Programmed changes in the adult rat offspring caused by maternal protein restriction during gestation and lactation are attenuated by maternal moderate-low physical training

Marco Fidalgo, Filippe Falcão-Tebas, Adriano Bento-Santos, Elaine De Oliveira, José Firmino Nogueira-Neto, Egberto Gaspar De Moura, Patrícia Cristina Lisboa, Raul Manhães De Castro, Carol Góis Leandro

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The effects of maternal moderate-low physical training on postnatal development, glucose homeostasis and leptin concentration in adult offspring subjected to a low-protein diet during the perinatal period were investigated. Male Wistar rats (aged 150Â d old) were divided into four groups according to maternal group: untrained (NTp, n 8); trained (Tp, n 8); untrained with a low-protein diet (NT+LPp, n 8); trained with a low-protein diet (T+LPp, n 8). The trained mothers were subjected to a protocol of moderate physical training over a period of 4 weeks (treadmill, 5Â d/week, 60Â min/d, at 65Â % VO2max) before mating. At pregnancy, the intensity and duration of exercise was progressively reduced (50-20Â min/d, at 65-30Â % VO2max). The low-protein diet groups received an 8Â % casein diet, and their peers received a 17Â % casein diet during gestation and lactation. The pups' birth weight and somatic growth were recorded weekly up to the 150th day. Fasting blood glucose, cholesterol, serum leptin concentration, glucose and insulin tolerance tests were evaluated. The Tp animals showed no changes in somatic and biochemical parameters, while the NT+LPp group showed a greater abdominal circumference, hyperglycaemia, hypercholesterolaemia, glucose intolerance and lower plasma leptin. In the T+LPp animals, all of those alterations were reversed except for plasma leptin concentration. In conclusion, the effects of a perinatal low-protein diet on growth and development, glucose homeostasis and serum leptin concentration in the offspring were attenuated in pups from trained mothers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-456
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Developmental plasticity
  • Gestational exercise
  • Glucose homeostasis
  • Perinatal undernutrition

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