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2020 Apr 24

Sci Rep



Late-pregnancy uterine artery ligation increases susceptibility to postnatal Western diet-induced fat accumulation in adult female offspring.


Jahandideh F, Bourque SL, Armstrong EA, Cherak SJ, Panahi S, Macala KF, Davidge ST, Yager JY
Sci Rep. 2020 Apr 24; 10(1):6926.
PMID: 32332768.


Stressors during the fetal and postnatal period affect the growth and developmental trajectories of offspring, causing lasting effects on physiologic regulatory systems. Here, we tested whether reduced uterine artery blood flow in late pregnancy would alter body composition in the offspring, and whether feeding offspring a western diet (WD) would aggravate these programming effects. Pregnant rats underwent bilateral uterine artery ligation (BUAL) or sham surgery on gestational day (GD)18 (term = GD22). At weaning, offspring from each group received either a normal diet (ND) or a WD. BUAL surgery increased fetal loss and caused offspring growth restriction, albeit body weights were no longer different at weaning, suggesting postnatal catch-up growth. BUAL did not affect body weight gain, fat accumulation, or plasma lipid profile in adult male offspring. In contrast, while ND-fed females from BUAL group were smaller and leaner than their sham-littermates, WD consumption resulted in excess weight gain, fat accumulation, and visceral adiposity. Moreover, WD increased plasma triglycerides and cholesterol in the BUAL-treated female offspring without any effect on sham littermates. These results demonstrate that reduced uterine artery blood flow during late pregnancy in rodents can impact body composition in the offspring in a sex-dependent manner, and these effects may be exacerbated by postnatal chronic WD consumption.