Pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia cause increased fetal oxidative stress and fetal growth restriction, and associate with a higher incidence of adult metabolic syndrome. However, the pathophysiological contribution of oxidative stress per se is experimentally difficult to discern and has not been investigated. This study determined, if increased intrauterine oxidative stress (IUOx) affects adiposity, glucose and cholesterol metabolism in adult Ldlr-/-xSod2+/+ offspring from crossing male Ldlr-/-xSod2+/+ mice with Ldlr-/-xSod2+/- dams (IUOx) or Ldlr-/-xSod2+/- males with Ldlr-/-xSod2+/+ dams (control). At 12 weeks of age mice received Western diet for an additional 12 weeks. Adult male IUOx offspring displayed lower body weight and reduced adiposity associated with improved glucose tolerance compared to controls. Reduced weight gain in IUOx was conceivably due to increased energy dissipation in white adipose tissue conveyed by higher expression of Ucp1 and an accompanying decrease in DNA methylation in the Ucp1 enhancer region. Female offspring did not show comparable phenotypes. These results demonstrate that fetal oxidative stress protects against the obesogenic effects of Western diet in adulthood by programming energy dissipation in white adipose tissue at the level of Ucp1.
- Fetal oxidative stress
- Metabolic programming