In this study, we hypothesized that throughout the pregnancy/weaning period, nutritional supplementation with leucine (which improves protein synthesis) and/or fish oil (rich in omega-3, which modulates oxidative stress) can minimize/improve cachexia-induced damage in rat offspring. Thus, we investigated the maternal supplementation with these nutrients over the modulation of cachexia index and liver function in tumor-bearing rats offspring. Pregnant rats were fed control, leucine, omega-3, and leucine/omega-3 diets, which were given throughout the gestational and weaning periods. The male offspring were subjected to a control diet until adulthood (120 days) and then distributed into 5 groups (n=4-6 per group): C, Control; W, tumor-bearing; WL, tumor-bearing group with a maternal leucine-rich diet; WO, tumor-bearing group with a maternal omega-3 diet; and WLO, tumor-bearing group with a maternal leucine-rich and omega-3 diet. The W group had a higher cachexia index (31.83 ± 2.9%), but this parameter decreased in the WO (P=0.0380) and WLO groups (P=0.0187). In addition, the W group had a lower survival rate, and the WLO group exhibited a trend toward increased survival (P=0.0505). The hepatic function in maternal supplemented groups was preserved, while the W group exhibited an increased aspartate-aminotransferase/alanine-aminotransferase ratios (P=0.0152) and also enhanced liver oxidative stress, with higher alkaline phosphatase (P=0.0190) and superoxide dismutase (P=0.0190) activities, and trended toward to higher malondialdehyde content (P=0.0556). In contrast, the maternal-supplemented groups had similar liver enzymes and malondialdehyde contents. Thus, we concluded that supplementing the maternal diet modulated/improved liver antioxidant responses and ameliorated the cachexia state in tumor-bearing rat offspring.
Miyaguti, N. A. da S., de Oliveira, S. C. P., & Gomes-Marcondes, M. C. C. (2018). Maternal nutritional supplementation with fish oil and/or leucine improves hepatic function and antioxidant defenses, and minimizes cachexia indexes in Walker-256 tumor-bearing rats offspring. Nutrition Research, 51, 29–39. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nutres.2017.12.003