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Postnatal deficiency of essential fatty acids in mice results in resistance to diet-induced obesity and low plasma insulin during adulthood

Journal article
Authors Vilborg Palsdottir
Anna Wickman
Niklas Andersson
Rahil Hezaveh
Bob Olsson
Britt G. Gabrielsson
Birgitta Strandvik
Published in Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids
Volume 84
Issue 3-4
Pages 85-92
ISSN 1532-2823
Publication year 2011
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Physiology
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Pediatrics
Institute of Medicine, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine
Pages 85-92
Language en
Keywords Essential fatty acids, Maternal diet, Diet-induced obesity, Body composition, Energy expenditure, Leptin, Insulin, Insulin-like growth factor I
Subject categories Cell and molecular biology, Developmental Biology, Nutrition and Dietetics, Laboratory animal science, Physiology and nutrition, Children, Older people and ageing


Our objective was to investigate the long-term metabolic effects of postnatal essential fatty acid deficiency (EFAD). Mouse dams were fed an EFAD diet or an isoenergetic control diet 4 days before delivery and throughout lactation. The pups were weaned to standard diet (STD) and were later subdivided into two groups: receiving high fat diet (HFD) or STD. Body composition, energy expenditure, food intake and leptin levels were analyzed in adult offspring. Blood glucose and plasma insulin concentrations were measured before and during a glucose tolerance test. EFAD offspring fed STD were leaner with lower plasma leptin and insulin concentrations compared to controls. EFAD offspring fed HFD were resistant to diet-induced obesity, had higher energy expenditure and lower levels of plasma leptin and insulin compared to controls. These results indicate that the fatty acid composition during lactation is important for body composition and glucose tolerance in the adult offspring.

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