Open Access Research

Intrauterine protein restriction combined with early postnatal overfeeding was not associated with adult-onset obesity but produced glucose intolerance by pancreatic dysfunction

Grazielle Vitória Ponti Coutinho1, Felipe Rodrigues Coutinho1, Jaline Zandonato Faiad2, Marina Satie Taki1, Silvia Regina de Lima Reis2, Letícia Martins Ignácio-Souza3, Adriene Alexandra Paiva2, Márcia Queiroz Latorraca3, Maria Helena Gaíva Gomes-da-Silva3 and Maria Salete Ferreira Martins3*

Author Affiliations

1 Mestrado em Biociências, Faculdade de Nutrição, Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso, Cuiabá, Mato Grosso, Brazil

2 Laboratório de Avaliação Biológica de Alimentos, Faculdade de Nutrição, Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso, Cuiabá, Mato Grosso, Brazil

3 Departamento de Alimentos e Nutrição, Faculdade de Nutrição, Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso, Cuiabá, Mato Grosso, Brazil

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Nutrition & Metabolism 2013, 10:5  doi:10.1186/1743-7075-10-5

Published: 10 January 2013

Abstract

We investigated if whether intrauterine protein restriction in combination with overfeeding during lactation would cause adult-onset obesity and metabolic disorders. After birth, litters from dams fed with control (17% protein) and low protein (6% protein) diets were adjusted to a size of four (CO and LO groups, respectively) or eight (CC and LC groups, respectively) pups. All of the offspring were fed a diet containing 12% protein from the time of weaning until they were 90 d old. Compared to the CC and LC groups, the CO and LO groups had higher relative and absolute food intakes, oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production; lower brown adipose tissue weight and lipid content and greater weight gain and absolute and relative white adipose tissue weight and absolute lipid content. Compared with the CO and CC rats, the LC and LO rats exhibited higher relative food intake, brown adipose tissue weight and lipid content, reduced oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide production and spontaneous activity, increased relative retroperitoneal adipose tissue weight and unaltered absolute white adipose tissue weight and lipid content. The fasting serum glucose was similar among the groups. The area under the glucose curve was higher in the LO and CO rats than in the LC and CC rats. The basal insulinemia and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) were lower in the LO group than in the other groups. The total area under the insulin curve for the LO rats was similar to the CC rats, and both were lower than the CO and LC rats. Kitt was higher in the LO, LC and CO groups than in the CC group. Thus, intrauterine protein restriction followed by overfeeding during lactation did not induce obesity, but produced glucose intolerance by impairing pancreatic function in adulthood.

Keywords:
Intrauterine protein restriction; Postnatal overfeeding; Obesity; Visceral fat; Glucose tolerance