RESULTS: The gene expression profile of SUB in the adult sheep was not affected by the pre- or early postnatal nutrition history. In PER, 993 and 186 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified in LOW versus HIGH and NORM, respectively, but no DEG was found between HIGH and NORM. DEGs identified in the mismatched pre- and postnatal nutrition groups LOW-HCHF (101) and HIGH-HCHF (192) were largely downregulated compared to NORM-CONV. Out of 831 DEGs, 595 and 236 were up- and downregulated in HCHF versus CONV, respectively. The functional enrichment analyses revealed that transmembrane (ion) transport activities, motor activities related to cytoskeletal and spermatozoa function (microtubules and the cytoskeletal motor protein, dynein), and responsiveness to the (micro) environmental extracellular conditions, including endocrine and nervous stimuli were enriched in the DEGs of LOW versus HIGH and NORM. We confirmed that mismatched pre- and postnatal feeding was associated with long-term programming of adipose tissue remodeling and immunity-related pathways. In agreement with phenotypic measurements, early postnatal HCHF feeding targeted pathways involved in kidney cell differentiation, and mismatched LOW-HCHF sheep had specific impairments in cholesterol metabolism pathways.
CONCLUSIONS: Both pre- and postnatal malnutrition differentially programmed (patho-) physiological pathways with implications for adipose functional development associated with metabolic dysfunctions, and PER was a major target.