Amniotic and allantoic fluid volumes and composition change dynamically throughout gestation. Cattle that are pregnant with somatic cell nuclear transfer (NT) fetuses show a high incidence of abnormal fluid accumulation (particularly hydrallantois) and fetal mortality from approximately midgestation. To investigate fetal fluid homeostasis in these pregnancies, Na, K, Cl, urea, creatinine, Ca, Mg, total PO4, glucose, fructose, lactate, total protein, and osmolalities were measured in amniotic and allantoic fluids collected at Days 50, 100, and 150 of gestation from NT pregnancies and those generated by the transfer of in vitro-produced embryos or by artificial insemination. Deviations in fetal fluid composition between NT and control pregnancies were apparent after placental and fetal organ development, even when no gross morphological abnormalities were observed. Individual NT fetuses were affected to varying degrees. Elevated allantoic Na was associated with lower K and increased allantoic fluid volume or edema of the fetal membranes. Total PO4 levels in NT allantoic and amniotic fluid were elevated at Days 100 and 150. This was not accompanied by hypophosphatemia at Day 150, suggesting that PO4 acquisition by NT fetuses was adequate but that its readsorption by the kidneys may be impaired. Excessive NT placental weight was associated with low allantoic glucose and fructose as well as high lactate levels. However, the fructogenic ability of the NT placenta appeared to be normal. The osmolality of the fetal fluids was maintained within a narrow range, suggesting that the regulation of fluid composition, but not osmolality, was impaired in NT pregnancies.
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