Calorie Restriction in Adulthood Reduces Hepatic Disorders Induced by Transient Postnatal Overfeeding in Mice

Nutrients. 2019 Nov 16;11(11):2796. doi: 10.3390/nu11112796.


Impaired early nutrition influences the risk of developing metabolic disorders in later life. We observed that transient postnatal overfeeding (OF) in mice induces long-term hepatic alterations, characterized by microsteatosis, fibrosis associated with oxidative stress (OS), and stress-induced premature senescence (SIPS). In this study, we investigated whether such changes can be reversed by moderate calorie restriction (CR). C57BL/6 male mice pups were maintained during lactation in litters adjusted to nine pups in the normal feeding (NF) group and three pups in the transient postnatal OF group. At six months of age, adult mice from the NF and OF groups were randomly assigned to an ad libitum diet or CR (daily energy supply reduced by 20%) for one month. In each group, at the age of seven months, analysis of liver structure, liver markers of OS (superoxide anion, antioxidant defenses), and SIPS (lipofuscin, p53, p21, p16, pRb/Rb, Acp53, sirtuin-1) were performed. CR in the OF group reduced microsteatosis, decreased levels of superoxide anion, and increased protein expression of catalase and superoxide dismutase. Moreover, CR decreased lipofuscin staining, p21, p53, Acp53, and p16 but increased pRb/Rb and sirtuin-1 protein expression. CR did not affect the NF group. These results suggest that CR reduces hepatic disorders induced by OF.

Keywords: DOHaD; developmental programming; liver; oxidative stress; reversibility; stress-induced premature senescence.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Caloric Restriction / methods*
  • Catalase / metabolism
  • Cellular Senescence
  • Feeding Methods / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver Diseases / diet therapy*
  • Liver Diseases / etiology
  • Liver Diseases / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism


  • Catalase
  • Superoxide Dismutase