Indexed on: 17 Mar '09Published on: 17 Mar '09Published in: Diabetologia
Accumulating evidence suggests that maternal obesity may increase the risk of metabolic disease in the offspring. We investigated the effects of established maternal diet-induced obesity on male and female offspring appetite, glucose homeostasis and body composition in rats.Female Wistar rats were fed either a standard chow (3% fat, 7% sugar [wt/wt]) or a palatable obesogenic diet (11% fat, 43% sugar [wt/wt]) for 8 weeks before mating and throughout pregnancy and lactation. Male and female offspring of control and obese dams were weaned on to standard chow and assessed until 12 months of age.At mating, obese dams were heavier than control with associated hyperglycaemia and hyperinsulinaemia. Male and female offspring of obese dams were hyperphagic (p < 0.0001) and heavier than control (p < 0.0001) until 12 months of age. NEFA were raised at 2 months but not at 12 months. At 3 months, OGTT showed more pronounced alteration of glucose homeostasis in male than in female offspring of obese animals. Euglycaemic-hyperinsulinaemic clamps performed at 8 to 9 months in female and 10 to 11 months in male offspring revealed insulin resistance in male offspring of obese dams (p < 0.05 compared with control). Body compositional analysis at 12 months also showed increased fat pad weights in male and female offspring of obese animals.Diet-induced obesity in female rats leads to a state of insulin resistance in male offspring, associated with development of obesity and increased adiposity. An increase in food intake may play a role.