Acta histochemica

Different combinations of maternal and postnatal diet are reflected in changes of hepatic parenchyma and hepatic TNF-alpha expression in male rat offspring.

PMID 28923316


Obesity is related to increased TNF-alpha production in different tissues. TNF-alpha is connected to mitochondrial dysfunction in the liver and also development of fatty infiltration of the liver. Also, postnatal change from normal to high-fat diet causes a significant increase in TNF-alpha serum levels. The aim of this research was to determine how maternal diet and switching male offspring to a different dietary regime after lactation influences rat liver. Ten female Sprague Dawley rats at nine weeks of age were randomly divided in two groups and fed either standard laboratory chow or high-fat diet during six weeks, and then mated with the same male subject. After birth and lactation male offspring from both groups were further divided into four subgroups depending on their subsequent diet. At 22 weeks of age, the animals were weighted, sacrificed and major organs were collected and weighted. Immunohistochemistry for TNF-alpha was performed on liver, and liver samples were analyzed for pathohistological changes. The group in which mothers were fed standard chow and offspring high-fat diet had the most pronounced changes: heaviest liver, poorest histopathological findings and strongest TNF-alpha immunohistochemical staining of liver parenchyma. High-fat diet during pregnancy and lactation and switching to high-fat diet postnatally affects liver weight, histological structure and TNF-alpha expression in male offspring.