Chronic maternal inflammation or high-fat-feeding programs offspring obesity in a sex-dependent manner

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Abstract

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES:

The current world-wide obesity epidemic partially results from a vicious circle whereby maternal obesity during pregnancy predisposes the offspring for accelerated weight gain and development of metabolic syndrome. Here we investigate whether low-grade inflammation, characteristic of the obese state, provides a causal role for this disastrous fetal programming in mice.

METHODS:

We exposed pregnant and lactating C57BL/6JBom female mice to either high-fat diet (HFD), or continuous infusion of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a potent trigger of innate immunity, and studied offspring phenotypes.

RESULTS:

Both maternal LPS or HFD treatments rendered the offspring hyperphagic and inept of coping with a HFD challenge during adulthood, increasing their adiposity and weight gain. The metabolic effects were more pronounced in female offspring, while exposed male offspring mounted a larger inflammatory response to HFD at adulthood.

CONCLUSIONS:

This supports our hypothesis and highlights the programming potential of inflammation in obese pregnancies.

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