = 1.92e−14) was detected at approximately 41.7 Mb on SSC6 (SSC stands for Sus scrofa chromosome). CUL7, PTK7, SRF, VEGFA, RHEB, PRKAR1A and TPO that are located near the lead SNP of significant loci were highlighted as functionally plausible candidate genes for sow limb-and-hoof firmness. Moreover, we also applied a new method to measure the BMD data of pigs by ultrasound technology. The results provide an insight into the genetic architecture of LW and can also help to improve animal welfare in pigs.
Persons suffering from bipolar affective disorder have a wide range of cognitive deficits, but there have been limited understanding of prospective memory performance. Time-based prospective memory is remembering to perform an action at a specific time, whereas event-based prospective memory is remembering to perform an action when an external cue appears.
Assess the time-based and event-based prospective memory performance in Chinese persons diagnosed with bipolar affective disorder.
Identify factors associated with prospective memory performance.
A sample of 40 persons diagnosed with bipolar affective disorder were recruited from a psychiatric outpatient clinic. All participants completed the Cambridge Prospective Memory Test, Rivermead Behavioral Memory Test, Test of Nonverbal Intelligence - Third Edition, the Young Mania Rating Scale and Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression.
The mean total score of the Cambridge Prospective Memory Test of persons diagnosed with bipolar affective disorder was 24.4 ± 7.0. Time-based prospective memory performance was worse than event-based PM task. The Cambridge Prospective Memory Test total score was associated with the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression score and Rivermead Behavioral Memory Test score. The performance of time-based prospective memory tasks was associated with the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression score, and the performance of event-based prospective memory tasks was associated with the Rivermead Behavioral Memory Test total score.
Persons diagnosed with bipolar affective disorder are found to have worse time-based than event-based prospective memory performance. The importance for everyday functioning and independent living needs to be explored in future studies.
To investigate the effect of Chinese herb Danshen-Dahuang on learning and memory ability in rats with Alzheimer disease (AD) induced by D-galactose and AlCl3 and its possible mechanisms.
The AD model was produced by injecting D-galactose and AlCl3 intraperitoneally for 90 days. Since the 20th day of D-galactose and AlCl3 intraperitoneal injection, the rats in Danshen-Dahuang group had been treated with Danshen-Dahuang extraction by intragastric administration for 70 days. Subsequently,learning and memory ability of the mice was evaluated by Morris water maze and hippocampal gene expression of APP, PS1 was tested by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).
Rats intragastric administration with Danshen-Dahuang, mice had shorter latency (P< 0.05) and less error times (P< 0.05) in water maze test compared with those in AD model group. At the same time, Danshen-Dahuang down regulated the expression of APP, PS1 mRNA (P< 0.05) in hippocampus.
Danshen-Dahuang improves the learning and memory ability of AD rats, its mechanism may be related to the downregulated expression of APP, PS1 mRNA.
Studies revealed that prenatal stress (PS) may increase the vulnerability to depression in their offspring, and ERK-CREB signal system might play a role in its mechanism.
Objectives and aims
The present study investigated the effect of MK-801 on depressive-like behavior and its impacts on ERK2, CREB, Bcl-2 mRNA expression in PS female rat offspring.
The pregnant rats were randomly divided into three groups, the control group (Con) was left undisturbed, the PS-saline group (PS-saline) and the PS-MK-801 group (PS-MK-801) were subjected to restraint stress on days 14–20 of pregnancy three times daily for 45 min, and received an i.p. administration of saline or MK-801(sigma, 0.2 mg/kg) 30 min before the first stress respectively. Forced swimming test was undertaken to assess depressive-like behavior in one month female offspring. ERK2, CREB, Bcl-2 mRNA in the hippocampus, frontal cortex, and striatum were detected by RT-PCR.
PS-saline spent significantly more immobile time compared to Con and PS-MK-801 (P < 0.05). ERK2 and CREB mRNA expression in hippocampus and frontal cortex was significantly decreased in PS-saline compared to Con and PS-MK-801 (P < 0.05), while in striatum CREB mRNA expression in PS-saline was lower than Con (P < 0.05). Bcl-2 mRNA expression in hippocampus and striatum was significantly decreased in PS-saline (P < 0.05), and in frontal cortex, its expression was significantly lower in PS-saline and PS-MK-801 (P < 0.05).
