Effects of prenatal low protein and postnatal high fat diets on visceral adipose tissue macrophage phenotypes and IL-6 expression in Sprague Dawley rat offspring. Academic Article uri icon


  • Adipose tissue macrophages (ATM) are implicated in adipose tissue inflammation and obesity-related insulin resistance. Maternal low protein models result in fetal programming of obesity. The study aims to answer whether maternal undernutrition by protein restriction affects the ATM M1 or M2 phenotype under postnatal high fat diet in F1 offspring. Using a rat model of prenatal low protein (LP, 8% protein) diet followed by a postnatal high fat energy diet (HE, 45% fat) or low fat normal energy diet (NE, 10% fat) for 12 weeks, we investigated the effects of these diets on adiposity, programming of the offspring ATM phenotype, and the associated inflammatory response in adipose tissue. Fat mass in newborn and 12-week old LP fed offspring was lower than that of normal protein (20%; NP) fed offspring; however, the adipose tissue growth rate was higher compared to the NP fed offspring. While LP did not affect the number of CD68+ or CD206+ cells in adipose tissue of NE offspring, it attenuated the number of these cells in offspring fed HE. In offspring fed HE, LP offspring had a lower percentage of CD11c+CD206+ ATMs, whose abundancy was correlated with the size of the adipocytes. Noteworthy, similar to HE treatment, LP increased gene expression of IL-6 within ATMs. Two-way ANOVA showed an interaction of prenatal LP and postnatal HE on IL-6 and IL-1 transcription. Overall, both LP and HE diets impact ATM phenotype by affecting the ratio of CD11c+CD206+ ATMs and the expression of IL-6.

published proceedings

  • PLoS One

altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Xie, L., Zhang, K. e., Rasmussen, D., Wang, J., Wu, D., Roemmich, J. N., ... Claycombe, K.

citation count

  • 19

complete list of authors

  • Xie, Linglin||Zhang, Ke||Rasmussen, Dane||Wang, Junpeng||Wu, Dayong||Roemmich, James N||Bundy, Amy||Johnson, W Thomas||Claycombe, Kate

editor list (cited editors)

  • Souza-Mello, V.

publication date

  • January 2017