Author(s): Zhu MJ, Du M, Ford SP
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Abstract Obesity in pregnant women is a growing public health concern that negatively affects fetal development and has long-term impacts on offspring health. The placenta plays an essential role in nutrient transport to the fetus and supports fetal growth and development. Maternal obesity (MO) induces an exacerbated proinflammatory milieu in the placenta providing an inflammatory environment for fetuses. The gut is one of the largest immune organs and mainly develops during the fetal stage. Maternal obesity and the corresponding inflammatory uteroplacental environment affect gut development, incurring inflammatory responses in the fetal intestine that further prime or program the offspring gut to enhance inflammation and impair intestinal barrier integrity. This review summarizes the impact of MO on inflammatory responses in placenta and fetal intestine and the long-term effects on offspring intestinal health. Because "leaky gut" is one of the main etiological factors for a number of common diseases, including inflammatory bowel diseases, type I diabetes, and related autoimmune diseases, the adverse effect of MO on the overall health of progeny is further discussed.
This article was published in J Anim Sci
and referenced in Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism