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J Nutr Biochem. 2012 Mar;23(3):265-71. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2010.12.003. Epub 2011 May 2.

Intake of trans fatty acids during gestation and lactation leads to hypothalamic inflammation via TLR4/NFκBp65 signaling in adult offspring.

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Departamento de Fisiologia, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo/SP, Brazil.


We examined whether feeding pregnant and lactating rats with hydrogenated vegetable fats rich in trans fatty acids led to an increase in serum endotoxin levels and inflammation and to impaired satiety-sensing pathways in the hypothalamus of 90-day-old offspring. Pregnant and lactating Wistar rats were fed either a standard chow (Control) or one enriched with hydrogenated vegetable fat (Trans). Upon weaning, the male offspring were divided in two groups: Control-Control (CC), mothers and offspring fed the control diet; and Trans-Control (TC), mothers fed the trans diet, and offspring fed the control diet. The offspring's food intake and body weight were quantified weekly and the offspring were killed on the 90th day of life by decapitation. The blood and hypothalamus were collected from the offspring. Food intake and body weight were higher in the TC rats than in the CC rats. TC rats had increased serum endotoxin levels and increased hypothalamic cytokines, IL-6, TNF-α and IL1-β, concentrations (P<.05). TLR4, NFκBp65 and MyD88 were higher (P<.05) in the TC rats than in the CC rats. AdipoR1 was lower in the TC rats than in the CC rats. Thus, the present study shows that the mothers' hydrogenated vegetable fat intake during pregnancy and lactation led to hypothalamic inflammation and impaired satiety-sensing, which promotes deleterious metabolic consequences such as obesity, even after the withdrawal of the causal factor. In other words, the effect remains after the consumption of the standard chow by offspring.

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