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Keywords:

  • animal models;
  • epigenetic modifications;
  • insulin signalling;
  • intrauterine growth restriction;
  • low birth weight;
  • type 2 diabetes

Abstract.

It is widely accepted that an association exists between the intrauterine environment in which a fetus grows and develops and the subsequent development of type 2 diabetes. Any disturbance in maternal ability to provide nutrients and oxygen to the fetus can lead to fetal intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). Here we will review IUGR in rodent models, in which maternal metabolism has been experimentally manipulated to investigate the molecular basis of the relationship between IUGR and development of type 2 diabetes in later life, and the identification of the molecular derangements in specific metabolically - sensitive organs/tissues.