Maternal high fat diet consumption during the perinatal period programs offspring behavior

Elinor Sullivan, Elizabeth K. Nousen, Katherine A. Chamlou

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    90 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The environment that a developing offspring experiences during the perinatal period is markedly influenced by maternal health and diet composition. Evidence from both epidemiological studies and animal models indicates that maternal diet and metabolic status play a critical role in programming the neural circuitry that regulates behavior, resulting in long-term consequences for offspring behavior. Maternal diet and metabolic state influence the behavior of offspring directly by impacting the intrauterine environment and indirectly by modulating maternal behavior. The mechanisms by which maternal diet and metabolic profile shape the perinatal environment remain largely unknown, but recent research has found that increases in inflammatory cytokines, nutrients (glucose and fatty acids), and hormones (insulin and leptin) affect the environment of the developing offspring. Offspring exposed to maternal obesity and high fat diet consumption during development are more susceptible to developing mental health and behavioral disorders such as anxiety, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and autism spectrum disorders. Recent evidence suggests that this increased risk for behavioral disorders is driven by modifications in the development of neural pathways involved in behavioral regulation. In particular, research indicates that the development of the serotonergic system is impacted by exposure to maternal obesity and high fat diet consumption, and this disruption may underlie many of the behavioral disturbances observed in these offspring. Given the high rates of obesity and high fat diet consumption in pregnant women, it is vital to examine the influence that maternal nutrition and metabolic profile have on the developing offspring.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)236-242
    Number of pages7
    JournalPhysiology and Behavior
    Volume123
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 17 2014

    Fingerprint

    High Fat Diet
    Mothers
    Diet
    Metabolome
    Obesity
    Maternal Exposure
    Maternal Behavior
    Neural Pathways
    Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity
    Leptin
    Research
    Pregnant Women
    Epidemiologic Studies
    Mental Health
    Fatty Acids
    Anxiety
    Animal Models
    Fat
    Offspring
    Hormones

    Keywords

    • Anxiety
    • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
    • Autism spectrum disorders
    • Depression
    • Inflammation
    • Maternal high fat diet
    • Obesity

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Behavioral Neuroscience
    • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
    • Philosophy

    Cite this

    Maternal high fat diet consumption during the perinatal period programs offspring behavior. / Sullivan, Elinor; Nousen, Elizabeth K.; Chamlou, Katherine A.

    In: Physiology and Behavior, Vol. 123, 17.01.2014, p. 236-242.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Sullivan, Elinor ; Nousen, Elizabeth K. ; Chamlou, Katherine A. / Maternal high fat diet consumption during the perinatal period programs offspring behavior. In: Physiology and Behavior. 2014 ; Vol. 123. pp. 236-242.
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