PS may suppress ERK-CREB signal pathway in female offspring rats, which could be partly prevented by MK- 801. (Supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China, No: 30970952).
Epidemiological studies have convinced that prenatal stress (PS) might cause offspring depression.
Objectives and aims:
Our pervious research work certified that PS can increases the glutamate level of hippocampus of rat offspring, which inspired us to explore the pathogenesis of depression by focusing on glutamatergic system.
Pregnant rats were randomly assigned to control group (CON), mid prenatal stress group (MPS) and late prenatal stress group (LPS). The pregnant rats of MPS and LPS were exposed to restraint stress on days 7–13, 14–20 of pregnancy three times for 45 min respectively. Tail suspension test (TST) was performed to examine the depression like behavior and Western-blot were used to test phosphorylated GluR1(pGluR1) of AMPAR expression in the hippocampus, striatum and frontal cortex of one month rat offspring.
For both male and female offspring, the time of immobility of TST in LPS (156±11, 155±12) and MPS (173±15, 155±12) was significantly longer (P< 0.05) than CON(118±8,113±12), the latency in MPS (18±3, 24±3) was significantly shorter (P< 0.05) than CON (30±5, 58±11). The pGluR1 expression in hippocampus and frontal cortex in LPS (1.77±0.45, 1.00±0.09) and MPS (1.65±0.51, 1.05±0.18) were significantly lower (P< 0.05) than CON (3.72±0.86, 2.05±0.34) in male rat offspring.
It is suggested that the PS may induce depression like behavior in rat offspring, and glutamate receptors subunit pGluR1 might be involved in the etiology of depression.
(The research is supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China, No: 30970952, 18110059).
There is lack of Cameroonian adult neuropsychological (NP) norms, limited knowledge concerning HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders in Sub-Saharan Africa, and evidence of differential inflammation and disease progression based on viral subtypes. In this study, we developed demographically corrected norms and assessed HIV and viral genotypes effects on attention/working memory (WM), learning, and memory.
We administered two tests of attention/WM [Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (PASAT)-50, Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS)-III Spatial Span] and two tests of learning and memory [Brief Visuospatial Memory Test-Revised (BVMT-R), Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised (HVLT-R)] to 347 HIV+ and 395 seronegative adult Cameroonians. We assessed the effects of viral factors on neurocognitive performance.
Compared to controls, people living with HIV (PLWH) had significantly lower T-scores on PASAT-50 and attention/WM summary scores, on HVLT-R total learning and learning summary scores, on HVLT-R delayed recall, BVMT-R delayed recall and memory summary scores. More PLWH had impairment in attention/WM, learning, and memory. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) and current immune status had no effect on T-scores. Compared to untreated cases with detectable viremia, untreated cases with undetectable viremia had significantly lower (worse) T-scores on BVMT-R total learning, BVMT-R delayed recall, and memory composite scores. Compared to PLWH infected with other subtypes (41.83%), those infected with HIV-1 CRF02_AG (58.17%) had higher (better) attention/WM T-scores.
PLWH in Cameroon have impaired attention/WM, learning, and memory and those infected with CRF02_AG viruses showed reduced deficits in attention/WM. The first adult normative standards for assessing attention/WM, learning, and memory described, with equations for computing demographically adjusted T-scores, will facilitate future studies of diseases affecting cognitive function in Cameroonians.
Yukon Territory (YT) is a remote region in northern Canada with ongoing spread of tuberculosis (TB). To explore the utility of whole genome sequencing (WGS) for TB surveillance and monitoring in a setting with detailed contact tracing and interview data, we used a mixed-methods approach. Our analysis included all culture-confirmed cases in YT (2005–2014) and incorporated data from 24-locus Mycobacterial Interspersed Repetitive Units-Variable Number of Tandem Repeats (MIRU-VNTR) genotyping, WGS and contact tracing. We compared field-based (contact investigation (CI) data + MIRU-VNTR) and genomic-based (WGS + MIRU-VNTR + basic case data) investigations to identify the most likely source of each person's TB and assessed the knowledge, attitudes and practices of programme personnel around genotyping and genomics using online, multiple-choice surveys (n = 4) and an in-person group interview (n = 5). Field- and genomics-based approaches agreed for 26 of 32 (81%) cases on likely location of TB acquisition. There was less agreement in the identification of specific source cases (13/22 or 59% of cases). Single-locus MIRU-VNTR variants and limited genetic diversity complicated the analysis. Qualitative data indicated that participants viewed genomic epidemiology as a useful tool to streamline investigations, particularly in differentiating latent TB reactivation from the recent transmission. Based on this, genomic data could be used to enhance CIs, focus resources, target interventions and aid in TB programme evaluation.
