Journal of Biosciences

, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 311–319 | Cite as

Maternal high-fat diet during pregnancy and lactation affects hepatic lipid metabolism in early life of offspring rat

  • Yanhong Huang
  • Tingting Ye
  • Chongxiao Liu
  • Fang Fang
  • Yuanwen Chen
  • Yan DongEmail author


We investigated whether maternal over-nutrition during pregnancy and lactation affects the offspring’s lipid metabolism at weaning by assessing liver lipid metabolic gene expressions and analysing its mechanisms on the development of metabolic abnormalities. Female Sprague–Dawley rats were fed with standard chow diet (CON) or high-fat diet (HFD) for 8 weeks, and then continued feeding during gestation and lactation. The offspring whose dams were fed with HFD had a lower birth weight but an increased body weight with impaired glucose tolerance, higher serum cholesterol, and hepatic steatosis at weaning. Microarray analyses showed that there were 120 genes differently expressed between the two groups. We further verified the results by qRT-PCR. Significant increase of the lipogenesis (Me1, Scd1) gene expression was found in HFD (P<0.05), and up-regulated expression of genes (PPAR-α, Cpt1α, Ehhadh) involved in β-oxidation was also observed (P<0.05), but the Acsl3 gene was down-regulated (P<0.05). Maternal over-nutrition could not only primarily induce lipogenesis, but also promote lipolysis through an oxidation pathway as compensation, eventually leading to an increased body weight, impaired glucose tolerance, elevated serum cholesterol and hepatic steatosis at weaning. This finding may provide some evidence for a healthy maternal diet in order to reduce the risk of metabolic diseases in the early life of the offspring.


Gene expressions high-fat diet lipid metabolism maternal diet rat 



The financial assistance provided by Shanghai Jiao Tong University is gratefully acknowledged.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yanhong Huang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tingting Ye
    • 1
  • Chongxiao Liu
    • 1
  • Fang Fang
    • 3
  • Yuanwen Chen
    • 4
  • Yan Dong
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of EndocrinologyXinhua Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of MedicineShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Shanghai Institute of Pediatric ResearchShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Shanghai Key Laboratory of Children’s Environmental HealthShanghaiChina
  4. 4.Department of GastroenterologyXinhua Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of MedicineShanghaiChina

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