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Inflammation may link obesity and adverse pregnancy outcomes
Date:1/10/2012

erides. Increased maternal body mass index is associated with an increased risk of neonatal early onset group B streptococcal disease, and an increased risk of respiratory tract infections. The inflammatory response and immune function of the newborn might relate to later health outcomes. Hyper-responsiveness of inflammatory function at birth is linked to the development of allergic disease in infancy.

Maternal metabolic status during pregnancy and weaning is particularly relevant to healthy development of hypothalamic neurones that regulate weight and feeding in offspring, the researchers report. One study demonstrated that a high-fat diet during pregnancy can induce the expression of hypothalamic peptides involved in the regulation of food intake and body composition in weanling rats. More recently, female offspring of fathers fed a chronic high fat diet had impaired glucose tolerance and insulin secretion. "These findings lead to the suggestion that such programmed expression has a role to play in adult physiology, including increased food intake, preference for a fat-rich diet, weight gain, and metabolic dysfunction," says Dr. Thornton.

"Diseases once found only in adults are increasing in the paediatric population. The focus has been on diseases with a clear metabolic component and it remains relatively unknown what risk maternal obesity during pregnancy imposes for the development of autoimmune diseases, allergy and asthma, and neurodevelopment and cognitive behavior," stated Dr. Thornton. "Animal models indicate that the provision of a normal diet to the offspring once weaned does not overcome the effects of maternal overnutrition, so simple dietary changes may prove ineffective. Targeted maternal immunomodulation might be needed to curtail this potential pandemic."


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Contact: Daphne Watrin
d.watrin@iospress.nl
31-206-883-355
IOS Press
Source:Eurekalert

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