Apolipoprotein E (APOE) E4 is the main genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Due to the consistent association, there is interest as to whether E4 influences the risk of other neurodegenerative diseases. Further, there is a constant search for other genetic biomarkers contributing to these phenotypes, such as microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) haplotypes. Here, participants from the Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative were genotyped to investigate whether the APOE E4 allele or MAPT H1 haplotype are associated with five neurodegenerative diseases: (1) AD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI), (2) amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, (3) frontotemporal dementia (FTD), (4) Parkinson’s disease, and (5) vascular cognitive impairment.
Genotypes were defined for their respective APOE allele and MAPT haplotype calls for each participant, and logistic regression analyses were performed to identify the associations with the presentations of neurodegenerative diseases.
Our work confirmed the association of the E4 allele with a dose-dependent increased presentation of AD, and an association between the E4 allele alone and MCI; however, the other four diseases were not associated with E4. Further, the APOE E2 allele was associated with decreased presentation of both AD and MCI. No associations were identified between MAPT haplotype and the neurodegenerative disease cohorts; but following subtyping of the FTD cohort, the H1 haplotype was significantly associated with progressive supranuclear palsy.
This is the first study to concurrently analyze the association of APOE isoforms and MAPT haplotypes with five neurodegenerative diseases using consistent enrollment criteria and broad phenotypic analysis.
We present ALMA [CII] line and far-infrared (FIR) continuum observations of seven z > 6 low-luminosity quasars (M1450 > −25 mag) discovered by our on-going Subaru Hyper Suprime-Cam survey. The [CII] line was detected in all targets with luminosities of ∼(2−10) × 108 L⊙, about one order of magnitude smaller than optically luminous quasars. Also found was a wide scatter of FIR continuum luminosity, ranging from LFIR < 1011L⊙ to ∼2 × 1012L⊙. With the [CII]-based dynamical mass, we suggest that a significant fraction of low-luminosity quasars are located on or even below the local Magorrian relation, particularly at the massive end of the galaxy mass distribution. This is a clear contrast to the previous finding that luminous quasars tend to have overmassive black holes relative to the relation. Our result is expected to show a less-biased nature of the early co-evolution of black holes and their host galaxies.
Few studies have used genomic epidemiology to understand tuberculosis (TB) transmission in rural and remote settings – regions often unique in history, geography and demographics. To improve our understanding of TB transmission dynamics in Yukon Territory (YT), a circumpolar Canadian territory, we conducted a retrospective analysis in which we combined epidemiological data collected through routine contact investigations with clinical and laboratory results. Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from all culture-confirmed TB cases in YT (2005–2014) were genotyped using 24-locus Mycobacterial Interspersed Repetitive Units-Variable Number of Tandem Repeats (MIRU-VNTR) and compared to each other and to those from the neighbouring province of British Columbia (BC). Whole genome sequencing (WGS) of genotypically clustered isolates revealed three sustained transmission networks within YT, two of which also involved BC isolates. While each network had distinct characteristics, all had at least one individual acting as the probable source of three or more culture-positive cases. Overall, WGS revealed that TB transmission dynamics in YT are distinct from patterns of spread in other, more remote Northern Canadian regions, and that the combination of WGS and epidemiological data can provide actionable information to local public health teams.
