Chinese Journal of Tissue Engineering Research ›› 2024, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (4): 556-561.doi: 10.12307/2023.986

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Effects of maternal high-fat diet and exercise intervention on insulin sensitivity and the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus in male offspring mice

Zhu Xiaofeng1, Chen Weiwei1, Huang Jian2   

  1. 1Jiaxing University, Jiaxing 314000, Zhejiang Province, China; 2Chongqing Three Gorges University, Chongqing 404020, China
  • Received:2022-12-27 Accepted:2023-02-04 Online:2024-02-08 Published:2023-07-14
  • About author:Zhu Xiaofeng, PhD, Associate professor, Jiaxing University, Jiaxing 314000, Zhejiang Province, China
  • Supported by:
    the Humanistic and Social Science Research Foundation for the Youth of the Ministry of Education, No. 20YJCZH253 (to ZXF); Humanities and Social Sciences Research Project of Chongqing Municipal Education Commission, No. 21SKGH204 (to HJ)

Abstract: BACKGROUND: In the offspring of obese mothers, some metabolic genes are “silent” under certain environmental influences. These “silent” genes may be “awakened” under the acquired environment and then cause metabolic regulation disorders.
OBJECTIVE: In the case of offspring with different diets, to explore the metabolic genetic effects of long-term high-fat and exercise intervention in female mice. 
METHODS: Seventy 3-week-old female C57BL/6 mice were divided into high-fat diet (HFD) and high-at exercise groups (high-fat diet+exercise, HFD-Ex), and they gave birth naturally after 16 weeks of intervention. After 4-week lactation, 16 male offspring mice from each group were randomly selected. Totally 32 offspring mice were randomly divided into 4 subgroups and given high-fat diet or standard chow diet for 6 weeks: HFD-HFD, HFD-Ex-HFD, HFD-standard chow diet, and HFD-Ex-standard chow diet. The offspring mice were subjected to glucose tolerance test and insulin tolerance test in the 10th week, followed by body composition analysis and sacrifice. Western blot was used to determine the level of p-Akt in the liver. Immunofluorescence of the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus was used to analyze the expression of neuropeptide Y and pro-opiomelanocortion. 
RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: Under the high-fat diet, compared with the HFD group, the offspring of the HFD-Ex group had significantly improvements in glucose metabolism, body mass, and body composition (P < 0.05). Under the standard chow diet, compared with the HFD group, the expression of neuropeptide Y in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus of the HFD-Ex group was significantly decreased (P < 0.05), and the expression of pro-opiomelanocortion was significantly up-regulated (P < 0.05). In the case of insulin (-), the expression of phosphorylated Akt (Ser473) protein in the liver showed no significant difference between the two groups, but in the case of insulin (+), there was a significant difference between the two groups (P < 0.05). In the high-fat diet mode, the metabolic protection effect of the maternal long-term exercise may gradually weaken with the prolongation of the offspring’s high-fat exposure; in the standard chow diet mode, the maternal long-term exercise can improve the central regulation of energy metabolism and insulin sensitivity of the male offspring.

Key words: insulin sensitivity, arcuate nucleus, appetite regulation, exercise intervention, high-fat diet, neuropeptide Y, pro-opiomelanocortion

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