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Diabetes. 2003 Apr;52(4):984-90.

Programming of islet functions in the progeny of hyperinsulinemic/obese rats.

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Department of Biochemistry, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York 14214, USA.


Neonatal female rat pups that were raised artificially on a high-carbohydrate (HC) milk formula during their suckling period developed hyperinsulinemia immediately, maintained chronic hyperinsulinemia in the postweaning period on laboratory diet, and developed obesity in adulthood. Pups (second-generation HC [2-HC]) born to such female rats (first-generation HC [1-HC]) spontaneously developed chronic hyperinsulinemia and adult-onset obesity (HC phenotype) without the requirement for any dietary intervention in their suckling period. Leftward shift in the insulin secretory response to a glucose stimulus, increase in hexokinase activity, and increased preproinsulin gene transcription were observed in islets from 28-day-old 2-HC rats, and these adaptations are similar to those reported for islets from 12-day-old and 100-day-old 1-HC rats. Unlike 1-HC islets, the ability to secrete moderate amounts of insulin in the absence of glucose and calcium and the incretin input for augmentation of insulin secretion were not observed in 2-HC islets. These results show that a dietary modification in the early postnatal life of the 1-HC female rat sets up a vicious cycle of spontaneous transfer of the HC phenotype to its progeny, implicating a new component to the growing list of factors that contribute to the fetal origins of adult-onset diseases.

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