Relative food intake of rats submitted to a moderate transgenerational undernutrition.

Growth Dev Aging 2002 ;65(2):83-93

Centro de Investigaciones en Genética Básica y Aplicada (CIGEBA), Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina.

An experiment on rat undernutrition through seven generations was performed in order to see: (1) whether the nutritional stress on growth increases from one generation to the next, and (2) if an equilibrium point (AFP) in which the RFI--the amount of food intake (mg) per gram of body weight--reached is the same in both control and undernourished animals. The RFI values were calculated for each generation, between the 30th and 100th days of age. A moderate undernutrition was applied to the seven generations (F1 to F7) following the parental (P) one, which acted as controls. Undernourishment was made from conception to the end of the experiment (100 days old). The RFI values diminished with the age increment and increased through generations. There was, however, a clear AFP of 75.9 +/- 3.5 mg/g at 100 days of age in males, and of 78.7 +/- 4.2 mg/g at 90 days of age in females. A clear cumulative increment of RFI through the filial generations was also found at intermediate growth ages. The frequently argued nongenetic transmission of the nutritional deficiencies from parents to descendants was corroborated with the present results. Such cumulative effect was evident at ages before the AFP was reached; i.e., when the decrement in body mass of the undernourished animals was not yet equilibrated with the amount of available nutrients.

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September 2002

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