Food and Behaviour Research

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Diet-induced obesity in female mice leads to peroxidized lipid accumulations and impairment of hippocampal neurogenesis during the early life of their offspring

Tozuka Y, Wada E, Wada K. (2009) FASEB J.  23(6) 1920-34. Epub 2009 Jan 21. 

Web URL: View this and related abstracts via PubMed here


Maternal obesity may affect the child's long-term development and health. However, there is little information about the involvement of maternal obesity in the brain development of offspring.

Here, we investigated the effects of maternal obesity on the hippocampal formation of offspring. Adult female mice were fed either a normal diet (ND, 4% fat) or a high-fat diet (HFD, 32% fat) 6 wk before mating and throughout pregnancy and the majority of lactation.

We found that infants from HFD-fed dams (HFD offspring) showed obesity and hyperlipidemia during suckling.

In HFD offspring, lipid peroxidation was promoted in serum and the hippocampal dentate gyrus, where neurogenesis takes place throughout postnatal life. Using a BrdU-pulse labeling study, we showed that malondialdehyde, a product of peroxidized lipids, reduced the proliferation of hippocampal progenitor cells in vitro and that neurogenesis in HFD offspring during postnatal development was similarly lowered relative to the ND animals.

These results indicated that maternal obesity impairs hippocampal progenitor cell division and neuronal production in young offspring possibly due to metabolic and oxidative changes.