Reproduction, Fertility and Development Reproduction, Fertility and Development Society
Vertebrate reproductive science and technology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Transgenerational effects of a hypercaloric diet

A. O. Joaquim A , C. P. Coelho C , P. Dias Motta A , E. F. Bondan A , E. Teodorov D , M. F. M. Martins A , T. B. Kirsten A , R. C. V. Casarin B , L. V. Bonamin A and M. M. Bernardi A B D E
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Environmental and Experimental Pathology, Paulista University (UNIP), Rua Dr Bacelar, 1212, São Paulo, SP, 04026-002, Brazil.

B Graduate Program of Dentistry, Paulista University, UNIP, Rua Dr Bacelar, 1212, São Paulo, SP, 04026-002, Brazil.

C Graduate Program of Animal Medicine and Welfare, University of Santo Amaro, Rua Enéas de Siqueira Neto, 340, São Paulo, SP, 04829-900, Brazil.

D Mathematics, Computing and Cognition Center, Federal University of ABC, Av. dos Estados, 5001, Santo André, SP, 09210-971, Brazil.

E Corresponding author. Email: marthabernardi@gmail.com

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 29(2) 325-335 https://doi.org/10.1071/RD15165
Submitted: 26 April 2015  Accepted: 9 July 2015   Published: 25 August 2015

Abstract

The effects of a maternal hypercaloric diet (HD) during puberty and early adulthood on neuroimmune aspects in offspring were investigated. In female rats of the F0 generation and male rats of the F1 generation, bodyweight (BW) gain, retroperitoneal fat (RPF) weight, the number of hypodermic adipocytes (HAs) and expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) were measured in hypothalamic astrocytes. On Postnatal Day 50, the F1 pups were challenged with lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 100 µg kg–1, s.c.) or an equal volume of saline (S), and behaviour in the open field test was evaluated, as were plasma neuropeptide and cytokine concentrations. The maternal HD caused the female F0 rats to become overweight. The F1 offspring of dams fed the HD and challenged with saline (HDS group) exhibited increases in BW gain, RPF weight and in the number of large HAs and a decrease in GFAP immunoreactivity. F1 offspring of dams fed the HD and challenged with LPS (HDLPS group) exhibited decreases in BW gain, RPF weight and GFAP immunoreactivity, but no differences were observed in the number of larger and small HAs. Plasma tumour necrosis factor-α concentrations were high in the HDS and HDLPS groups. Thus, the maternal HD during puberty and early adulthood caused the F1 generation to become overweight despite the fact that they received a normocaloric diet. These results indicate a transgenerational effect of the HD that may occur, in part, through permanent changes in immune system programming. The attenuation of neuroinflammation biomarkers after LPS administration may have resulted in a decrease in the number of adipocytes, which, in turn, reduced cytokine, adipokine and chemokine levels, which are able to recruit inflammatory cells in adipose tissue.

Additional keywords: adipocytes, astrocytes, behaviour, immune system, intergenerational relationship, maternal nutrition.


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