Maternal obesity induces liver lipid accumulation of offspring through the lncRNA Lockd/mTOR autophagy pathway

Mol Genet Genomics. 2022 Jun 27. doi: 10.1007/s00438-022-01916-z. Online ahead of print.


Maternal obesity increases the risk of obesity and metabolic diseases in the offspring in early life, but the underlying mechanism has not been elucidated. The aim of this study is to explore whether lncRNA and autophagy are involved in the regulation of maternal obesity on the liver lipid metabolism of the offspring. C57BL/6 mice were fed high-fat diet (HFD) or standard chow diet (CD) for 12 weeks before the start of mating and continued until the end of the lactation period. The lipid metabolism indexes of the three-week-old offspring were detected. The RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) and western blot analysis for autophagy-related protein were performed on the offspring's liver to determine the comprehensive expression profile of lncRNA and autophagy level. In addition, AML12 cells were treated with small interfering RNA (siRNA) and rapamycin. Western blot, qRT-PCR and Oil Red O staining were used to detect protein expression, mRNA expression and lipid accumulation levels. As a result, maternal obesity leads to low expression of lncRNA Lockd and autophagy inhibition in the offspring's liver. Knockdown of lncRNA Lockd could further inhibit autophagy and aggravate lipid accumulation. Rapamycin treatment could improve lipid accumulation in AML12 cells. Our study revealed that maternal obesity caused low expression of lncRNA Lockd in the offspring's liver, and lncRNA Lockd positively regulates autophagy through the mTOR signaling pathway. This study provides new insights into the occurrence of lipid accumulation in the liver of offspring.

Keywords: Autophagy; Lipid metabolism; LncRNA; Maternal obesity; Offspring.