Nutritional state in the gestation period influences fetal growth and development. We hypothesized that undernutrition during gestation would affect offspring sleep architecture and/or homeostasis. Pregnant female mice were assigned to either control (fed ad libitum; AD) or 50% dietary restriction (DR) groups from gestation day 12 to parturition. After parturition, dams were fed AD chow. After weaning, the pups were also fed AD into adulthood. At adulthood (aged 8-9 weeks), we carried out sleep recordings. Although offspring mice displayed a significantly reduced body weight at birth, their weights recovered three days after birth. Enhancement of electroencephalogram (EEG) slow wave activity (SWA) during non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep was observed in the DR mice over a 24-hour period without changing the diurnal pattern or amounts of wake, NREM, or rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. In addition, DR mice also displayed an enhancement of EEG-SWA rebound after a 6-hour sleep deprivation and a higher threshold for waking in the face of external stimuli. DR adult offspring mice exhibited small but significant increases in the expression of hypothalamic peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (Pparα) and brain-specific carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 (Cpt1c) mRNA, two genes involved in lipid metabolism. Undernutrition during pregnancy may influence sleep homeostasis, with offspring exhibiting greater sleep pressure. © 2013 Shimizu et al.
Shimizu, N., Chikahisa, S., Nishi, Y., Harada, S., Iwaki, Y., Fujihara, H., … Séi, H. (2013). Maternal Dietary Restriction Alters Offspring’s Sleep Homeostasis. PLoS ONE, 8(5). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0064263