Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mom's High Fat Diet During Pregnancy May Be Key To Child's Weight Issues

Date:
June 22, 2008
Source:
Baylor College of Medicine
Summary:
The notion that you are what you eat may go back even farther -- to your mother, said a Baylor College of Medicine researcher in a report that appears in the current issue of the Journal of Molecular Endocrinology.

The notion that you are what you eat may go back even farther – to your mother, said a Baylor College of Medicine researcher in a report that appears in the current issue of the Journal of Molecular Endocrinology.

"We want to understand the mechanisms behind the current epidemic of childhood obesity," said Dr. Kjersti M. Aagaard-Tillery, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at BCM. "What efforts can we take in pregnancy to affect this problem? Is it that the mom is obese or is exposure to a high fat diet the problem?"

A consortium of researchers from BCM, the University of Utah Health Sciences in Salt Lake and the Oregon National Primate Research Center teamed up to study what happens to the offspring of non-human primate mothers fed a diet consisting of 35 percent fat. When compared to those who ate a 13 percent fat diet, the offspring of these animals had non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (comparable to that found in obese human youngsters). In fact, their triglycerides (one form of fat measured in blood) were three times higher than those of the normal offspring.

In some cases, the mothers on the high fat diet did not become obese themselves but their offspring suffered the same ill effects as those of moms who did become obese.

At a molecular level, Aagaard and her collaborators found modifications in the DNA backbone – the histones – of the offspring of the mothers who ate a high fat diet. This is called an epigenetic change, which means that while it does not affect the DNA code per se, it still affects the way that the genes are regulated and the degree to which they are expressed (the so-called "histone code").

"We found that there were genes that were differentially regulated in the livers of the offspring whose mothers had a high fat diet, and that these changes were associated with histone alterations," she said. "The genes affected were not always those associated with obesity."

She is now trying to find out why these gene changes exist and how they might affect the animals later in life. She is interested in looking at whether they are the direct result of permanent modifications in the histones in both the liver and brain, and whether they further relate to specific changes in the chemical modifications (or methylation) of the regulatory regions of genes.

Others who took part in this work include Kevin Grove and Jacalyn Bishop of the Oregon Health Science University, Oregon National Primate Research Center and Xingrao Ke, Qi Fu, Robert McKnight, and Robert H. Lane of the University of Utah Health Sciences in Salt Lake.

Funding for this work came from the 2007 National Institutes of Health Director's New Innovators Award to Aagaard, the National Institute of Digestive and Diabetes and Kidney Diseases and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Baylor College of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kjersti Aagaard-Tillery, Kevin Grove, Jacalyn Bishop, Xingrao Ke, Qi Fu, Robert McKnight and Robert Lane. Developmental origins of disease and determinants of chromatin structure: maternal diet modifies the primate fetal epigenome. Journal of Molecular Endocrinology, 2008; In press DOI: 10.1677/JME-08-0025

Cite This Page:

Baylor College of Medicine. "Mom's High Fat Diet During Pregnancy May Be Key To Child's Weight Issues." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080618205134.htm>.
Baylor College of Medicine. (2008, June 22). Mom's High Fat Diet During Pregnancy May Be Key To Child's Weight Issues. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080618205134.htm
Baylor College of Medicine. "Mom's High Fat Diet During Pregnancy May Be Key To Child's Weight Issues." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080618205134.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) New findings suggest men with a certain type of baldness at age 45 are 39 percent more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins