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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2010 Sep;18(9):1688-94. doi: 10.1038/oby.2009.513. Epub 2010 Jan 28.

The influence of a high-fat dietary environment in the fetal period on postnatal metabolic and immune function.

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1
Department of Food and Nutrition, Japan Women's University, Tokyo, Japan.

Abstract

Few reports show whether a high-fat (HF) dietary environment in the fetal period affects immune function or the development of lifestyle-related disease at maturity. We examined the influence of an HF dietary environment in the fetal period on postnatal metabolic and immune function. A total of 16 pregnant mice were given control (CON) diet and 16 were given HF diet in the gestational period, from mating to delivery. After delivery lactating mice were given either CON or HF diet, resulting in four groups. After weaning, the offspring mice were given the same diet that their mothers received during lactation. HF dietary intake in the postnatal period increased fat pad weights, serum glucose, and leptin levels. An HF diet in the fetal period resulted in fewer splenic lymphocytes, a thinner thymic cortex, and impaired antigen-specific immune reactions. Furthermore, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha production and serum triglyceride levels were elevated in the fetal HF group. In addition, the HF-HF group showed a consistent decrease in ovalbumin (OVA)-specific IgG and elevation of IgE, associated with advanced fatty changes in the liver. Results from this study suggest that HF environment during the fetal period induces epigenetic propensity toward obesity and immunological burden in part due to increased adipose tissue mass, significant reduction in the number of immune cells and decreased activities of immune cells.

PMID:
20111014
DOI:
10.1038/oby.2009.513
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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