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Mechanisms linking maternal nutrient restriction (MNR) to intra-uterine growth restriction (IUGR) and programming of adult disease remain to be established. The impact of controlled MNR on maternal and fetal amino acid metabolism has not been studied in non-human primates. We hypothesised that MNR in pregnant baboons decreases fetal amino acid availability by mid-gestation. We determined maternal and fetal circulating amino acid concentrations at 90 d gestation (90dG, term 184dG) in control baboons fed ad libitum (C, n 8) or 70 % of C (MNR, n 6). Before pregnancy, C and MNR body weights and circulating amino acids were similar. At 90dG, MNR mothers had lower body weight than C mothers (P< 0·05). Fetal and placental weights were similar between the groups. MNR reduced maternal blood urea N (BUN), fetal BUN and fetal BUN:creatinine. Except for histidine and lysine in the C and MNR groups and glutamine in the MNR group, circulating concentrations of all amino acids were lower at 90dG compared with pre-pregnancy. Maternal circulating amino acids at 90dG were similar in the MNR and C groups. In contrast, MNR fetal β-alanine, glycine and taurine all increased. In conclusion, maternal circulating amino acids were maintained at normal levels and fetal amino acid availability was not impaired in response to 30 % global MNR in pregnant baboons. However, MNR weight gain was reduced, suggesting adaptation in maternal–fetal resource allocation in an attempt to maintain normal fetal growth. We speculate that these adaptive mechanisms may fail later in gestation when fetal nutrient demands increase rapidly, resulting in IUGR.
The cold-based termini of polythermal glaciers are usually assumed to adhere strongly to an immobile substrate and thereby supply significant resistance to the flow of warm-based ice up-glacier. This compressive environment is commonly thought to uplift basal sediment to the surface of the glacier by folding and thrust faulting. We present model and field evidence from the terminus of Storglaciären, Sweden, showing that the cold margin provides limited resistance to flow from up-glacier. Ice temperatures indicate that basal freezing occurs in this zone at 10−1 −10−2 m a−1, but model results indicate that basal motion at rates greater than 1 m a−1 must, nevertheless, persist there for surface and basal velocities to be consistent with measurements. Estimated longitudinal compressive stresses of 20–25 kPa within the terminus further indicate that basal resistance offered by the cold-based terminus is small. These results indicate that where polythermal glaciers are underlain by unlithified sediments, ice-flow trajectories and sediment transport pathways may be affected by subglacial topography and hydrology more than by the basal thermal regime.
The state of stress may be produced in the body by many causes, but the hypothalamopituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis plays a central coordinating role in the response to both internal and external stressors, substantially mediated through the release of corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH) and arginine-vasopressin (AVP). At every stage healthy development presumes the ready availability of a suitable mix of nutrients to support the current needs for cellular growth, elaboration, maturation, function and replication. Placental function plays a critical determining role in the process of fetal programming and the determination of the fetal phenotype. The changes in growth are associated with long-term alterations in behaviour, circulating levels of glucocorticoids and the set of the HPA axis in the offspring. Prepregnancy obesity is increasingly common, and despite the reality of obesity-related infertility assisted technologies enable more to become pregnant.
Results of previous studies on fish intake and stroke risk have been inconclusive. Different stroke types have often not been separated. Our aim was to elucidate whether intake of fish, Hg or the sum of proportions of fatty acids EPA (20 : 5n-3) and DHA (22 : 6n-3) influence the risk of haemorrhagic or ischaemic stroke. Within a population-based cohort from a community intervention programme, 369 stroke cases and 738 matched controls were identified and included in the present nested case–control study. Information on fish intake had been recorded at recruitment, i.e. before diagnosis. Hg levels were determined in erythrocyte membranes, also collected at recruitment, and the relative content of fatty acids was measured in erythrocyte membranes or plasma phospholipids. The results showed that in women there was a non-significant decrease in stroke risk with increasing fish intake (OR 0·90 (95 % CI 0·73, 1·11) per meal per week). The risk in women differed significantly (P = 0·03) from that in men, in whom the OR for stroke rose with increasing fish intake (OR 1·24 (95 % CI 1·01, 1·51) per meal per week). The corresponding risk in men for Hg was 0·99 (95 % CI 0·93, 1·06), and for the sum of proportions of EPA and DHA 1·08 (95 % CI 0·92, 1·28). We conclude that the relationship between stroke risk and fish intake seems to be different in men and women. Increased levels of EPA and DHA do not decrease the risk for stroke and there is no association between stroke risk and Hg at these low levels.
The discussion on global change has led to increased interest in glacier mass balance since glaciers can be used as climatic indicators. To meet the need for high-quality mass-balance data requires critical examination of traditional mass-balance methods and their possible errors. One issue regarding mass-balance measurements that has received little attention is internal accumulation. Our study shows that internal accumulation in the firn layer of Storglaciären, Sweden, significantly affects the mass balance of the glacier. This occurs because the winter cold wave penetrates below the previous year’s summer surface and into underlying firn. We estimated internal accumulation from measurements of temperature and water content in firn. The depth of the 0°C isotherm correlated with snow depth and air temperature, so that low snow depth and low air temperature separately cause a deeper 0°C isotherm. We determined irreducible gravimetric water content in firn to 2–3%, which corresponds to an irreducible water saturation of 6–8%. Our value for firn is relatively high compared with that for snow, probably due to trapped water in isolated firn pores. Refreezing of percolating meltwater in spring accounted for ~30% of annual internal accumulation. The remaining 70% was due to re-freezing of retained capillary water in firn pores during winter. Disregarding internal accumulation would lead to underestimation of annual net mass balance by 0.04–0.06 m w.e., corresponding to 3–5% of annual accumulation of the entire glacier in an average year. Hence, internal accumulation potentially becomes a source for systematic error if not accounted in mass-balance measurements.
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