Sex-dimorphic acceleration of pericardial, subcutaneous, and plasma lipid increase in offspring of poorly nourished baboons

Int J Obes (Lond). 2018 Jun;42(5):1092-1096. doi: 10.1038/s41366-018-0008-2. Epub 2018 Jan 30.


Developmental programming by reduced maternal nutrition alters function in multiple offspring physiological systems, including lipid metabolism. We have shown that intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) leads to offspring cardiovascular dysfunction with an accelerated aging phenotype in our nonhuman primate, baboon model. We hypothesized age-advanced pericardial fat and blood lipid changes. In pregnancy and lactation, pregnant baboons ate ad lib (control) or 70% ad lib diet (IUGR). We studied baboon offspring pericardial lipid deposition with magnetic resonance imaging at 5-6 years (human equivalent 20-24 years), skinfold thickness, and serum lipid profile at 8-9 years (human equivalent 32-36 years), comparing values with a normative life-course baboon cohort, 4-23 years. Increased pericardial fat deposition occurred in IUGR males but not females. Female but not male total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, and subcutaneous fat were increased with a trend of triglycerides increase. When comparing IUGR changes to values in normal older baboons, the increase in male apical pericardial fat was equivalent to advancing age by 6 years and the increase in female low-density lipoprotein to an increase of 3 years. We conclude that reduced maternal diet accelerates offspring lipid changes in a sex-dimorphic manner. The interaction between programming and accelerated lipogenesis warrants further investigation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Lipid Metabolism / physiology*
  • Lipids / analysis*
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Malnutrition / physiopathology*
  • Papio / physiology*
  • Pericardium / physiopathology
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Skinfold Thickness
  • Subcutaneous Fat / physiopathology*


  • Lipids