Developmental Programming of Offspring Obesity, Adipogenesis, and Appetite

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A newly recognized primary cause of the obesity epidemic is the developmental programming effects of infants born to mothers with obesity or gestational diabetes, intrauterine growth–restricted newborns, and offspring exposed to environmental toxins including bisphenol A. The mechanisms which result in offspring obesity include the programming of the hypothalamic appetite pathway and adipogenic signals regulating lipogenesis. Processes include nutrient sensors, epigenetic modifications, and alterations in stem cell precursors of both appetite/satiety neurons and adipocytes which are modulated to potentiate offspring obesity. Future strategies for the prevention and therapy of obesity must address programming effects of the early life environment.

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