Effects of a high-fat diet during pregnancy and lactation are modulated by E. coli in rat offspring.

Microbial manipulations in early life can affect gut development and inflammatory status of the neonate. The maternal diet during pregnancy and lactation also influences the health of the offspring, but the impact of maternal high-fat (HF) feeding along with modulations of the gut microbiota on body weight, fat deposition and gut function in the offspring has been poorly studied.
Rat dams were given access to either an HF or a standard low-fat diet during the last 2 weeks of pregnancy and during lactation and effects on body weight and gastrointestinal function were investigated in the 14-day-old offspring. To elucidate whether bacterial administration to the dam could modulate any effects of the diets in the rat pups, another group of dams were given Escherichia coli in their drinking water.
Maternal HF feeding resulted in increased body and fat pad weights in the offspring, along with increased levels of the acute-phase protein, haptoglobin and decreased protein content and disaccharidase activities in the small intestine. The addition of E. coli further accentuated these responses in the young rats, which, in addition to higher body weights and increased fat deposition, also showed an increased intestinal permeability and elevated levels of haptoglobin.
The present study demonstrates for the first time how bacterial administration to the maternal diet during the neonatal period can affect body weight and fat deposition in the offspring. The results point to a mechanistic link between the gut microbiota, increased intestinal permeability and metabolic endotoxemia, which appear to have led to increased adiposity in the young rats.
AuthorsF Fåk, C L J Karlsson, S Ahrné, G Molin, B Weström
JournalInternational journal of obesity (2005) (Int J Obes (Lond)) Vol. 36 Issue 5 Pg. 744-51 (May 2012) ISSN: 1476-5497 [Electronic] England
PMID21730967 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't)
Chemical References
  • Haptoglobins
  • Adiposity
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Body Weight
  • Diet, High-Fat
  • Escherichia coli (metabolism)
  • Female
  • Haptoglobins (metabolism)
  • Intestine, Small (metabolism, microbiology)
  • Lactation (metabolism)
  • Male
  • Metagenome
  • Permeability
  • Pregnancy (metabolism)
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects (metabolism)
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley

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