Procyanidins are polyphenolic bioactive compounds that exert beneficial effects against obesity and its related diseases. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether supplementation with low doses of a grape seed procyanidin extract (GSPE) to rats during pre- and postnatal periods provides biological effects to their offspring in youth.DESIGN:
The metabolic programming effect of GSPE was evaluated in the 30-day-old male offspring of four groups of rats that were fed either a standard diet (STD) or a high-fat diet (HFD) and that were supplemented with either GSPE (25 mg kg-1 of body weight per day) or vehicle during pregnancy and lactation.RESULTS:
Significant increases in the adiposity index and in the weights of all the white adipose tissue depots studied (retroperitoneal, mesenteric, epididymal (EWAT) and inguinal) were observed in the offspring of rats that were fed a HFD and that were treated with GSPE (HFD-GSPE group) compared with the offspring of rats that were fed the same diet but that did not receive the procyanidins (HFD group). The HFD-GSPE animals also exhibited a higher number of cells in the EWAT, a sharp decrease in the circulating levels of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) and a moderate decrease in the plasma glycerol levels. The transcriptomic analysis performed in the EWAT showed 238 genes that were differentially expressed between the HFD and the HFD-GSPE animals, most of which were associated with the immune function and the inflammatory response, in addition to genes associated with adipose tissue remodeling and function, lipid and glucose homeostasis and the metabolism of methyl groups.CONCLUSION:
The GSPE treatment in rats that were fed an HFD during pregnancy and lactation induced a clear metabolic programming effect in the offspring, increasing adiposity, decreasing the circulating levels of MCP-1 and changing the gene expression in the EWAT toward a better inflammatory profile.