Maternal cinnamon intake during lactation led to visceral obesity and hepatic metabolic dysfunction in the adult male offspring
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Studies with foods, known to promote health benefits in addition to the nutritive value, show that their consumption by pregnant and/or lactating females could induce negative outcomes to the offspring. It is well characterized that cinnamon intake promotes benefits to energy homeostasis. The present study aimed to analyze the effects of the consumption of an aqueous extract of cinnamon by lactating female rats on the endocrine-metabolic outcomes in the adult offspring.
Lactating dams (Wistar rats) were supplemented with cinnamon aqueous extract (400 mg/kg body weight/day) for the entire lactating period. The male adult offspring were evaluated at 180 days old (CinLac).
The offspring presented visceral obesity (P = 0.001), hyperleptinemia (P = 0.002), and hyperinsulinemia (P = 0.016). In the liver, CinLac exhibited reduced p-IRβ (P = 0.018) suggesting insulin resistance. However, phosphorylation of IRS1 (P = 0.041) and AKT (P = 0.050) were increased. JAK2 (P = 0.030) and p-STAT3 (P = 0.015) expressions were higher, suggesting that the activation of IRS1/AKT in the CinLac group could have resulted from the increased activation of leptin signaling. Although we observed no changes in the gluconeogenic pathway, the CinLac group exhibited lower hepatic glycogen content (P = 0.005) accompanied by increased p-GSK3β (P = 0.011). In addition, the CinLac group showed increased hepatic triacylglycerol content (P = 0.049) and a mild steatosis (P = 0.001), accompanied by reduced PPARα mRNA expression (P = 0.005).
We conclude that maternal intake of aqueous extract of cinnamon induces long-term molecular, metabolic, and hormonal changes in the adult progeny, including visceral obesity, higher lipid accumulation, and lower glycogen content in the liver.
KeywordsLactation Metabolic programming Cinnamon Liver Insulin Leptin
This study was funded by Fundação Carlos Chagas Filho de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ; K.J.O., grant number 102.982) and Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES). J.G.O.N. was recipient of a FAPERJ fellowship. T.B.B. was recipient of a CAPES fellowship.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Animal use and experimental procedures were approved by Ethics Committee on Animal Use of Fluminense Federal University under number 0120/11, and complied with the ethical guidelines of the Brazilian Society of Laboratory Animal Science.
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