Countering the epigenetic effects of obese mothers on their fetuses

This 2015 Colorado rodent study found:

“Maternal ADN [adiponectin, a hormone produced by fat cells, that regulates fat and glucose metabolism] supplementation reversed the adverse effects of maternal obesity on placental function and fetal growth.

Babies of mothers with obesity and/or gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) are often large at birth and have increased adiposity, which predisposes them to the development of metabolic disease later in life.

Maternal ADN infusion in obese dams from E14.5 to E18.5 [the last 4 days of pregnancy, a period that accounts for 70% of the total fetal growth] normalized maternal insulin sensitivity, placental insulin/mTORC1 and PPARα signaling, nutrient transport, and fetal growth without affecting maternal fat mass.”

As the study may apply to humans:

“This hormone or a similar agent could feasibly do the same thing for humans that it did for mice,” Jansson said.

Jansson said more work needs to be done to track the long-term effects of the hormone treatment on the mice.”

The study focused on epigenetic effects of the mothers’ environment on fetuses, and didn’t assess possible genetic contributions.

As alternatives to adiponectin supplementation:

http://www.pnas.org/content/112/41/12858.full “Adiponectin supplementation in pregnant mice prevents the adverse effects of maternal obesity on placental function and fetal growth”

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