Influence of Maternal Diet and Intergenerational Change in Diet Type on Ovarian and Adipose Tissue Morphology in Female Rat Offspring

Medicina (Kaunas). 2022 Jun 26;58(7):854. doi: 10.3390/medicina58070854.


Background and Objectives: A high-fat diet causes inflammation in the organism and many metabolic disorders. Adipose tissue secretes adipokines that affect the function of many organs. The health status of the mother before and during pregnancy affects the health of the offspring. The aim of this study was to determine how the type of maternal diet and the change in the type of diet in the offspring affects the histological characteristics of the ovaries and subcutaneous and perigonadal adipose tissue in female rat offspring. Materials and Methods: Ten female rats were divided into two groups. One group was fed standard laboratory chow, and the other was fed a high-fat diet and mated with a male of the same breed. The offspring of both groups of dams were divided into four subgroups with different feeding protocols. At 22 weeks of age, the offspring were sacrificed. Ovaries and subcutaneous and perigonadal adipose tissue were isolated. In the ovaries, the presence of cystic formations was investigated. Histomorphometric analysis was performed in two types of adipose tissue. Results: The weight of the ovaries of the offspring of mothers fed a high-fat diet was significantly higher than that of the offspring of mothers fed standard laboratory diets. Cystic formations were found in the ovaries of the offspring of mothers fed a high-fat diet. In subcutaneous adipose tissue, the percentage of small-sized adipocytes was significantly higher in the offspring of mothers fed standard laboratory diets. There were no significant differences in adipocyte surface area and adipocyte number between groups. Conclusion: Maternal diet influences the morphology of the ovaries and adipose tissue of the offspring.

Keywords: epigenetics; high-fat diet; histomorphometry; ovaries.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Male
  • Metabolic Diseases* / metabolism
  • Ovary*
  • Pregnancy
  • Rats

Grant support

This research received no external funding. The APC was funded by the Faculty of Dental Medicine and Health, J.J. Strossmayer University of Osijek, 31000 Osijek, Croatia.