An improved variational optimization approach is established to optimize and analyse the propulsion efficiency of the high-altitude contra-rotating propellers for high-altitude airships based on the Vortex Lattice Lifting Line Method. The optimum radial circulation distribution, chord and pitch distribution are optimized under the maximum lift-to-drag ratio of aerofoils. To consider the effects of the actual Reynolds number and the Mach number of each aerofoil section, aerodynamics such as lift coefficient, drag coefficient and lift-to-ratio are obtained by interpolating a CFD database, which is established by numerical simulations under different Reynolds number, Mach number and angles-of-attack. The improved method is verified by validation cases on a high-altitude CRP using the three-dimensional steady Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes solver and moving reference frames technique. The optimization results of thrust, torque and efficiency for both the individual front/rear propeller and CRP are shown to agree reasonably well with the CFD results. Using the improved approach, the influence of blade numbers, diameter, rotation speeds, axial distance and torque ratio on the optimum efficiency of CRPs is illustrated in detail by conducting parametric studies.
Previous studies have demonstrated that type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) could be triggered by an early childhood infection. Whether maternal infection during pregnancy is associated with T1DM in offspring is unknown. Therefore, we aimed to study the association using a systematic review and meta-analysis. Eighteen studies including 4304 cases and 25 846 participants were enrolled in this meta-analysis. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were synthesised using random-effects models. Subgroup analyses and sensitivity analyses were conducted to assess the robustness of associations. Overall, the pooled analysis yielded a statistically significant association between maternal infection during pregnancy and childhood T1DM (OR 1.31, 95% CI 1.07–1.62). Furthermore, six studies that tested maternal enterovirus infection showed a pooled OR of 1.54 (95% CI 1.05–2.27). Heterogeneity from different studies was evident (I2 = 70.1%, P < 0.001) and was mainly attributable to the different study designs, ascertaining methods and sample size among different studies. This study provides evidence for an association between maternal infection during pregnancy and childhood T1DM.
Influenza is a long-standing public health concern, but its transmission remains poorly understood. To have a better knowledge of influenza transmission, we carried out a detailed modelling investigation in a nosocomial influenza outbreak in Hong Kong. We identified three hypothesised transmission modes between index patient and other inpatients based on the long-range airborne and fomite routes. We considered three kinds of healthcare workers’ routine round pathways in 1140 scenarios with various values of important parameters. In each scenario, we used a multi-agent modelling framework to estimate the infection risk for each hypothesis and conducted least-squares fitting to evaluate the hypotheses by comparing the distribution of the infection risk with that of the attack rates. Amongst the hypotheses tested in the 1140 scenarios, the prediction of modes involving the long-range airborne route fit better with the attack rates, and that of the two-route transmission mode had the best fit, with the long-range airborne route contributing about 94% and the fomite route contributing 6% to the infections. Under the assumed conditions, the influenza virus was likely to have spread via a combined long-range airborne and fomite routes, with the former predominant and the latter negligible.
Introduction: Accurate identification of children with a concussion by emergency department (ED) physicians is important to initiate appropriate anticipatory guidance and management. In children meeting international criteria for concussion, we aimed to determine the proportion who were provided this diagnosis by the ED physician and which variables were associated with a physician-diagnosed concussion. We also compared persistent symptoms in concussion cases versus those with alternative diagnoses. Methods: This was a planned secondary analysis of a prospective, multicenter cohort study. Participants were children aged 5 through 17 years and met Zurich/Berlin International Consensus Statement criteria for concussion. The primary outcome was the proportion of study participants who were assigned a diagnosis of concussion by the treating ED physician. Based on available evidence, between 50% and 90% of children meeting international concussion criteria are also diagnosed by an ED physician as having a concussion. Assuming a worst case scenario that 50% of physicians would diagnose concussion, our anticipated study sample size of 2946 would be accompanied by a +2% margin of error at the 95% confidence level for the primary outcome. Results: Among the 2946 eligible children, 2340 [79.4% (95% CI 78.0, 80.8)] were diagnosed with a concussion by an ED physician. Twelve variables were associated with this ED diagnosis, five of which had an odds ratio (OR) > 1.5: older age (13-17 vs 5-7 years, OR=2.9), longer time to presentation (>16 vs. <16 hours, OR=2.1), nausea (OR=1.7), sport mechanism (OR=1.7), and amnesia (OR=1.6). In those with physician-diagnosed concussion versus no concussion, the frequency of persistent symptoms was 62.5% vs. 38.8% (p<0.0001) at one week, 46.3% vs. 25.8% (p<0.0001) at two weeks and 33.0% vs. 23.0% (p<0.0001) at four weeks. Conclusion: Most children meeting international criteria for concussion were provided this diagnosis by the ED physician. There were five variables which increased the odds of this diagnosis by at least 1.5-fold. Relative to international criteria, the more selective assignment of concussion by ED physicians was associated with a greater frequency of persistent concussion symptoms. Nevertheless, many patients with alternative diagnoses exhibited persistent concussive symptoms at all time points. Clinicians should therefore weigh the benefits and risks of strictly applying the Zurich/Berlin international criteria versus individual discretion.
