Location: Healthy Body Weight ResearchTitle: The epigenetics of obesity: Role of diet and exercise on adipose, skeletal muscle, and placental tissue metabolism
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/26/2015
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Maternal undernutrition or consumption of excess food energy contributes to the subsequent development of obesity in offspring. This phenomenon, in part, involves the epigenetic transmission of obesity risk across generations. The primary aim of our study is to determine whether a maternal diet increases the risk of development of obesity in offspring by changing metabolism of adipose, skeletal muscle and placental tissues. To identify anti-obesity strategies, this project will determine mechanisms of how maternal low protein and high fat diets contribute to programming of epigenetically imprinted genes that control oxidation of lipids in brown and subcutaneous adipose tissue, intermuscular skeletal muscle, and placental tissues, thus contributing to offspring obesity. Effects of interventions, such as aerobic exercise will be tested to determine whether these interventions have beneficial effects on reducing offspring obesity. Our research includes a combination of animal model studies and a pilot human intervention trial. Results from our animal studies have shown that maternal malnutrition cause 1. Rapid white adipose tissue catch-up growth mediated by IGF2 DNA methylation alterations, 2. Decreased skeletal muscle oxidative respiration, 3. Increased neonatal thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue, 4. Alterations in placental growth and inflammatory cell number and functions, and 5. Reduced beige adipocyte number in subcutaneous adipose tissue. Taken together, results from these studies will inform diet and exercise guidelines for pregnant women to the end of optimizing the long-term health of their children.