Alloveda Liver Update: Effect of suboptimal maternal nutrition on lipid accumulation during early fetal liver development |
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Alloveda Liver Update: Effect of suboptimal maternal nutrition on lipid accumulation during early fetal liver development

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Maternal nutrition plays an important role during fetal development. Diet taken by expecting mother during the period of early organ development has the potential to modulate the offsprings capability to metabolise excess fat as young adults when exposed to an obesogenic environment. The current study conducted by Hyatt and colleagues evaluated the hypothesis suggesting subsequent increased deposition of ectopic lipid within the liver, as a result of endocrine and metabolic adaptations occur due to the exposure of offspring to nutrient restriction corresponding with early hepatogenesis. 

In current study, pregnant experimental animals were fed either 50 or 100% of total metabolisable energy requirements from 30 to 80 days gestation and 100% thereafter. Offspring were made obese at weaning, and at ∼1 year of age livers were assessed. They were then evaluated for lipid infiltration and molecular indices of gluconeogenesis, lipid metabolism and mitochondrial function.  Accumulation of hepatic triglyceride did not altered by obesity, however, it got nearly doubled in obese offspring born to nutrient-restricted mothers. This alteration and adaptation was observed along with elevated gene expression for peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARG) and its co-activator PGC1α, suggestive of changes in the rate of hepatic fatty acid oxidation. Apart from these changes, maternal diet did not had any influence on stimulatory effect of obesity on gene expression for various proteins employed in glucose metabolism and energy balance including glucokinase, glucocorticoid receptors and uncoupling protein 2. Moreover, gene expressions for the insulin and insulin-like growth factors (IGF) receptors were found to be suppressed by obesity, but they remained similar and were not affected by the prenatal nutritional environment.

Thus, it can be concluded that excessive deposition of lipid in liver with juvenile obesity is enhanced by suboptimal nutrition corresponding with early development of the fetal liver.

Source: Hyatt MA, Gardner DS, Sebert S, et al. Suboptimal maternal nutrition, during early fetal liver development, promotes lipid accumulation in the liver of obese offspring. Reproduction. 2011;141(1):119-126. 

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