According to the “developmental origins of health and disease” (DOHaD) concept, maternal obesity predisposes the offspring to non-communicable diseases in adulthood. While a preconceptional weight loss (WL) is recommended for obese women, its benefits on the offspring have been poorly addressed. We evaluated whether preconceptional WL was able to reverse the adverse effects of maternal obesity in a mouse model, exhibiting a modification of foetal growth and of the expression of genes encoding epigenetic modifiers in liver and placenta. We tracked metabolic and olfactory behavioural trajectories of offspring born to control, obese or WL mothers. After weaning, the offspring were either put on a control diet (CD) or a high-fat (HFD). After only few weeks of HFD, the offspring developed obesity, metabolic alterations and olfactory impairments, independently of maternal context. However, male offspring born to obese mother gained even more weight under HFD than their counterparts born to lean mothers. Preconceptional WL normalized the offspring metabolic phenotypes but had unexpected effects on olfactory performance: a reduction in olfactory sensitivity, along with a lack of fasting-induced, olfactory-based motivation. Our results confirm the benefits of maternal preconceptional WL for male offspring metabolic health but highlight some possible adverse outcomes on olfactory-based behaviours.
- preconceptional weight loss