The constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) has been reported to decrease insulin resistance even during pregnancy, while exposure to a high-fat diet (HFD) in utero in mice can induce a type 2 diabetes phenotype that can be transmitted to the progeny. Therefore, we examined whether treatment with a CAR ligand during pregnancy could prevent hypertension, insulin resistance, and hyperlipidemia in the offspring from HFD-induced obese pregnant mice (OH mice). We employed four groups of offspring from HFD-fed and control diet-fed pregnant mice with or without treatment with a CAR ligand. Treatment with a CAR ligand during pregnancy improved glucose tolerance and the levels of triglyceride and adipocytokine and restored the changes induced by HFD with amelioration of hypertension in the adult OH mice. This treatment also increased adiponectin mRNA expression, suppressed leptin expression in adipose tissues of OH mice, and abolished the effect of HFD on the epigenetic modifications of the genes encoding adiponectin and leptin in the offspring during immaturity and adulthood. Our data suggest that CAR might be a potential therapeutic target to prevent metabolic syndrome in adulthood of offspring exposed to an HFD in utero.
- constitutive androstane receptor
- epigenetic change
- insulin resistance
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