U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


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Published in Proceedings, Western Section, American Society of Animal Science (2009) 60: 368-371.


Objectives were to investigate the effects of maternal nutrition and Se supply during gestation on lamb jejunal mucosa, heart, and skeletal muscle RNA, DNA, and protein. Rambouillet ewe lambs (n = 84) were allotted to a 2 x 3 factorial design including dietary factors of Se [adequate Se (ASe; 11.5 μg/kg BW) or high Se (HSe; 77.0 μg/kg BW)] and nutritional plane [60% (RES), 100% (CON), or 140% (HIGH)]. At breeding Se treatments were initiated followed by nutritional treatments on d 40 of gestation. At birth, lambs (n = 13, 14, 14, 12, 13, and 15 for ASe-RES, ASe-CON, ASe-HIGH, HSe-RES, HSe-CON, and HSe-HIGH, respectively) were removed from ewes before nursing, placed in a common pen, and group fed until necropsy at 20.6 ± 0.9 d of age. Maternal nutritional plane affected (P ≤ 0.07) offspring jejunal mucosal scrape concentration (mg/g) and total content (mg) of DNA where RES was least, HIGH greatest, and CON intermediate. Plane of nutrition also affected (P = 0.07) right ventricle DNA content where RES (189.8 ± 11.8 mg) was least, HIGH (208.2 ± 11.2 mg) intermediate, and CON (227.7 ± 11.3 mg) greatest. Maternal Se supplementation decreased (P = 0.08) left ventricle protein:DNA in offspring. For lamb right ventricle, RNA concentration was greatest (P = 0.05) for ASe-RES and least for HSe-RES with all other treatments intermediate. However when lamb right ventricle RNA was expressed as total content, HSe-RES was least (P = 0.02), ASe-HIGH intermediate, and all other treatments were greater. When RNA:DNA was calculated in right ventricle, ASe-RES and HSe-HIGH were greatest (P = 0.02), ASe-CON intermediate, and ASe-HIGH, HSe- RES, and HSe-CON least. Skeletal muscle RNA concentration and RNA:DNA were least (P < 0.05) for ASe-HIGH, intermediate for HSe-RES and HSe-CON, and greatest for ASe-RES, ASe-CON, and HSe-HIGH. These data indicate cellularity estimates have tissue specific responses to maternal nutritional plane and Se supply.