Bone structure and strength are enhanced in rats programmed by early overfeeding.

Research paper by L L de Albuquerque Maia, P C PC Lisboa, E E de Oliveira, E P S EP da Conceição, I C B IC Lima, R T RT Lopes, L D G LD Ruffoni, K O KO Nonaka, E G EG de Moura

Indexed on: 15 Mar '14Published on: 15 Mar '14Published in: Hormone and metabolic research = Hormon- und Stoffwechselforschung = Hormones et metabolisme


Childhood obesity is growing in prevalence. Obesity and bone dysfunctions may be related disorders, and therefore our aim was to study the impact of the early overfeeding (EO) in offspring bone health since weaning up to adulthood. To induce EO during lactation, litter size was adjusted to 3 male rats per litter (SL). Litter containing 10 pups per mother was the control (NL). Bone tissue was evaluated by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, computed tomography, microcomputed tomography, biomechanical tests, and serum analyses. SL offspring presented higher body weight, fat mass, lean mass from 21 up to 180 days, hyperphagia, and higher visceral fat mass. Bone analysis showed that SL offspring presented higher total bone mineral density (BMD) only at 180 days, and higher total bone mineral content and higher bone area from 21 until 180 days. At 180 days, SL offspring presented higher femur BMD and fourth lumbar vertebra (LV4) BMD, higher femoral head radiodensity and LV4 vertebral body radiodensity, lower trabecular pattern factor and trabecular separation, however with higher trabecular number, higher maximal load, resilience, stiffness and break load, and lower break deformation. SL group had, at 180 days, higher osteocalcin and lower C-terminal cross-linked telopeptide of type I collagen (CTX I). We have shown that the excess of fat mass contributed to an increased bone mass, and hypothesized that this increase could be mediated by the hypothyroidism and previous higher thyroid hormone action and hyperleptinemia at weaning. Furthermore, the increased biomechanical loading due to increased body weight probably help us to understand the protective effects obesity exerts upon bone health.

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