Emergence of ageing-related changes in insulin secretion by pancreatic islets of male rat offspring of mothers fed a low-protein diet

S. Morimoto, L. Calzada, T. C. Sosa, L. A. Reyes-Castro, G. L. Rodriguez-González, A. Morales, P. W. Nathanielsz, E. Zambrano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Maternal low-protein (LP) diets programme Î-cell secretion, potentially altering the emergence of ageing of offspring pancreatic function. We hypothesised that isolated pancreatic islet Î-cell secretory responses are blunted in offspring exposed to LP during development and age-related reduction is influenced by the developmental stage of exposure to decreased nutrition. We studied male offspring of rats fed control (C) or LP protein (R) diets in pregnancy, first letter and/or lactation second letter of CC, RR, CR or RC groups. Serum glucose, insulin and homeostatic model assessment (HOMA) were measured. Pancreatic islets were isolated and in vitro insulin secretion quantified in low (LG-5mm) or high glucose (HG-11mm). Body weight and serum values between groups were similar at all ages. Insulin and HOMA rose with age and were highest at postnatal day (PND) 450 in all groups. At PND 36, insulin secretion was greatest in RR and RC. Only CC increased insulin secretion to HG. By PND 110, restricted groups responded less to LG but increased secretion to HG. By PND 450, CC offspring alone increased secretion to HG. Despite minimal differences in circulating insulin and glucose, reduced maternal protein intake affected insulin secretion at all ages. In addition, ageing reduced function in all R groups compared with CC by PND 110 and further by PND 450 most markedly in RC. We conclude that maternal LP diet during pregnancy and/or lactation impairs offspring insulin secretory response to a glucose challenge and alters the trajectory of ageing of pancreatic insulin secretion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1562-1565
Number of pages4
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 14 2012


  • Ageing
  • Developmental programming
  • Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Islets
  • Rats
  • Undernutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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