Maternal Obese Ovine Cardiovascular Data

Published: 21 June 2022| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/x8726jyg2v.1
Chris Pankey


We have developed an ovine model of diet-induced maternal obesity in an attempt to investigate the cardiovascular consequences of maternal obesity. We propose this as a strong model for investigating our research questions given the parallels observed between sheep and humans. The model in this study has been used extensively to examine maternal obesity during gestation.


Steps to reproduce

Multiparous Rambouillet/Columbia cross ewes were bred to a single ram to produce first generation (F1) lambs and fetuses. Ewes were and randomly assigned to either a control (CON) or obese (OB) diet 60 d prior to conception through term. Diets consisted of a pelleted ration, supplemented with high quality alfalfa, calculated to provide 100 % (CON) or 150% (OB) of the nutritional requirements recommended by the National Research Council (19) (NRC). Diets were maintained until necropsy or through term. After parturition, all ewes were given ad libitum access to high-quality alfalfa hay and were supplemented with corn to meet NRC recommendations for a lactating ewe. Due to sample size constraints in male offspring, only female F1 were assessed in the current study. These methods were replicated to produce three separate cohorts, allowing the assessment of three developmental time points; fetal (0.9 of gestation), neonatal (2.5 months after birth), and advanced age (9 years old). Pregnant ewes were sacrificed at 0.9 gestation (d135; term 150 d). Ewes were sedated with intravenous ketamine (22.2 mg/kg body weight), and maintained under isoflurane inhalation anesthesia (2.5%). Fetuses were euthanized via exsanguination while still under anesthesia, followed by maternal exsanguination while still under anesthesia, allowing for fetal tissue collection (for n = 5 CONF1 and n = 6 OBF1). All other ewes were allowed to lamb unassisted, and F1 were housed together with their age group and maintained on 100% NRC recommendations throughout life. At 2.5 months of age blood pressure and echocardiograms were recorded for n=9 CON and n=6 OB lambs. Similarly, blood pressure and echocardiograms were recorded in n=5 CON and n=8 OB F1 ewes at 9 years of age.


University of Wyoming, West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine


Fetal Programming