A prenatal trigger for postnatal obesity

June 24, 2013

During pregnancy, the health of the mother and the intrauterine environment can have dramatic and lasting effects on the child. Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP) is a liver disease that affects 0.5-2% of pregnant women and is characterized by increased bile acid levels in the maternal serum.

In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Catherine Williamson and colleagues at Imperial College London studied the long term impact of ICP in a cohort of Finnish families.

They found that as teenagers, individuals born to women with ICP had altered metabolic profiles and increased BMI. To further understand this effect, Williams and colleagues developed a mouse model of ICP and found that offspring of ICP mothers were more susceptible to metabolic disease and diet-induced obesity.

In the companion commentary, Susan Murphy of Duke University points out that the mouse model of ICP may also be useful in identifying other factors that predispose individuals to metabolic syndrome.

More information: Cholestatic pregnancy programmes metabolic disease in the offspring, J Clin Invest. 2013;123(7):3172–3181. doi:10.1172/JCI68927

Related Stories

Inflammation may link obesity and adverse pregnancy outcomes

January 10, 2012

A number of different immunological mechanisms ensure the successful establishment and maintenance of pregnancy. Imbalance in these mechanisms is associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. In a review published in Advances ...

A potential biomarker for pregnancy-associated heart disease?

April 24, 2013

Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) is a deterioration in cardiac function that occurs in pregnant women during the last month or in the months following their pregnancy. This disorder can occur in women with no prior history ...

Recommended for you

Can a new drug brown the fat and trim the obese person?

May 28, 2015

New research has found that a variant of a drug used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension prompts weight loss in obese mice. Among mice fed a high-fat diet, those who did not get the medication became obese while medicated ...

Changing stem cell structure may help fight obesity

February 17, 2015

The research, conducted at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), found that a slight regulation in the length of primary cilia, small hair-like projections found on most cells, prevented the production of fat cells from ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.