Hypercaloric diet prevents sexual impairment induced by maternal food restriction.


Prenatal undernutrition impairs copulatory behavior and increases the tendency to become obese/overweight, which also reduces sexual behavior. Re-feeding rats prenatally undernourished with a normocaloric diet can restore their physiological conditions and copulatory behavior. Thus, the present study investigated whether a hypercaloric diet that is administered in rats during the juvenile period prevents sexual impairments that are caused by maternal food restriction and the tendency to become overweight/obese. Female rats were prenatally fed a 40% restricted diet from gestational day 2 to 18. The pups received a hypercaloric diet from postnatal day (PND) 23 to PND65 (food restricted hypercaloric [FRH] group) or laboratory chow (food restricted control [FRC] group). Pups from non-food-restricted dams received laboratory chow during the entire experiment (non-food-restricted [NFR] group). During the juvenile period and adulthood, body weight gain was evaluated weekly. The day of balanopreputial separation, sexual behavior, sexual organ weight, hypodermal adiposity, striatal dopamine and serotonin, serum testosterone, and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) were evaluated. The FRH group exhibited an increase in body weight on PND58 and PND65. The FRC group exhibited an increase in the latency to the first mount and intromission and an increase in serum TNF-α levels but a reduction of dopaminergic activity. The hypercaloric diet reversed all of these effects but increased adiposity. We concluded that the hypercaloric diet administered during the juvenile period attenuated reproductive impairments that were induced by maternal food restriction through increases in the energy expenditure but not the tendency to become overweight/obese.

DOI: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2017.01.041

Cite this paper

@article{Bernardi2017HypercaloricDP, title={Hypercaloric diet prevents sexual impairment induced by maternal food restriction.}, author={Maria Martha Bernardi and Dacl{\^e} Juliani Macrini and Elizabeth Teodorov and Leoni Villano Bonamin and Luciane Costa Dalboni and Celso Picolli Coelho and Gabriela P. Chaves-Kirsten and Jorge Camilo Fl{\'o}rio and NG Queiroz-Hazarbassanov and Eduardo Fernandes Bondan and Thiago Berti Kirsten}, journal={Physiology & behavior}, year={2017}, volume={173}, pages={61-68} }