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Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2019 May 1. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00331.2018. [Epub ahead of print]

Maternal High Fat Diet Alters Lung Development and Function in the Offspring.

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Center for Perinatal Research, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital.
Pediatrics, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital.
Pediatrics, The Research Institute at Nationwide Childrens Hospital, United States.
Perinatal Research, The Research Institute at Nationwidechildren's Hospital, United States.
Center for Perinatal Research, Nationwide Children's Hospital, United States.
Center for Perinatal Research, The Reseach Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital/ The Ohio State University, United States.


The effects of maternal obesity on lung development have been recognized and speculation is that these diseases are not simply due to accelerated pulmonary decline with aging, but with a failure to achieve optimal lung development during early life. These studies tested the hypothesis that maternal obesity alters signaling pathways during the course of lung development that may affect life-long pulmonary health. Adult female mice were fed 60% fat (HFD) or 10% fat (CD) diets for 8 weeks prior to mating and through weaning. Pup lung tissues were collected at postnatal days (PN) 7, 21 and 90 (after receiving HFD or CD as adults). At PN7, body weights from HFD were greater than CD but lung weight to body weight ratios were lower. In lung tissues, NFkB-mediated inflammation was greater in HFD pups at PN21 and phospho-/total STAT3, phospho-/total VEGFR2, and total AKT protein levels were lower with maternal HFD and PTP1B levels were increased. Decreased PECAM levels were observed at PN21 and at PN90 in the pups exposed to maternal HFD. Morphometry indicated that the pups exposed to maternal or adult HFD had fewer alveoli and the effect was additive. Decreases in pulmonary resistance, elastance, and compliance were observed due to adult HFD diet and decreases in airway resistance and increases in inspiratory capacity due to maternal HFD. In conclusion, maternal HFD disrupts signaling pathways in the early developing lung and may contribute to deficiencies in lung function and increased susceptibility in adults.


alveolarization; angiogenesis; high fat diet; lung development; maternal obesity


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