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Publication Title

Journal of Diabetes & Metabolic Disorders







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Springer Nature Switzerland AG


Purpose Obesity is linked to cognitive dysfunction in humans and rodents, and its effects can be passed on to the next generation. However, the extent of these effects is not well understood. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of a prenatal maternal high-fat diet and an individual high-fat diet in inbred mice. Methods We varied maternal diet and offspring diet to test the hypothesis that a high-fat diet would increase anxiety, reduce activity levels, and impair nest-building. First, we fed a high-fat (HF) or low-fat (LF) diet to genetically identical female Small (SM/J) mice and mated them with LF males. We cross-fostered all offspring to LF-fed SM/J nurses and weaned them onto an HF or LF diet. We weighed the mice weekly and we tested anxiety with the Open Field Test, activity levels with instantaneous scan sampling, and nest building using the Deacon Scale. Results Diet significantly affected weight, with HF females weighing 28.2 g (± 1.4 g SE) and LF females weighing 15.1 g (± 1.6 g SE) at 17 weeks old. The offspring’s own diet had major behavioral effects. HF mice produced more fecal boli and urinations in the Open Field Test, built lower-quality nests, and had lower activity in adulthood than LF mice. The only trait that a prenatal maternal diet significantly affected was whether the offspring built their nests inside or outside of a hut. Conclusions Offspring diet, but not prenatal maternal diet, affected a wide range of behaviors in these mice.


Author Posting © Springer Nature Switzerland AG, 2018. This article is posted here by permission of Springer Nature Switzerland AG for personal use, not for redistribution. The article was published in Journal of Diabetes & Metabolic Disorders, Volume 17, Issue 2, December 2018,

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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