Author(s): Dong M, Zheng Q, Ford SP, Nathanielsz PW, Ren J
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Abstract Maternal obesity has risen dramatically over the past 20 years, by nearly 42\% in African-Americans and 29\% in Caucasians. Maternal obesity is afflicted with many maternal obstetric complications in the offspring including high blood pressure, obesity, gestational diabetes and increased perinatal morbidity. Maternal nutritional environment plays a rather important role in the programming of the health set-points in the offspring such as glucose and insulin metabolism, energy balance and predisposition to metabolic disorders. In particular, maternal obesity is associated with elevated prevalence of cardiovascular diseases in the offspring. Evidence from human and experimental studies including rodents and nonhuman primates has indicated that maternal obesity or overnutrition programs offspring for an increased risk of adult obesity. Maternal obesity or fat diet exposure predisposes the onset and development of obesity, insulin resistance, cardiac hypertrophy and myocardial contractile anomalies in the offspring. A number of mechanisms including elevated hormones (leptin, insulin), nutrients (fatty acids, triglycerides and glucose) and inflammatory cytokines have been postulated to play a key role in maternal obesity-induced postnatal cardiovascular sequelae. In addition, lipotoxicity (accumulation of lipid metabolites) resulting from maternal obesity is capable of activating a number of stress signaling cascades including pro-inflammatory cytokines and oxidative stress to exacerbate maternal obesity-induced cardiovascular complications later on in adult life. This mini-review summarizes the recent knowledge with regard to the role of lipotoxicity in maternal obesity-induced change in cardiovascular function in the offspring. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Focus on Cardiac Metabolism". Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in J Mol Cell Cardiol
and referenced in Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism