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Mol Metab. 2012 Nov 14;2(1):10-22. doi: 10.1016/j.molmet.2012.11.001. eCollection 2012.

High-fat diet consumption during pregnancy and the early post-natal period leads to decreased α cell plasticity in the nonhuman primate.

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Presently at: Corban University, 5000 Deer Park Drive SE, Salem, OR 97317.


We investigated the impact of poor maternal nutrition and metabolic health on the development of islets of the nonhuman primate (NHP). Interestingly, fetal offspring of high fat diet (HFD) fed animals had normal total islet and β cell mass; however, there was a significant reduction in α cell mass, and decreased expression of transcription factors involved in α cell differentiation. In juvenile animals all offspring maintained on a HFD during the postweaning period demonstrated increases in total islet mass, however, the control offspring displaying increased islet number, and HFD offspring displayed increased islet size. Finally, while control offspring had increases in α and β cells, the HFD offspring had increases only in β cell number. These studies indicate that consumption of a HFD diet during pregnancy in the NHP, independent of maternal metabolic health, causes long-term abnormalities in α cell plasticity that may contribute to chronic disease susceptibility.


CTR, Control.; Development; Diabetes; HFD, High-fat diet; High fat diet; Obesity; Pancreas; Pregnancy

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