Journal article 829 views
Influence of prenatal nutrition and obesity on tissue specific fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO) gene expression
Reproduction, Volume: 139, Issue: 1, Pages: 265 - 274
Swansea University Author: Melanie Healy
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The recent discovery of an association between body composition, energy intake and the fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO) gene represents a promising new therapeutic target in obesity prevention. In a well, pre-established large animal model, we investigated the regulation of FTO gene expression...
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The recent discovery of an association between body composition, energy intake and the fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO) gene represents a promising new therapeutic target in obesity prevention. In a well, pre-established large animal model, we investigated the regulation of FTO gene expression under conditions either leading to obesity or increased risk of obesity related disorders: i) a sedentary 'Western' lifestyle and ii) prenatal exposure to nutrient restriction. Pregnant sheep were either fed to fully meet their nutritional requirements throughout gestation or 50% of this amount from early-to-mid gestation. Following weaning, offspring were either made obese through exposure to a sedentary obesogenic environment or remained lean. A significant positive relationship between placental FTO gene expression and fetal weight was found at 110 days gestation. In both the newborn and adult offspring, the hypothalamus was the major site of FTO gene expression. Hypothalamic FTO gene expression was upregulated by obesity and was further increased by prenatal nutrient restriction. Importantly, we found a strong negative relationship between the hypothalamic FTO gene expression and food intake in lean animals only that may imply FTO as a novel controller of energy intake. In contrast, FTO gene expression in the heart was downregulated in obese offspring born to nutrient restricted mothers. In addition, FTO gene expression was unaffected by obesity or prenatal diet in insulin-dependent tissues, where it changed with age possibly reflecting adaptations in cellular energetic activity. These findings extend information gained from human epidemiology and provide new insights into the regulation of in vivo energy metabolism to prevent obesity.
Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences