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Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2017 Oct;10(10):553-562. doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-17-0131. Epub 2017 Sep 13.

Early Exposure to a High Fat/High Sugar Diet Increases the Mammary Stem Cell Compartment and Mammary Tumor Risk in Female Mice.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.
Department of Biology, Austin Community College, Austin, Texas.
Galvanize, Inc., Instructor, Sr. Data Scientist, Austin, Texas.
Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Texas, Austin, Texas.
Department of Bioengineering, Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Group (TERMeG), Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.
Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria de la Fundación Jimenez Diaz (IIS-FJD), Madrid, Spain.
Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.


Obesity and alterations in metabolic programming from early diet exposures can affect the propensity to disease in later life. Through dietary manipulation, developing mouse pups were exposed to a hyperinsulinemic, hyperglycemic milieu during three developmental phases: gestation, lactation, and postweaning. Analyses showed that a postweaning high fat/high sugar (HF/HS) diet had the main negative effect on adult body weight, glucose tolerance, and insulin resistance. However, dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA)-induced carcinogenesis revealed that animals born to a mother fed a HF/HS gestation diet, nursed by a mother on a mildly diet-restricted, low fat/low sugar diet (DR) and weaned onto a HF/HS diet (HF/DR/HF) had the highest mammary tumor incidence, while HF/HF/DR had the lowest tumor incidence. Cox proportional hazards analysis showed that a HF/HS postweaning diet doubled mammary cancer risk, and a HF/HS diet during gestation and postweaning increased risk 5.5 times. Exposure to a HF/HS diet during gestation, when combined with a postweaning DR diet, had a protective effect, reducing mammary tumor risk by 86% (HR = 0.142). Serum adipocytokine analysis revealed significant diet-dependent differences in leptin/adiponectin ratio and IGF-1. Flow cytometry analysis of cells isolated from mammary glands from a high tumor incidence group, DR/HF/HF, showed a significant increase in the size of the mammary stem cell compartment compared with a low tumor group, HF/HF/DR. These results indicate that dietary reprogramming induces an expansion of the mammary stem cell compartment during mammary development, increasing likely carcinogen targets and mammary cancer risk. Cancer Prev Res; 10(10); 553-62. ©2017 AACRSee related editorial by Freedland, p. 551-2.

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