Effect of moderate, 30 percent global maternal nutrient reduction on fetal and postnatal baboon phenotype

J Med Primatol. 2017 Dec;46(6):293-303. doi: 10.1111/jmp.12290. Epub 2017 Jul 26.


Background: Most developmental programming studies on maternal nutrient reduction (MNR) are in altricial rodents whose maternal nutritional burden and offspring developmental trajectory differ from precocial non-human primates and humans.

Methods: Control (CTR) baboon mothers ate ad libitum; MNR mothers ate 70% global control diet in pregnancy and lactation.

Results: We present offspring morphometry, blood cortisol, and adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) during second half of gestation (G) and first three postnatal years. Moderate MNR produced intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). IUGR males (n=43) and females (n=28) were smaller than CTR males (n=50) and females (n=47) in many measurements at many ages. In CTR, fetal ACTH increased 228% and cortisol 48% between 0.65G and 0.9G. IUGR ACTH was elevated at 0.65G and cortisol at 0.9G. 0.9G maternal gestational weight gain, fetal weight, and placenta weight were correlated.

Conclusions: Moderate IUGR decreased body weight and morphometric measurements at key time points and altered hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal function.

Keywords: Papio; cortisol; developmental programming; intrauterine growth restriction; maternal nutrition; non-human primates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone / blood
  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Animals
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / etiology
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / physiopathology*
  • Fetus / physiology*
  • Hydrocortisone / blood
  • Lactation
  • Male
  • Monkey Diseases / etiology
  • Monkey Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Papio hamadryas* / growth & development
  • Phenotype*
  • Pregnancy


  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone
  • Hydrocortisone