European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 53, Issue 7, pp 1523–1531 | Cite as

Effect of maternal protein restriction during pregnancy and postweaning high-fat feeding on diet-induced thermogenesis in adult mouse offspring

  • Dyan Sellayah
  • Lea Dib
  • Frederick W. Anthony
  • Adam J. Watkins
  • Tom P. Fleming
  • Mark A. Hanson
  • Felino R. Cagampang
Original Contribution



Prenatal undernutrition followed by postweaning feeding of a high-fat diet results in obesity in the adult offspring. In this study, we investigated whether diet-induced thermogenesis is altered as a result of such nutritional mismatch.


Female MF-1 mice were fed a normal protein (NP, 18 % casein) or a protein-restricted (PR, 9 % casein) diet throughout pregnancy and lactation. After weaning, male offspring of both groups were fed either a high-fat diet (HF; 45 % kcal fat) or standard chow (C, 7 % kcal fat) to generate the NP/C, NP/HF, PR/C and PR/HF adult offspring groups (n = 7–11 per group).


PR/C and NP/C offspring have similar body weights at 30 weeks of age. Postweaning HF feeding resulted in significantly heavier NP/HF offspring (P < 0.01), but not in PR/HF offspring, compared with their chow-fed counterparts. However, the PR/HF offspring exhibited greater adiposity (P < 0.01) v the NP/HF group. The NP/HF offspring had increased energy expenditure and increased mRNA expression of uncoupling protein-1 and β-3 adrenergic receptor in the interscapular brown adipose tissue (iBAT) compared with the NP/C mice (both at P < 0.01). No such differences in energy expenditure and iBAT gene expression were observed between the PR/HF and PR/C offspring.


These data suggest that a mismatch between maternal diet during pregnancy and lactation, and the postweaning diet of the offspring, can attenuate diet-induced thermogenesis in the iBAT, resulting in the development of obesity in adulthood.


High-fat diet Low-protein diet Obesity Thermogenesis 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dyan Sellayah
    • 1
    • 4
  • Lea Dib
    • 5
  • Frederick W. Anthony
    • 1
  • Adam J. Watkins
    • 3
  • Tom P. Fleming
    • 2
  • Mark A. Hanson
    • 1
  • Felino R. Cagampang
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Developmental Sciences, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of Southampton, Southampton General Hospital (MP887)SouthamptonUK
  2. 2.Centre for Biological SciencesUniversity of Southampton, Southampton General Hospital (MP840)SouthamptonUK
  3. 3.School of BiosciencesUniversity of NottinghamLoughboroughUK
  4. 4.Department of Physiology Anatomy and GeneticsUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  5. 5.Sanford Burnham Medical Research InstituteOrlandoUSA

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