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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Small Grain and Food Crops Quality Research » Research » Research Project #445034

Research Project: PCHI: Protective Mechanisms of Pulse Consumption in the Development of Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Mothers and Offspring Across Life Stages

Location: Small Grain and Food Crops Quality Research

Project Number: 3060-21650-002-055-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2023
End Date: Dec 31, 2025

(1) Evaluate if maternal pulse crop consumption in obese pregnancies improves postpartum health of mothers and protects offspring from the developmental programming of NAFLD and associated metabolic dysfunction; and (2) Characterize pulse crop consumption in the post-pregnancy/postnatal periods as a means to reduce postpartum metabolic syndrome in mothers and reverse NAFLD development and associated metabolic dysfunction in offspring from obese pregnancies.

In Objective 1, seventy-five, 2-month-old female Sprague Dawley rats will be allocated to one of five diet groups throughout pre-pregnancy, gestation, and lactation: Group 1 (n=15): fed a semisynthetic low calorie control diet (CON); Group 2: fed a high caloric western diet (WD); Group 3: fed the WD supplemented with chickpea powder (WD+CPP; 20%); Group 4: fed the WD supplemented with black bean powder (WD+BBP, 20%); Group 5: fed the WD supplemented with lentil powder (WD+LTP, 20%). At the end of a 3-week pre-pregnancy period (PP), tail vein blood will be collected for serum biochemical analyses. Rats will then be bred. Maternal BW will be recorded at regular intervals throughout pregnancy to calculate gestational weight gain. At birth, live litter weight, size, and male to female ratio will be recorded. Litters will be weighed and adjusted to 8 pups per dam and equally matched for number of males and females. Two animal cohorts will be used for the experiments, one for Milk Studies and the other for Metabolic Phenotyping Studies. In Objective 2, studies will include the same pulse-based diet interventions as described for Objective 1, but will shift the timing of their introduction to the postpartum / postnatal periods. Mothers and their male and female offspring will be fed the WD or the WD diet supplemented with 20% CPP, BBP, or LTP throughout the postpartum/postnatal period. Diets will be calorie and macronutrient-matched based on third-party nutrient analyses of the pulse crop powders. On offspring PND 90, a glucose tolerance test will be performed as previously described (mothers and offspring). On PND120, mothers and offspring will undergo a body composition assessment and then will be euthanized for serum biochemical analyses and liver phenotyping.