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.

Explore further: Latest research shows two items are key to decrease symptoms and prolong survival for LMC patients

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

Related Stories

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 ...

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 ...

Recommended for you

Study: Impulsivity may weigh down some people

January 20, 2017

Researchers at the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas have found a link between having an impulsive personality and a high body mass index (BMI).

No silver bullet to beating obesity, study finds

January 10, 2017

As many seek to battle festive bulge in January, new research challenges previous findings that any single aspect of diet or lifestyle can be targeted to reduce the risk of obesity in adults with a high genetic risk of putting ...

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.