Objective: We investigated the effects of fetal undernutrition during pregnancy/lactation on visceral fat, lipid profiles, leptin and adiponectin, and examined the gender differences between males and females. Study design: From 10d to term gestation and through lactation, control pregnant rats were fed ad libitum (AdLib) food, whereas study rats were 50% food restricted (FR). Cross-fostering techniques were used to examine the effects of FR during pregnancy and lactation periods. Lipid profiles, leptin and adiponectin were determined in offspring at ages 3 weeks and 6 months. We also measured the amount of visceral fat in the offspring. Results: The amount of visceral fat in the 6-month-old FR/AdLib offspring was higher than that in the control (p<0.05). Among the 6-month-old offspring, triglyceride and leptin levels were higher in FR/AdLib offspring than those in the controls (p<0.05). The female offspring had higher levels of triglyceride, HDL-cholesterol, and adiponectin and the male offspring had higher levels of LDL cholesterol and leptin. Conclusion: Fetal undernutrition only during pregnancy resulted in obese offspring, higher levels of plasma triglyceride and leptin with gender differences.
- Fetal programming
- Food restriction