Introduction: Acute atrial fibrillation (AAF) is the most common arrhythmia managed in the Emergency Department (ED). Direct costs of AAF are primarily attributed to ED visits and subsequent admission to hospital. A better understanding of patients attitudes regarding ED attendance is necessary to develop strategies to improve the patient care experience while simultaneously reducing ED presentation and inappropriate hospital admissions. This study aims to describe patient perspectives on ED use for AAF using in-depth qualitative interviews. Methods: An interview template designed to explore why patients attend the ED for AAF was constructed based on the Theoretical Domains Framework, a theory-informed approach that utilizes 14 domains to describe influencers of behavior. We conducted audio-recorded, semi-structured interviews of patients following their presentation to the ED for management of AAF. Interviews were anonymized, transcribed and imported into NVivo for coding and analysis. Two independent reviewers used a direct approach to code participant statements. Discrepancies were resolved by a third party. Belief statements were generated and relevant domains identified based on high frequency scores, conflicting belief statements or evidence of strong influencing beliefs. Results: 12 patient interviews, mean age 63.1 years, 91.7% male, 75.0% recurrent AAF, were completed. Patients stated that they attended the ED because: 1) symptom severity; 2) they were instructed by physicians to attend the ED should their AAF recur; and 3) they were encouraged by family members to attend. Their primary goal was to have relief of their symptoms. There was no expectation of specialist consultation or admission to hospital. Even though most patients stated they were open to managing these episodes independently, they reported that they did not have the knowledge or tools to do so. Conclusion: Patients with AAF present to the ED because of their symptom burden, social influences (physician and family) and lack of other management options. This study demonstrates the need for development of patient self-management strategies which will empower patients in their disease management and may decrease future ED visits.
Coinfection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and viral hepatitis is associated with high morbidity and mortality in the absence of clinical management, making identification of these cases crucial. We examined characteristics of HIV and viral hepatitis coinfections by using surveillance data from 15 US states and two cities. Each jurisdiction used an automated deterministic matching method to link surveillance data for persons with reported acute and chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections, to persons reported with HIV infection. Of the 504 398 persons living with diagnosed HIV infection at the end of 2014, 2.0% were coinfected with HBV and 6.7% were coinfected with HCV. Of the 269 884 persons ever reported with HBV, 5.2% were reported with HIV. Of the 1 093 050 persons ever reported with HCV, 4.3% were reported with HIV. A greater proportion of persons coinfected with HIV and HBV were males and blacks/African Americans, compared with those with HIV monoinfection. Persons who inject drugs represented a greater proportion of those coinfected with HIV and HCV, compared with those with HIV monoinfection. Matching HIV and viral hepatitis surveillance data highlights epidemiological characteristics of persons coinfected and can be used to routinely monitor health status and guide state and national public health interventions.
