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Journal of Animal Science Abstract - Symposia

CELL BIOLOGY SYMPOSIUM: Impacts of maternal obesity on placental and gut inflammation and health12


This article in JAS

  1. Vol. 92 No. 5, p. 1840-1849
    Received: Sept 02, 2013
    Accepted: Oct 27, 2013
    Published: November 21, 2014

    3 Corresponding author(s):

  1. M. J. Zhu 3,
  2. M. Du and
  3. S. P. Ford§
  1. School of Food Science, Washington State University, Pullman 99164
    School of Food Science, University of Idaho, Moscow 83844
    Department of Animal Science, Washington State University, Pullman 99164
    Center for the Study of Fetal Programming, Department of Animal Science, University of Wyoming, Laramie 82071


Obesity in pregnant women is a growing public health concern that negatively affects fetal development and has long-term impacts on offspring health. The placenta plays an essential role in nutrient transport to the fetus and supports fetal growth and development. Maternal obesity (MO) induces an exacerbated proinflammatory milieu in the placenta providing an inflammatory environment for fetuses. The gut is one of the largest immune organs and mainly develops during the fetal stage. Maternal obesity and the corresponding inflammatory uteroplacental environment affect gut development, incurring inflammatory responses in the fetal intestine that further prime or program the offspring gut to enhance inflammation and impair intestinal barrier integrity. This review summarizes the impact of MO on inflammatory responses in placenta and fetal intestine and the long-term effects on offspring intestinal health. Because “leaky gut” is one of the main etiological factors for a number of common diseases, including inflammatory bowel diseases, type I diabetes, and related autoimmune diseases, the adverse effect of MO on the overall health of progeny is further discussed.

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