American journal of physiology. Regulatory, integrative and comparative physiology

Early-life physical activity reverses metabolic and Foxo1 epigenetic misregulation induced by gestational sleep disturbance.

PMID 25568076


Sleep disorders are highly prevalent during late pregnancy and can impose adverse effects, such as preeclampsia and diabetes. However, the consequences of sleep fragmentation (SF) on offspring metabolism and epigenomic signatures are unclear. We report that physical activity during early life, but not later, reversed the increased body weight, altered glucose and lipid homeostasis, and increased visceral adipose tissue in offspring of mice subjected to gestational SF (SFo). The reversibility of this phenotype may reflect epigenetic mechanisms induced by SF during gestation. Accordingly, we found that the metabolic master switch Foxo1 was epigenetically misregulated in SFo livers in a temporally regulated fashion. Temporal Foxo1 analysis and its gluconeogenetic targets revealed that the epigenetic abnormalities of Foxo1 precede the metabolic syndrome phenotype. Importantly, regular physical activity early, but not later in life, reversed Foxo1 epigenetic misregulation and altered the metabolic phenotype in gestationally SF-exposed offspring. Thus, we have identified a restricted postnatal period during which lifestyle interventions may reverse the Foxo1 epigenetically mediated risk for metabolic dysfunction later in the life, as induced by gestational sleep disorders.