The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) has been shown to be involved in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced immune responses in many mammal cells. Here, we suggest that the mTOR pathway is involved in the intestinal inflammatory responses evoked by LPS treatment in chicken embryos. The intestinal tissue from Specific pathogen free chick embryos was cultured in the presence of LPS for 2 h. Secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA) concentrations, messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of cytokines, and protein levels of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), mTOR and p70 ribosomal S6 kinase (p70S6K) were determined. The results showed that LPS treatment increased sIgA concentrations in a dose-dependent manner. The mRNA levels of interleukine (IL)-6, IL-8, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor-α and Toll-like receptor (TLR) 4 were upregulated by LPS treatment (P<0.05). Lipopolysaccharide increased the phosphorylation of Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), p38 MAPK and NF-κB (P<0.05) while decreasing the phosphorylation level of mTOR (P<0.05). Supplementation of leucine at doses of 10, 20 and 40 mM dose-dependently decreased sIgA production. Leucine supplementation at 40 mM restored the phosphorylation level of mTOR and p70S6K while suppressing the phosphorylation levels of NF-κB (P<0.05) and partially down-regulating the phosphorylation of p38 MAPK and JNK. The transcription of IL-6 was significantly decreased by leucine supplementation. These results suggested that leucine could alleviate LPS-induced inflammatory responses by down-regulating NF-κB signaling pathway and evoking mTOR/p70S6K signaling pathway, which may involve in the regulation of the intestinal immune system in chicken embryos.
To assess the burden of bloodstream infections (BSIs) among pediatric hematology-oncology (PHO) inpatients, to propose a comprehensive, all-BSI tracking approach, and to discuss how such an approach helps better inform within-center and across-center differences in CLABSI rate
Prospective cohort study
US multicenter, quality-improvement, BSI prevention network
PHO centers across the United States who agreed to follow a standardized central-line–maintenance care bundle and track all BSI events and central-line days every month.
Infections were categorized as CLABSI (stratified by mucosal barrier injury–related, laboratory-confirmed BSI [MBI-LCBI] versus non–MBI-LCBI) and secondary BSI, using National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) definitions. Single positive blood cultures (SPBCs) with NHSN defined common commensals were also tracked.
Between 2013 and 2015, 34 PHO centers reported 1,110 BSIs. Among them, 708 (63.8%) were CLABSIs, 170 (15.3%) were secondary BSIs, and 232 (20.9%) were SPBCs. Most SPBCs (75%) occurred in patients with profound neutropenia; 22% of SPBCs were viridans group streptococci. Among the CLABSIs, 51% were MBI-LCBI. Excluding SPBCs, CLABSI rates were higher (88% vs 77%) and secondary BSI rates were lower (12% vs 23%) after the NHSN updated the definition of secondary BSI (P<.001). Preliminary analyses showed across-center differences in CLABSI versus secondary BSI and between SPBC and CLABSI versus non-CLABSI rates.
Tracking all BSIs, not just CLABSIs in PHO patients, is a patient-centered, clinically relevant approach that could help better assess across-center and within-center differences in infection rates, including CLABSI. This approach enables informed decision making by healthcare providers, payors, and the public.
Placental transport of vitamin D and other nutrients (e.g. amino acids, fats and glucose) to the fetus is sensitive to maternal and fetal nutritional cues. We studied the effect of maternal calorific restriction on fetal vitamin D status and the placental expression of genes for nutrient transport [aromatic T-type amino acid transporter-1 (TAT-1); triglyceride hydrolase/lipoprotein uptake facilitator lipoprotein lipase (LPL)] and vitamin D homeostasis [CYP27B1; vitamin D receptor (VDR)], and their association with markers of fetal cardiovascular function and skeletal muscle growth. Pregnant sheep received 100% total metabolizable energy (ME) requirements (control), 40% total ME requirements peri-implantation [PI40, 1–31 days of gestation (dGA)] or 50% total ME requirements in late gestation (L, 104–127 dGA). Fetal, but not maternal, plasma 25-hydroxy-vitamin D (25OHD) concentration was lower in PI40 and L maternal undernutrition groups (P<0.01) compared with the control group at 0.86 gestation. PI40 group placental CYP27B1 messenger RNA (mRNA) levels were increased (P<0.05) compared with the control group. Across all groups, higher fetal plasma 25OHD concentration was associated with higher skeletal muscle myofibre and capillary density (P<0.05). In the placenta, higher VDR mRNA levels were associated with higher TAT-1 (P<0.05) and LPL (P<0.01) mRNA levels. In the PI40 maternal undernutrition group only, reduced fetal plasma 25OHD concentration may be mediated in part by altered placental CYP27B1. The association between placental mRNA levels of VDR and nutrient transport genes suggests a way in which the placenta may integrate nutritional cues in the face of maternal dietary challenges and alter fetal physiology.