Taurine supplementation reduces adiposity and hepatic lipid metabolic activity in adult offspring following maternal cafeteria diet

Nutr Res. 2023 Sep:117:15-29. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2023.06.003. Epub 2023 Jun 12.


Maternal taurine supplementation has been shown to exert protective effects following a maternal obesogenic diet on offspring growth and metabolism. However, the long-term effects of maternal cafeteria diet on adiposity, metabolic profile, and hepatic gene expression patterns following supplementation of taurine in adult offspring remains unclear. In this study, we hypothesized that exposure to maternal taurine supplementation would modulate the effects of maternal cafeteria diet by reducing adiposity and hepatic gene expression patterns involved in lipid metabolism in adult offspring. Female Wistar rats were fed a control diet, control diet supplemented with 1.5% taurine in drinking water, cafeteria diet (CAF) or CAF supplemented with taurine (CAFT) from weaning. After 8 weeks, all animals were mated and maintained on the same diets during pregnancy and lactation. After weaning, all offspring were fed with control chow diet until the age of 20 weeks. Despite similar body weights, CAFT offspring had significantly lower fat deposition and body fat when compared with CAF offspring. Microarray analysis revealed that genes (Akr1c3, Cyp7a1, Hsd17b6, Cd36, Acsm3, and Aldh1b1) related to steroid hormone biosynthesis, cholesterol metabolism, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor signaling pathway, butanoate metabolism, and fatty acid degradation were down-regulated in CAFT offspring. The current study shows that exposure to maternal cafeteria diet promoted adiposity and taurine supplementation reduced lipid deposition and in both male and female offspring and led to alterations in hepatic gene expression patterns, reducing the detrimental effects of maternal cafeteria diet.

Keywords: Cafeteria diet; Maternal obesity; Microarray analysis; Rats; Taurine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adiposity*
  • Animals
  • Diet
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lactation
  • Lipids
  • Male
  • Maternal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Taurine / pharmacology


  • Taurine
  • Lipids