Scientific article
Open access

Fetal programming of adult glucose homeostasis in mice

Published inPloS one, vol. 4, no. 9, e7281
Publication date2009

BACKGROUND: Emerging evidence suggests that dietary soy and phytoestrogens can have beneficial effects on lipid and glucose metabolism. We have previously shown that male mice fed from conception to adulthood with a high soy-containing diet had reduced body weight, adiposity and a decrease in glucose intolerance, an early marker of insulin resistance and diabetes. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to identify the precise periods of exposure during which phytoestrogens and dietary soy improve lipid and glucose metabolism. Since intrauterine position (IUP) has been shown to alter sensitivity to endocrine disruptors, we also investigated whether the combination of IUP and fetal exposure to dietary phytoestrogens could potentially affect adult metabolic parameters. METHODS: Male outbred mice (CD-1) were allowed ad libitum access to either a high soy-containing diet or a soy-free diet either during gestation, lactation or after weaning. Adiposity and bone mass density was assessed by dual x-ray absorptiometry. Glucose tolerance was assessed by a glucose tolerance test. Blood pressure was examined by the tail-cuff system. RESULTS: Here we show that metabolic improvements are dependent on precise windows of exposure during life. The beneficial effects of dietary soy and phytoestrogens on adiposity were apparent only in animals fed post-natally, while the improvements in glucose tolerance are restricted to animals with fetal exposure to soy. Interestingly, we observed that IUP influenced adult glucose tolerance, but not adiposity. Similar IUP trends were observed for other estrogen-related metabolic parameters such as blood pressure and bone mass density. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that IUP and fetal exposure to estrogenic environmental disrupting compounds, such as dietary phytoestrogens, could alter metabolic and cardiovascular parameters in adult individuals independently of adipose gain.

  • Adipose Tissue/metabolism
  • Animal Feed
  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Composition
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Glucose/ metabolism
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Homeostasis
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Lipids/chemistry
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Phytoestrogens/metabolism
  • Soybeans
Citation (ISO format)
CEDERROTH, C. R., NEF, Serge. Fetal programming of adult glucose homeostasis in mice. In: PloS one, 2009, vol. 4, n° 9, p. e7281. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0007281
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1932-6203

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