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Eur J Nutr. 2014 Dec;53(8):1669-83. doi: 10.1007/s00394-014-0673-4. Epub 2014 Feb 26.

Maternal quercetin administration during gestation and lactation decrease endoplasmic reticulum stress and related inflammation in the adult offspring of obese female rats.

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Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing, 100191, China,



Maternal obesity is a risk factor for metabolic diseases in offspring. The aim of this study was to investigate whether quercetin administration during gestation and lactation could have any protective effect against the impact of maternal obesity on increased sensitivity to obesity and metabolic disorders in offspring.


Female Sprague-Dawley rats were fed a high-fat diet to induce obesity. Obese dams were administered 0, 50, 100 or 200 mg/kg body weight (BW) quercetin intragastrically during gestation and lactation. Normal weight dams were used as controls. The F1 generation was fed with a standard diet after weaning, and blood glucose, lipids and inflammatory factors were assessed. Expression of biomarkers involved endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, and related inflammatory pathways in liver and adipose tissues were analyzed at postnatal day 100.


Maternal obesity resulted in increased birth weight, postnatal BW gain, hyperglycemia, hyperlipemia, hyperinsulinemia, increased serum levels of inflammatory factors, and up-regulated biomarkers involved in ER stress and related inflammatory pathways in the offspring. Maternal quercetin intervention (QI) had significant ameliorating effects on maternal blood lipids, especially cholesterol, which resulted in improved glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity and alleviated ER stress and related inflammation in the grown offspring of obese dams.


Maternal QI in obese dams during gestation and lactation reduced birth weight and postnatal BW gain in the offspring, and helped to improve insulin sensitivity and lipid metabolism of the mature offspring via reducing ER stress and related inflammation in the liver and adipose tissue.

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