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Continuous Video Monitoring of Zoo Cheetahs Demonstrates Differential Engagement Patterns for Six Different Types of Environmental Enrichment; Placental Insufficiency Indicators Improve in Intrauterine Growth-Restricted Fetal Sheep Receiving Daily ω-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Infusions; Investigation of Differentially Expressed Transcripts of the Adipose Tissue in Fetal and Neonatal IUGR Sheep

Haley N Beer, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

The objective of our first study was to continuously monitor three zoo-housed cheetahs by videography and assess the effects of different sensory-based environmental enrichment items on their daytime and nighttime enrichment engagement and grooming behaviors. Two each of tactile, visual, and olfactory enrichment items (six total) were each offered to the cheetahs on four separate occasions (twice at day, twice at night). Our findings show that sensory enrichment evoked qualitatively variable behavioral responses, that visual enrichment items generally evoked longer and more frequent engagement, that daytime vs. nighttime of behaviors differed among items, and that frequency and duration of grooming behaviors were generally inverse to enrichment engagement. We conclude that zoo-housed cheetahs benefit from robust, individualized enrichment programs. The objective of our second study was to assess the impact of 5-day infusion of the ω-3 PUFA, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), into IUGR fetal sheep on maternofetal nutrient and O2 gradients. Infusion of the anti-inflammatory EPA appeared to partially improve IUGR-impaired placental nutrient transport as shown by reduced maternofetal carbohydrate and O2 gradients. EPA also improved several IUGR-impaired fetal health indicators. Interestingly, indicators of improved placental function appeared despite no improvement in histological indicators of placental lipid droplet size or fibrosis. We conclude that inflammation contributes to placental insufficiency and that anti-inflammatory ω-3 PUFA are a reasonable potential intervention. The objective of our final study was to identify differentially-expressed genes in the visceral adipose transcriptome of fetal and neonatal sheep made IUGR by maternofetal inflammation or heat stress. Based on the 846 altered molecular pathways, with 42 loci differentially-expressed across the respective experiments, we conclude that both models predictably demonstrated changes to the adipose regulation of metabolism indicative of the environmental conditions and time of onset.

Subject Area

Physiology|Genetics|Animal sciences

Recommended Citation

Beer, Haley N, "Continuous Video Monitoring of Zoo Cheetahs Demonstrates Differential Engagement Patterns for Six Different Types of Environmental Enrichment; Placental Insufficiency Indicators Improve in Intrauterine Growth-Restricted Fetal Sheep Receiving Daily ω-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Infusions; Investigation of Differentially Expressed Transcripts of the Adipose Tissue in Fetal and Neonatal IUGR Sheep" (2022). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI30000808.
https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI30000808

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