Maternal obesity accelerates rat offspring metabolic ageing in a sex-dependent manner

Guadalupe L. Rodríguez-González, Luis A. Reyes-Castro, Claudia J. Bautista, Azucena A. Beltrán, Carlos A. Ibáñez, Claudia C. Vega, Consuelo Lomas-Soria, Diana C. Castro-Rodríguez, Ana L. Elías-López, Peter W. Nathanielsz, Elena Zambrano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Key points: Maternal obesity predisposes to metabolic dysfunction in male and female offspring Maternal high-fat diet consumption prior to and throughout pregnancy and lactation accelerates offspring metabolic ageing in a sex-dependent manner This study provides evidence for programming-ageing interactions. Abstract: Human epidemiological studies show that maternal obesity (MO) shortens offspring life and health span. Life course cellular mechanisms involved in this developmental programming-ageing interaction are poorly understood. In a well-established rat MO model, female Wistar rats ate chow (controls (C)) or high energy, obesogenic diet to induce MO from weaning through pregnancy and lactation. Females were bred at postnatal day (PND) 120. Offspring (F1) of mothers on control diet (CF1) and MO diet (MOF1) delivered spontaneously at terms. Both CF1 and MOF1 ate C diet from weaning throughout the study. Offspring were killed at PND 36, 110, 450 and 650. We determined body and liver weights, liver and serum metabolite concentrations, hormones and oxidative stress biomarkers. Male and female CF1 body weight, total fat, adiposity index, serum leptin, insulin, insulin resistance, and liver weight, fat, triglycerides, malondialdehyde, reactive oxygen species and nitrotyrosine all rose with differing ageing trajectories. Female CF1 triglycerides were unchanged with age. Age-related increases were greater in MOF1 than CF1 in both sexes for all variables except glucose in males and females and cholesterol in males. Cholesterol fell in CF1 females but not MOF1. Serum corticosterone levels were higher in male and female MOF1 than CF1 and declined with age. DHEA serum levels were lower in male and female MOF1 than CF1. Liver antioxidant enzymes decreased with age (CF1 and MOF1). Conclusions: exposure to the developmental challenge of MO accelerates progeny ageing metabolic and endocrine profiles in a sex specific manner, providing evidence for programming-ageing interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5549-5563
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Physiology
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • ageing
  • developmental programming
  • liver fat
  • maternal obesity
  • metabolism
  • oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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