Effects of late gestational high-fat diet on body weight, metabolic regulation and adipokine expression in offspring

A. Khalyfa, A. Carreras, F. Hakim, J. M. Cunningham, Y. Wang, D. Gozal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Aims/Hypothesis:Gestational exposures such as dietary changes can alter offspring phenotype through epigenetic modifications and promote increased risk for specific diseases, such as metabolic syndrome. We hypothesized that high-fat diet (HFD) during late gestation would lead increased risk for insulin resistance and hyperlipidemia via associated epigenetic alterations in tissue adipocytokine genes.Methods:Offspring mice of mothers fed a HFD during late gestation (HFDO) were weighed and their food intake measured weekly till age 20 weeks at which time glucose and insulin tolerance tests, plasma lipid and adipocytokine levels were assessed, as well as mRNA expression in visceral fat. Adipocytokine gene methylation levels in visceral fat, liver and muscle were also assayed.Results:HFDO mice had increased weight accrual and food intake, and exhibited insulin resistance, hyperlipidemia and hyperleptinemia, as well as hypoadiponectinemia. Furthermore, increased methylation of adiponectin and leptin receptor, and decreased methylation of leptin genes with unchanged glucagon-like peptide-1 methylation patterns emerged in HFDO mice.Conclusions:Taken together, late gestational HFD induces increased risk of metabolic syndrome in the progeny, which is coupled with hypoadiponectinemia as well as with leptin resistance, and concomitant presence of selective tissue-based epigenetic changes among adipocytokine genes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1481-1489
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
AK performed experiments and analyzed data. AC and FH conducted experiments and served as blinded observers. JMC and YW reviewed data and provided critical input to the manuscript. DG provided the conceptual design of the project, analyzed data, drafted the manuscript, and is responsible for the financial support of the project and the manuscript content. All authors have reviewed and approved the final version of the manuscript. DG is the guarantor of this work, had full access to all the data and takes full responsibility for the integrity of data and the accuracy of data analysis. DG is supported by National Institutes of Health grants HL-65270, HL-086662 and HL-107160.


  • DNA methylation
  • adiponectin
  • epigenetics
  • gestation
  • insulin resistance
  • leptin


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