Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
International Journal of Endocrinology
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 916918, 12 pages
Research Article

Effects of Maternal Hypoxia during Pregnancy on Bone Development in Offspring: A Guinea Pig Model

1Sansom Institute for Health Research, School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, City East Campus, GPO Box 2471, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia
2Discipline of Physiology, School of Medical Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia

Received 10 January 2014; Revised 9 April 2014; Accepted 10 April 2014; Published 14 May 2014

Academic Editor: Andreas Höflich

Copyright © 2014 Alice M. C. Lee et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Low birth weight is associated with reduced bone mass and density in adult life. However, effects of maternal hypoxia (MH) on offspring bone development are not known. Objective. The current study investigated the effects of fetal growth restriction induced by MH during the last half of gestation on bone structure and volume in the offspring of the fetus near term and the pup in adolescence. Methods. During 35–62-day gestation (term, 69d), guinea pigs were housed in room air (21% O2; control) or 12% O2 (MH). Offspring femur and tibia were collected at 62d gestation and 120d after birth. Results. MH decreased fetal birth weight but did not affect osteogenic potential pools in the fetal bone marrow. Histological analysis showed no effects of MH on tibial growth plate thickness in either fetal or postnatal offspring, although there was increased VEGF mRNA expression in the growth plate of postnatal offspring. MH did not change primary spongiosa height but lowered collagen-1 mRNA expression in postnatal offspring. There was increased mRNA expression of adipogenesis-related gene (FABP4) in bone from the MH postnatal offspring. Conclusion. MH during late gestation did not change the pool of osteogenic cells before birth or growth plate heights before and after birth. However, MH reduced expression of bone formation marker (collagen-1) and increased expression of fat formation marker (FABP4) in postnatal offspring bone.