Excessive gestational calorie intake in sows regulates early postnatal adipose tissue development in the offspring

Kolapo M. Ajuwon, Emily J. Arentson-Lantz, Shawn S. Donkin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Many pregnancies in the United States are associated with maternal calorie overconsumption. Few data exist that track the impact of maternal and offspring calorie consumption on the risks for obesity development. Methods: To determine the effects of maternal calorie intake during gestation on programming for adiposity in the offspring, pregnant gilts were fed either a normal (NE) or high (HE) energy diet to induce higher than normal (30 % increase) pregnancy weight gain and the profile of genes related to adipose tissue development was determined in the subcutaneous adipose tissue of the offspring. Gilts were fed the same lactation diet after farrowing and piglets were allowed to suckle from their mothers. Offspring were also fed either a normal energy (NE) or a high energy (HE) diet after weaning (3 weeks of age). Offspring were sacrificed at 48 h, 3 weeks and 3 months of age and the subcutaneous adipose tissue obtained for gene expression analysis by RT-PCR. Results: Gilts on the HE diet had higher pregnancy weight gain and backfat thickness than those on the NE diet. Expression of adipogenic genes, such as peroxisome proliferator activated receptor (PPAR) ?and CCAAT enhancer binding protein (CEBP) a was not different between offspring from NE and HE mothers at 48 h after birth, but they were higher (P < 0.05) at 3 weeks in the offspring from HE mothers than NE. Steroid receptor coactivator 1 (SRC1) expression was higher in HE offspring at 48 h, but not different at weaning (P < 0.05). Inhibitors of wnt signaling, soluble frizzled related protein (SFRP) 4 and 5 were also higher in HE offspring at 3 weeks. The expression of PPAR?corepressors, sirtuin 1 (Sirt1, NAD-dependent deacetylase sirtuin-1) and nuclear receptor co-repressor 1 (NCoR1), was higher (P < 0.05) in HE offspring at weaning. At 3 months, there were no effects of maternal diets on offspring adipose tissue gene expression pattern, but animals on the postweaning HE diet had a higher (P < 0.05) expression of SFRP5, WNT5a, lower SFRP5/WNT5a and TNFa. Conclusions: Effects of maternal calorie consumption on adipose tissue genes in the early postnatal life was transient in this study. Postweaning diet was more effective in changing offspring adipose tissue gene expression pattern and adiposity in the early postnatal period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number29
JournalBMC Nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 20 2016


  • Adipose
  • Maternal nutrition
  • PPAR?and Wnt signaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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