Neonatal overfeeding attenuates acute central pro-inflammatory effects of short-term high fat diet

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© 2015 Cai, Dinan, Barwood, De Luca, Soch, Ziko, Chan, Zeng, Li, Molero and Spencer. Neonatal obesity predisposes individuals to obesity throughout life. In rats, neonatal overfeeding also leads to early accelerated weight gain that persists into adulthood. The phenotype is associated with dysfunction in a number of systems including paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN) responses to psychological and immune stressors. However, in many cases weight gain in neonatally overfed rats stabilizes in early adulthood so the animal does not become more obese as it ages. Here we examined if neonatal overfeeding by suckling rats in small litters predisposes them to exacerbated metabolic and central inflammatory disturbances if they are also given a high fat diet in later life. In adulthood we gave the rats normal chow, 3 days, or 3 weeks high fat diet (45% kcal from fat) and measured peripheral indices of metabolic disturbance. We also investigated hypothalamic microglial changes, as an index of central inflammation, as well as PVN responses to lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Surprisingly, neonatal overfeeding did not predispose rats to the metabolic effects of a high fat diet. Weight changes and glucose metabolism were unaffected by the early life experience. However, short term (3 day) high fat diet was associated with more microglia in the hypothalamus and a markedly exacerbated PVN response to LPS in control rats; effects not seen in the neonatally overfed. Our findings indicate neonatally overfed animals are not more susceptible to the adverse metabolic effects of a short-term high fat diet but may be less able to respond to the central effects.




Cai, G., Dinan, T., Barwood, J. M., De Luca, S. N., Soch, A., Ziko, I., … Spencer, S. J. (2015). Neonatal overfeeding attenuates acute central pro-inflammatory effects of short-term high fat diet. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 9(JAN).

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