Maternal obesity and late effects on offspring metabolism

Obesidade materna e efeitos tardios sobre o metabolismo da prole

Daniele Sá Vido Mariana Bocca Nejm Neila Ribeiro Silva Sylvia Maria Affonso Silva Sérgio Luiz Cravo Jacqueline Luz


: The aim of this study was to evaluate the late effects of maternal obesity induced by lesion of the ventromedial hypothalamus on offspring metabolism.

Materials and methods

: Thirty days after the bilateral lesion of the ventromedial hypothalamus, female rats were mated and divided into 2 groups of pregnant animals: Control (C) – false lesion (sham) and Obese (OB) – lesion. Three months after that, with the groups of mothers, offspring were divided into control and obese animals that received a normocaloric diet (C-N and OB-N), and control and obese animals that received a hypercaloric diet (C-H and OB-H). At 120 days of age, the animals were euthanized and their carcasses, feces and food were submitted to calorimetric analysis to determine energy balance and body composition.


: During the growth period, offspring from obese mothers showed higher values of body weight and food intake than controls. Obese animals showed higher body weight gain and gross food efficiency than control animals in adulthood. The hypercaloric diet led to increased metabolizable energy intake, percentage of absorbed energy and energy expenditure in both groups. Body composition was only affected by the association of hypercaloric diet and maternal obesity that led to increased body fat.


: Maternal obesity has led to the development of later overweight in offspring, suggesting fetal programming. According to the trend presented, it is believed that the prolonged intake of hypercaloric diets in adult animals may, as an additional effect, induce worsening of the overweight induced by maternal obesity. Arq Bras Endocrinol Metab. 2014;58(3):301-7

Fetal programming; obesity; energy metabolism; body composition; hypercaloric diet

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