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Maternal obesity can program fetal brain to induce adult-onset obesity
Date:11/4/2008

have long-term consequences on adult-onset diseases."

Patel and colleagues are pioneers in the investigation of metabolic programming effects when the composition of the diet is manipulated -- changing the percentages of carbohydrates and fat, while keeping calories constant.

Patel reported evidence of metabolic programming in 2002, when his laboratory showed that in rats, consumption of a milk formula high in carbohydrates during the critical early weeks of postnatal life caused permanent changes in pancreatic islets, leading to overproduction of insulin and development of obesity in adulthood.

"Metabolic signals are reset in response to a high carbohydrate milk formula given to newborn rats during the suckling period, which induces permanent changes at the molecular level in our rat model," Patel said. "The HC (high carbohydrate) phenotype is maintained for life and is spontaneously transmitted to succeeding generations."

Unlike many models investigating the role of maternal obesity on their offspring, the mother rats used in this study consumed normal laboratory chow during pregnancy, Patel noted.

"Our findings that malprogramming effects induced during fetal development in the altered intrauterine environment in obese mother rats predispose the offspring for adult-onset obesity underscore the importance of women maintaining optimal conditions during their pregnancies," said Patel.


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Contact: Lois Baker
ljbaker@buffalo.edu
716-645-5000 x1417
University at Buffalo
Source:Eurekalert

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