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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Diabetes and Endocrinology - Obstetrics - Physiology - Respiratory Medicine

Maternal Cigarette Smoke Exposure Contributes to Glucose Intolerance and Decreased Brain Insulin Action in Mice Offspring Independent of Maternal Diet
Published: Friday, November 04, 2011
Author: Hui Chen et al.

by Hui Chen, Miguel A. Iglesias, Vanni Caruso, Margaret J. Morris

Background

Maternal smoking leads to intrauterine undernutrition and is associated with low birthweight and higher risk of offspring obesity. Intrauterine smoke exposure (SE) may alter neuroendocrine mediators regulating energy homeostasis as chemicals in cigarette smoke can reach the fetus. Maternal high-fat diet (HFD) consumption causes fetal overnutrition; however, combined effects of HFD and SE are unknown. Thus we investigated the impact of combined maternal HFD and SE on adiposity and energy metabolism in offspring.

Method

Female Balb/c mice had SE (2 cigarettes/day, 5 days/week) or were sham exposed for 5 weeks before mating. Half of each group was fed HFD (33% fat) versus chow as control. The same treatment continued throughout gestation and lactation. Female offspring were fed chow after weaning and sacrificed at 12 weeks.

Results

Birthweights were similar across maternal groups. Faster growth was evident in pups from SE and/or HFD dams before weaning. At 12 weeks, offspring from HFD-fed dams were significantly heavier than those from chow-fed dams (chow-sham 17.6±0.3 g; chow-SE 17.8±0.2 g; HFD-sham 18.7±0.3 g; HFD-SE 18.8±0.4 g, P<0.05 maternal diet effect); fat mass was significantly greater in offspring from chow+SE, HFD+SE and HFD+sham dams. Both maternal HFD and SE affected brain lactate transport. Glucose intolerance and impaired brain response to insulin were observed in SE offspring, and this was aggravated by maternal HFD consumption.

Conclusion

While maternal HFD led to increased body weight in offspring, maternal SE independently programmed adverse health outcomes in offspring. A smoke free environment and healthy diet during pregnancy is desirable to optimize offspring health.

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