Maternal Triclosan consumption alters the appetite regulatory network on Wistar rat offspring and predispose to metabolic syndrome in the adulthood

Endocr J. 2016 Nov 30;63(11):1007-1016. doi: 10.1507/endocrj.EJ16-0257. Epub 2016 Aug 26.


The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effects of maternal oral exposure to the antibacterial Triclosan (TCS) during gestation and lactation on the metabolic status of the adult offspring and on the expression of main genes controlling the appetite regulatory network. Pregnant rats were fed ad-libitum with ground food + TCS (1 mg/kg) from day 14 of gestation to day 20 of lactation (n=3) or ground food (n=3). After litter reduction, 12 males and 12 females born from the TCS exposed rats (TCS, n=24) or not (Control, n=24) were used to evaluate monthly body weight, food intake, plasma levels of cholesterol, glucose and triglycerides, and the hypothalamic mRNA expression of agouti-related protein (Agrp), neuropeptide Y (Npy) and propiomelanocortin (Pomc). Body weight for rats in the TCS group was 12.5% heavier for males at 4 months (p<0.001) and 19% heavier for females at 8 months (p=0.01). Food intake was significantly higher for rats in the TCS group at 5 months of age (p<0.01). Cholesterol and glucose levels were significantly higher for rats in the TCS group at 8 months (p<0.05). mRNA expression of Npy and Agrp were significantly increased in hypothalami of rats in the TCS group at 2 months for males or 8 months for females (p<0.05). In conclusion, low doses of oral TCS consumption by the pregnant and lactating dam increase the hypothalamic expression of the orexigenic neuropeptides Npy and Agrp in the offspring and alter their metabolic status during adulthood, resembling development of the metabolic syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • Agouti-Related Protein / genetics
  • Agouti-Related Protein / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Appetite / drug effects
  • Appetite / genetics
  • Appetite Regulation / drug effects*
  • Appetite Regulation / genetics*
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Female
  • Gene Regulatory Networks / drug effects
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / chemically induced*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / genetics
  • Metabolic Syndrome / metabolism
  • Neuropeptide Y / genetics
  • Neuropeptide Y / metabolism
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / genetics*
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Triclosan / toxicity*


  • AGRP protein, rat
  • Agouti-Related Protein
  • Neuropeptide Y
  • Triclosan