Gender-specific increase in susceptibility to metabolic syndrome of offspring rats after prenatal caffeine exposure with post-weaning high-fat diet

Jing Li, Hanwen Luo, Yimeng Wu, Zheng He, Li Zhang, Yu Guo, Lu Ma, Jacques Magdalou, Liaobin Chen, Hui Wang
Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 2015 May 1, 284 (3): 345-53
Prenatal caffeine exposure (PCE) alters the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis-associated neuroendocrine metabolic programming and induces an increased susceptibility to metabolic syndrome (MS) in intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) offspring rats. High-fat diet (HFD) is one of the main environmental factors accounting for the incidence of MS. In this study, we aimed to clarify the gender-specific increase in susceptibility to MS in offspring rats after PCE with post-weaning HFD. Maternal Wistar rats were administered with caffeine (120mg/kg·d) from gestational day 11 until delivery. The offspring rats with normal diet or HFD were euthanized at postnatal week 24, and blood samples were collected. Results showed that PCE not only reduced serum adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and corticosterone levels, but also enhanced serum glucose, triglyceride and total cholesterol (TCH) concentrations in the offspring rats. Moreover, several interactions among PCE, HFD and gender were observed by a three-way ANOVA analysis. In PCE offspring, HFD could aggravate the degree of increased serum triglyceride level. Meanwhile, serum corticosterone levels of females were decreased more obviously than those of males in PCE offspring. The results also revealed interactions between HFD and gender in the levels of serum ACTH, triglyceride and TCH, which were changed more evidently in female HFD offspring. These results indicate that HFD could exacerbate the dysfunction of lipid metabolism and the susceptibility to MS induced by PCE, and the female offspring are more sensitive to HFD-induced neuroendocrine metabolic dysfunction than their male counterparts.

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