Maternal L-carnitine supplementation improves glucose and lipid profiles in female offspring of dams exposed to cigarette smoke

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Journal Article
Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology, 2018, 45 (7), pp. 694 - 703
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© 2018 John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd Sex differences in disease susceptibility due to maternal programming have been reported. We previously observed that maternal smoking induced renal disease and neurological changes are restricted to males, while both male and female offspring develop metabolic disorders. We have also found that maternal L-carnitine supplementation during gestation and lactation can significantly improve glucose intolerance and hyperlipidaemia in male offspring. This study aimed to determine whether such beneficial effects can also occur in female offspring. Balb/c female mice were exposed to cigarette smoke (SE) 6 weeks prior to gestation, during gestation and lactation. A subgroup of the SE dams was given L-carnitine (1.5 mmol/L in drinking water) during gestation and lactation. Female offspring were studied at 20 days (weaning) and 13 weeks (adulthood). Maternal smoking increased liver weight (%) and blood glucose levels at 20 days, as well as glucose intolerance and plasma triglycerides levels at adulthood (P <.05). The hepatic lipid metabolic marker adipose triglyceride lipase was downregulated in the SE offspring at 20 days (P <.05). At 13 weeks, the hepatic pro-inflammatory markers IL-1β and TNF-α mRNA expression were upregulated, while the anti-inflammatory marker IL-10 mRNA expression was downregulated in the SE offspring (P <.05). Liver fibrosis was apparent at 20 days and 13 weeks. Maternal L-carnitine supplementation either normalised or suppressed the detrimental effects induced by maternal smoke exposure (P <.05). We conclude that maternal L-carnitine supplementation improves metabolic parameters in the female offspring of SE dams.
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