Maternal essential fatty acid deficiency depresses serum leptin levels in suckling rat pups.
Journal article, 2001
Dietary lipid quantity and quality have recently been shown to affect serum leptin levels in adult rats. Moreover, suckling pups from dams fed a high fat diet had increased serum leptin levels. The aim of the present study was to analyze the influence of essential fatty acid (EFA) deficiency on serum leptin levels in dams and their pups during the suckling period. For the last 10 days of gestation and throughout lactation, pregnant rats were fed a control or an EFA-deficient (EFAD) diet. The levels of leptin and EFA in the serum of the dams and pups were analyzed 1, 2, and 3 weeks after delivery. In parallel, serum levels of glucose and corticosterone were analyzed in the pups. Low serum leptin levels were found in the control lactating dams during the entire lactation period compared with the age-matched nonlactating animals. The leptin concentrations in the lactating dams fed the EFAD diet were lower compared with those fed the control diet. The serum leptin levels of suckling pups from dams on the EFAD diet were markedly decreased compared with controls (P < 0.05). The reduced serum leptin levels could not be explained by nutritional restriction as evaluated by serum levels of glucose and corticosterone. These results indicate the importance of the EFA composition of the maternal diet for serum leptin levels in both dams and pups. EFA deficiency in lactating dams may cause long-term effects on the pups through dysregulation of leptin and leptin-dependent functions. -- Korotkova, M., B. Gabrielsson, L. A. Hanson, and B. Strandvik. Maternal essential fatty acid deficiency depresses serum leptin levels in suckling rat pups. J. Lipid Res. 2001. 42: 359--365.