Maternal interventions to improve offspring outcomes in rodent models of diet-induced obesity: a review

Daniela Menichini, Monica Longo, Fabio Facchinetti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Maternal obesity is an adverse factor that affects the intrauterine environment during critical periods of fetal developmental causing adverse lifelong effects on offspring health. Several different interventions have been performed in animal models of obesity to ameliorate maternal conditions and consequently reduce the adverse effects on offspring. Our aim was to critically review studies involving murine models of obesity induced by high fat diet (HFD), assessing maternal outcomes during pregnancy and the related offspring conditions. We carried out a computerized literature search of PubMed and Medline. We identified eight studies that fulfilled the inclusion criteria and have performed interventions in pregnancy with natural, synthetized compounds, and lifestyle modifications. Metabolic profile and lipid metabolism were improved by inositols, resveratrol, germinated brown rice (GBR), and exercise in the mother. The offspring whose mother received resveratrol, adiponectin, GBR, and exercise, showed an improvement in leptin, triglycerides, adiponectin levels, and a decrease in insulin resistance. These experimental studies demonstrate that several interventions in pregnant rodents improve the metabolic profile of both the mother and the offspring. Clinical research could now explore the efficacy and safety of such interventions, interrupting the vicious circle that an obese mother generates a child prone to develop metabolic (and cardiovascular) disease in adult life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2943-2949
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 2 2019


  • Animal model
  • fetal programing
  • intervention
  • obesity
  • pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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