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05.08.2019 | Original Contribution

Early weaning alters the thermogenic capacity of brown adipose tissue in adult male and female rats

Zeitschrift:
European Journal of Nutrition
Autoren:
T. C. Peixoto, C. B. Pietrobon, I. M. Bertasso, F. A. H. Caramez, C. Calvino, T. R. Santos, E. Oliveira, E. G. Moura, P. C. Lisboa

Abstract

Purpose

Early weaning (EW) is a risk factor for obesity development. Brown adipose tissue (BAT) hypofunction is related to obesity onset. Here, we evaluated whether sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity in BAT and the thermogenic function of BAT are decreased in adulthood in obese rats from two EW models.

Methods

At the time of birth, lactating Wistar rats and their pups (three males and three females) were separated into three groups: the control group, in which pups consumed milk throughout lactation; the non-pharmacological EW (NPEW) group, in which suckling was interrupted with a bandage during the last 3 days of lactation; and the pharmacological EW (PEW) group, in which dams were treated with bromocriptine (0.5 mg/twice a day) 3 days before weaning. The offspring were sacrificed on PN180.

Results

Adult male rats from both EW models exhibited lower BAT SNS activity. Female rats from the PEW group showed a decrease in BAT SNS activity. The protein levels of UCP1 were lower in the NPEW males, while PGC1α levels were lower in both PEW and NPEW males. Both groups of EW females showed reductions in the levels of β3-AR, TRβ1, and PGC1α. The UCP1 protein level was reduced only in the NPEW females. The EW groups of both sexes had lower AMPK protein levels in BAT. In the hypothalamus, only the PEW females showed an increase in AMPK protein levels. In both groups of EW males, adrenal catecholamine was increased and tyrosine hydroxylase was decreased, while in EW females, adrenal catecholamine was decreased.

Conclusions

Early weaning alters the thermogenic capacity of BAT, which partially contributes to obesity in adulthood, and there are sex-related differences in these alterations.

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