Journal of Community Medicine & Health Education
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Children malnutrition by excessive or insufficient eating is a worrying problem in our society because it has been associated
to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease or diabetes in adulthood. Based on the Predictive-Adaptative Response
Hypothesis and the Early Protein Hypothesis, we considered the possibility that the consequences of infant feeding occur
in terms of a continuum ranging from malnutrition to overeating. To test this hypothesis we submitted 6 groups of Wistar
male rats divided first by the infancy diet and secondly by adolescence-adult diet. Children Diets (PND 22 - PND 43) were:
C (standard chow), P (free choice between standard chow and a palatable food with 20% less proteins) or S (20% standard
chow and 80% of palatable food with 40% less proteins); and adolescence-adults diets (PND 44 - death) were P or C diets to
each previous group. We studied behavioral patterns of intake after weighing the animals and the food each week. We tested
the anxiety-related behavior in adulthood by Elevated Plus Maze and Open-field tests. Finally, levels of leptin and insulin were
determined by commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) kits (Raybiotech, GA, USA, for insulin
and Biovendor, CZ, for leptin). Results show that S infancy group had less weight gain than C or P childhood groups in spite of
eating more Kilocalories per Kilogram than all the other groups and show less anxiety-related behavior. On the other hand, P
Childhood group had higher levels of leptin than the other groups when they also were P in the adult period and lower insulin
levels when they were C in adulthood. Here, we show that early exposure to protein restriction can have long-term metabolic
and behavioral consequences.
Blanco R.N is from the group of Neuropharmacology of Motivated Behavior which is a credited Research Group of the Complutense University of Madrid, with a 20 year experience and more than 50 papers in international journals in different lines of research, including the role of the cannabinoid system in metabolic homeostasis, perinatal and postweaning food programing and the development of new medications for obesity.