Maternal high-fat diets cause insulin resistance through inflammatory changes in fetal adipose tissue

N. Murabayashi, T. Sugiyama, L. Zhang, Y. Kamimoto, T. Umekawa, N. Ma, N. Sagawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Epidemiological and animal studies have shown that maternal obesity predisposes the offspring to obesity and the metabolic syndrome, possibly via late-onset metabolic programming of the fetus. Little is known, however, about the metabolic effect of maternal obesity on the fetus. This study investigated the effect of a maternal high-fat diet (HFD) on fetal growth and glucose metabolism using a diet-induced obesity mouse model. Study design: Female mice (6 weeks old; C57BL/6N) were fed either a normal chow diet (NCD, 10 kcal% fat) or an HFD (60 kcal% fat) for 4 weeks before mating and throughout pregnancy. At 17 days of gestation, gene expression of inflammatory markers and adipokines in fetal subcutaneous adipose tissue was analyzed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Results: HFD mice were overweight, glucose intolerant and insulin resistant compared with NCD mice of the same gestational age. Although fetal body weight was not significantly different, fetal plasma glucose and insulin levels were higher in the HFD group than the NCD group. Furthermore, examination of fetal subcutaneous adipose tissue in the HFD group revealed hypertrophy with an increase in the levels of cluster of differentiation-68, chemokine receptor-2 and tumor necrosis factor-α mRNA, but a decrease in the level of glucose transporter-4 mRNA. Conclusion: Maternal HFD causes inflammatory changes in the adipose tissue of offspring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-44
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jul


  • Adipose tissue
  • High-fat diet
  • Offspring
  • Pregnancy
  • Rodent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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