Bethesda, Md. -- Women have long bemoaned the fact that as they have more children, their weight gain from pregnancy becomes more difficult to lose. A new study using a mouse model that mimics the human effects of multiparity (giving birth more than once) has found that mouse moms who gave birth four times accrued significantly more fat compared to primiparous females (those giving birth once) of similar age. The study also found significantly more inflammation in the livers of multiparous animals. Multiparity's effect also extended to the male offspring, who showed significant weight gain during adulthood. Their primiparous counterparts did not, despite similar levels of food consumption. The findings are contained in a study entitled "Multiparity Leads to Obesity and Inflammation in Mothers and Obesity in Male Offspring," and appear in the American Journal of Physiology Endocrinology and Metabolism, published by the American Physiological Society.
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati designed the study in two parts. In the first part, they established the mouse model that mimics multiparity-induced obesity in humans. In the second part, they examined male offspring of the multiparous females.
The researchers compared one group of mice that gave birth four times with a second group of mice that gave birth only once, some of these at the same age that the first group had its fourth litter and some at a younger age.
The researchers weighed these animals and assessed the size of their fat deposits. They also performed glucose tolerance tests in all the mice and measured biochemical markers of inflammation. Additionally, the researchers performed similar tests in the male offspring of primiparous and multiparous mice, and measured weight, fat deposits, and glucose tolerance. They also measured the expression levels of various genes involved in storing versus using fat.
|Contact: Donna Krupa|
American Physiological Society