Maternal obesity upregulates fatty acid and glucose transporters and increases expression of enzymes mediating fatty acid biosynthesis in fetal adipose tissue depots

N. M. Long, D. C. Rule, M. J. Zhu, P. W. Nathanielsz, S. P. Ford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

Maternal nutrient restriction leads to alteration in fetal adipose tissue, and offspring from obese mothers have an increased risk of developing obesity. We hypothesized that maternal obesity increases fetal adipogenesis. Multiparous ewes (Columbia/Rambouillet cross 3 to 5 yr of age) carrying twins were assigned to a diet of 100% (Control; CON; n = 4) or 150% (Obese; OB, n = 7) of NRC maintenance requirements from 60 d before conception until necropsy on d 135 of gestation. Maternal and fetal plasma were collected and stored at -80°C for glucose and hormone analyses. Fetal measurements were made at necropsy, and perirenal, pericardial, and subcutaneous adipose tissues were collected from 7 male twin fetuses per group and snap frozen at -80°C. Protein and mRNA expression of fatty acid translocase [cluster of differentiation (CD) 36], fatty acid transport proteins (FATP) 1 and 4, insulin-sensitive glucose transporter (GLUT-4), fatty acid synthase (FASN), and acetyl-coA carboxylase (ACC) was evaluated. Fetal weight was similar, but fetal carcass weight (FCW) was reduced (P < 0.05) in OB versus CON fetuses. Pericardial and perirenal adipose tissue weights were increased (P < 0.05) as a percentage of FCW in OB versus CON fetuses, as was subcutaneous fat thickness (P < 0.001). Average adipocyte diameter was greater (P < 0.01) in the perirenal fat and the pericardial fat (P = 0.06) in OB fetuses compared with CON fetuses. Maternal plasma showed no difference (P > 0.05) in glucose or other hormones, fetal plasma glucose was similar (P = 0.42), and cortisol, IGF-1, and thyroxine were reduced (P ≤ 0.05) in OB fetuses compared with CON fetuses. Protein and mRNA expression of CD 36, FATP 1 and 4, and GLUT-4 were increased (P ≤ 0.05) in all fetal adipose depots in OB versus CON fetuses. The mRNA expression of FASN and ACC was increased (P < 0.05) in OB vs. CON fetuses in all 3 fetal adipose tissue depots. Fatty acid concentrations were increased (P = 0.01) in the perirenal depot of OB versus CON fetuses, and specific fatty acid concentrations were altered (P < 0.05) in subcutaneous and pericardial adipose tissue because of maternal obesity. In conclusion, maternal obesity was associated with increased fetal adiposity, increased fatty acid and glucose transporters, and increased expression of enzymes mediating fatty acid biosynthesis in adipose depots. These alterations, if maintained into the postnatal period, could predispose the offspring to later obesity and metabolic disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2201-2210
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of animal science
Volume90
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adipocyte
  • Fetal adiposity
  • Maternal obesity
  • Nutrient transporter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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