The combined effect of ultrasonic exposure and protein restriction on maternal and fetal mice

Hyun kyung Lee Kim, Mary Frances Picciano, William D. O'Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This investigation was undertaken to assess the combined effects of protein restriction and ultrasonic energy exposure during pregnancy on the maternal and fetal mouse. Pregnant female mice were fed diets containing either 18% casein (control diet) or 6% casein (restricted protein diet) during gestation. All animals were subjected to the ultrasonic exposure procedure (actual: 2.5 W/cm2 spatial peak; sham: 0 W/cm2; continuous wave for 20 sec at a frequency of 1 MHz) on day 8 of gestation. On day 18 of gestation, the animals were sacrificed. Products of conception were examined, and chemical analysis were performed on maternal liver, placenta and fetus. Our results suggest that there are possible influences of ultrasonic energy exposure to the mouse fetus and placenta, as indicated by the tendency toward decreases of fetal weight, placental weight, and DNA and RNA contents of both fetus and placenta, especially with restricted protein in the maternal diet during gestation. Protein restriction during pregnancy had an adverse influence on both the maternal organism and her products of conception. The nutritional needs for the fetus were not met at the expense of the maternal organism. Parameters of fetal cellular growth were reduced by gestational protein restriction indicating that there is competition for available nutrients between the fetus under time of stress. Results also show that the trends of fetal and placental growth are in the same general direction suggesting the possible usefulness of human placental tissue as a maker for fetal growth in subsequent population studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-175
Number of pages11
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1983


  • Body composition
  • Body weight gain
  • Cell number
  • Cell size
  • Cellular growth
  • Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)
  • Fatty liver
  • Fetus
  • Food intake
  • Gestational performance
  • Lipids
  • Maternal liver
  • Mice
  • Placenta
  • Protein
  • Protein-deficient diet
  • Resorption site
  • Ribonucleic acid (RNA)
  • Ultrasonic energy
  • Uterus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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