Beneficial Effects of Maternal Exercise on Obesity, Insulin Resistance, and Hypertension in Offspring

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Maternal obesity is an ever-increasing problem and epidemiology studies are now pointing to metabolic derangements in their offspring. In an attempt to be pro-active, maternal exercise during pregnancy was chosen as a potential short-term intervention to improve health outcomes in offspring. In a pilot study, fasting glucose and insulin levels were lower in offspring born to exercised dams compared to those born to non-exercised dams. Therefore, the hypothesis for this proposal is maternal exercise during pregnancy will improve glucose regulation and decrease obesity and hypertension in offspring. The first aim is designed to determine whether maternal exercise can improve insulin sensitivity in offspring fed a normal, standard diet and protect against obesity and insulin resistance in high calorie diet-fed offspring. The second aim hopes to elucidate the mechanism for long-lasting insulin sensitivity in offspring born to exercised dams. The third aim will determine whether maternal exercise can be used as an intervention to improve pathology outcomes in offspring resulting from maternal consumption of a high calorie diet. To explore these aims, female mice will be placed into sedentary or voluntary exercise groups. The exercise dams will have 24 hour access to running wheels before mating and throughout pregnancy. The maturing offspring will not have access to running wheels for any portion of the study. Obesity, glucose and insulin tolerance, and hypertension will be monitored in the offspring. These studies will provide important information on the potential positive impact maternal exercise can have on offspring health.
Effective start/end date1/1/111/1/11


  • American Heart Association


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