Maternal diabetes impairs fetal lung development. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are ligand-activated transcription factors relevant in lipid homeostasis and lung development. This study aims to evaluate the effect of in vivo activation of PPARs on lipid homeostasis in fetal lungs of diabetic rats. To this end, we studied lipid concentrations, expression of lipid metabolizing enzymes and fatty acid composition in fetal lungs of control and diabetic rats i) after injections of the fetuses with Leukotriene B4 (LTB4, PPARα ligand) or 15deoxyΔ12,14prostaglandin J2 (15dPGJ2, PPARγ ligand) and ii) fed during pregnancy with 6% olive oil- or 6% safflower oil-supplemented diets, enriched with PPAR ligands were studied. Maternal diabetes increased triglyceride concentrations and decreased expression of lipid-oxidizing enzymes in fetal lungs of diabetic rats, an expression further decreased by LTB4 and partially restored by 15dPGJ2 in lungs of male fetuses in the diabetic group. In lungs of female fetuses in the diabetic group, maternal diets enriched with olive oil increased triglyceride concentrations and fatty acid synthase expression, while those enriched with safflower oil increased triglyceride concentrations and fatty acid transporter expression. Both olive oil- and safflower oil-supplemented diets decreased cholesterol and cholesteryl ester concentrations and increased the expression of the reverse cholesterol transporter ATP-binding cassette A1 in fetal lungs of female fetuses of diabetic rats. In fetal lungs of control and diabetic rats, the proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids increased with the maternal diets enriched with olive and safflower oils. Our results revealed important changes in lipid metabolism in fetal lungs of diabetic rats, and in the ability of PPAR ligands to modulate the composition of lipid species relevant in the lung during the perinatal period.
M Kurtz, E Capobianco, V Careaga, N Martinez, M B Mazzucco, M Maier and A Jawerbaum
M B Mazzucco, R Higa, E Capobianco, M Kurtz, A Jawerbaum and V White
Metabolic alterations in obese and overweight mothers impact the placenta and the fetus, leading to anomalies in fetal growth and lipid accretion. The primary aim of the study was to examine the effect of a saturated fat-rich diet (FD) on growth, lipid accretion, and lipases, leptin and leptin receptor (ObR) expression in the placenta and fetal liver. We also aimed to find a role for fetal leptin in the modulation of placental and fetal liver lipase and ObR expression. Six-week-old rats were fed with a standard rat chow (control) or a 25% FD for 7 weeks until mating and during pregnancy. Also, in a group of control rats, fetuses were injected with leptin on days 19, 20, and 21 of pregnancy. On day 21, we assessed lipidemia, insulinemia, and leptinemia in mothers and fetuses. In the placenta and fetal liver, lipid concentration was assessed by thin layer chromatography (TLC) and the gene expression of lipoprotein lipase (LPL), endothelial lipase, insulin receptor (Insr), leptin, and ObR by RT-PCR. The FD induced hypertriglyceridemia and hyperleptinemia (P<0.01) in mothers and fetuses, an increase in maternal (P<0.05) and fetal weight (P<0.01), overaccumulation of lipids in fetal liver (P<0.01), and enhanced leptin expression in the placenta and fetal liver (P<0.05). Placental expression of IR and LPL was increased (P<0.05), and ObR decreased (P<0.05) in the FD group. Fetal administration of leptin induced the placental and fetal liver downregulation of ObR (P<0.05) and upregulation of LPL expression (P<0.05). The FD led to increased fetal lipid levels, which may result from high maternal lipid availability and fetal leptin effects.