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  • Author: Jerad H Dumolt x
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Joyce Mathew, Sze-chi Huang, Jerad H Dumolt, Mulchand S Patel and Todd C Rideout

As a collection of metabolic abnormalities including inflammation, insulin resistance, hypertension, hormone imbalance, and dyslipidemia, maternal obesity has been well-documented to program disease risk in adult offspring. Although hypercholesterolemia is strongly associated with obesity, less work has examined the programming influence of maternal hypercholesterolemia (MHC) independent of maternal obesity or high-fat feeding. This study was conducted to characterize how MHC per se impacts lipid metabolism in offspring. Female (n = 6/group) C57BL/6J mice were randomly assigned to: (1.) a standard chow diet (Control, CON) or (2.) the CON diet supplemented with exogenous cholesterol (CH) (0.15%, w/w) throughout mating and the gestation and lactation periods. At weaning (postnatal day (PND) 21) and adulthood (PND 84), male offspring were characterized for blood lipid and lipoprotein profile and hepatic lipid endpoints, namely cholesterol and triglyceride (TG) accumulation, fatty acid profile, TG production, and mRNA expression of lipid-regulatory genes. Both newly weaned and adult offspring from CH mothers demonstrated increased very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) particle number and size and hepatic TG and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid accumulation. Further, adult CH offspring exhibited reduced fatty acid synthase (Fasn) and increased diglyceride acyltransferase (Dgat1) mRNA expression. These programming effects appear to be independent of changes in hepatic TG production and postprandial lipid clearance. Study results suggest that MHC, independent of obesity or high-fat feeding, can induce early changes to serum VLDL distribution and hepatic lipid profile that persist into adulthood.