Neonatal overfeeding causes higher adrenal catecholamine content and basal secretion and liver dysfunction in adult rats
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Rats that are overfed during lactation exhibit neonatal hyperleptinemia and higher visceral adiposity, hypertension, higher liver oxidative stress and insulin resistance in the liver as adults. Previously, we demonstrated that neonatal hyperleptinemia is associated with adrenal medullary hyperfunction, hypertension and liver steatosis in adulthood. Therefore, we hypothesised that adrenal and liver functions are altered in adult obese rats that were overfed during lactation, which would underlie their hypertension and liver alterations.
The litter size was reduced from ten to three male pups on the third day of lactation until weaning (SL) to induce early overfeeding in Wistar rats. The control group had ten rats per litter (NL). Rats had free access to standard diet, and water after weaning until the rats were 180 days old.
The SL group exhibited higher adrenal catecholamine content (absolute: +35% and relative: +40%), tyrosine hydroxylase (+31%) and DOPA decarboxylase (+90%) protein contents and basal catecholamine secretion in vitro (+57%). However, the hormones of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal cortex axis were unchanged. β3-adrenergic receptor content in visceral adipose tissue was unchanged in SL rats, but the β2-adrenergic receptor content in the liver was lower in this group (−45%). The SL group exhibited higher glycogen and triglycerides contents in the liver (+79 and +49%, respectively), which suggested microesteatosis.
Neonatal overfeeding led to higher adrenomedullary function, but the liver β2-adrenergic receptor content was reduced. These results may contribute to the hepatic dysfunction characteristic of liver obesity complications.
KeywordsCatecholamine Corticosterone Adrenergic receptor Glycogen Rat
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