The Joint Annual Scientific Meetings of the Endocrine Society of Australia and the Society for Reproductive Biology 2018

Critical windows and experimental models programming developmental disease risk (#165)

Mary Wlodek 1
  1. Department of Physiology, School of Biomedical Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Professor Wlodek Mary is a global leader in developmental origins physiological research and will present her research findings using her successful experimental models that mimic human pregnancy complications. Her experimental model of growth restriction has growth profiles, organ deficits and phenotypes like those observed in babies born small who are susceptible to adult cardiorenal disease, diabetes and obesity. Generally, males, but not females, born small have a greater risk of developing such diseases despite females also presenting with organ deficits which might render them susceptible to additional lifestyle challenges including pregnancy, stress and obesity. How growth restricted offspring respond to lifestyle interventions such as nutrition and exercise can reprogram these diseases and deficits will be described. Experimental models of gestational diabetes and maternal stress with pregnancy onset have also been developed. How the key critical windows of adolescence, pregnancy and the postnatal lactational period program developmental disease risk will be discussed. Our experimental research approaches provide insight into critical windows and mechanisms programming and preventing disease risk with implications to improve human health and that of future unborn generations.