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Nutrition. 2013 Jan;29(1):291-7. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2012.06.005. Epub 2012 Sep 28.

Azuki bean polyphenols intake during lactation upregulate AMPK in male rat offspring exposed to fetal malnutrition.

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Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Health Sciences, Aomori University of Health and Welfare, Aomori, Japan.



Fetal malnutrition is an early-life inducer of dyslipidemia and glucose intolerance. The aim of this study was to examine whether maternal azuki bean (Vigna angularis) polyphenol (AP) intake during lactation affects the adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) pathway and lipid metabolism in offspring exposed to fetal malnutrition.


Pregnant Wistar rats were divided into three groups: a control diet offered during gestation and lactation (CC), a low-protein diet during gestation and a control diet during lactation (LPC); and a low-protein diet during gestation and a 1.0% AP-containing control diet during lactation (LPAP). Male pups were randomly selected for the study; half the pups were sacrificed at 3 wk of age and the other half were fed a standard diet and sacrificed at 23 wk. Hepatic triacylglycerol levels, phosphorylation levels of AMPK and acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase (ACC), and mRNA levels of sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1c (SREBP-1c) were evaluated.


Significant decreases in body weights and hepatic triacylglycerol levels were found in the LPAP compared with the LPC group. Plasma adiponectin levels in the LPAP group were higher than those in the LPC group. AMPK phosphorylation was upregulated in the livers and skeletal muscles in young and adult LPAP compared with LPC rats. ACC phosphorylation was upregulated in skeletal muscles of LPAP rats. SREBP-1c mRNA expression was decreased in the livers of LPAP rats.


Our results suggest that maternal AP intake during lactation upregulates AMPK phosphorylation not only in young but also in adult offspring exposed to fetal malnutrition and may lead to decreased hepatic lipid accumulation by ACC phosphorylation and downregulation of SREBP-1c expression.

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