Maternal obesity during the preconception and early life…

Maternal obesity during the preconception and early life periods alters pancreatic development in early and adult life in male mouse offspring.

PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e55711. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0055711. Epub 2013 Jan 31.

Bringhenti I1, Moraes-Teixeira JACunha MROrnellas FMandarim-de-Lacerda CAAguila MB.

  • Laboratory of Morphometry, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Disease, Biomedical Centre, Institute of Biology, State University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


Maternal obesity induced by a high fat (HF) diet may program susceptibility in offspring, altering pancreatic development and causing later development of chronic degenerative diseases, such as obesity and diabetes. Female mice were fed standard chow (SC) or an HF diet for 8 weeks prior to mating and during the gestational and lactational periods. The male offspring were assessed at birth, at 10 days, and at 3 months of age.

The body mass (BM) gain was 50% greater before pregnancy and 80% greater during pregnancy in HF dams than SC dams. Dams fed an HF diet showed higher oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), blood pressure, serum corticosterone, and insulin levels than dams fed SC. At 10 days of age and at 3 mo old the HF offspring showed greater BM and higher blood glucose levels than the SC offspring.

The mean diameter of the islets had increased by 37% in the SC offspring and by 155% in the HF offspring at 10 days of age. The islet mass ratio (IM/PM) was 88% greater in the HF offspring at 10 days of age, and 107% greater at 3 mo of age, compared to the values obtained at birth. The HF offspring had a beta cell mass (BCM)/PM ratio 54% lower than SC offspring at birth. However, HF offspring displayed a 146% increase in the BCM/PM ratio at 10 days of age, and 112% increase at 3 months of age than values at birth.

A 3 mo of age, the HF offspring showed a greater OGTT and higher levels of than SC offspring. In conclusion, a maternal HF diet consumed during the preconceptional period and throughout the gestational and lactational periods in mice results in dramatic alterations in the pancreata of the offspring.


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