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Júlio Cezar de Oliveira, Patrícia Cristina Lisboa, Egberto Gaspar de Moura, Luiz Felipe Barella, Rosiane Aparecida Miranda, Ananda Malta, Claudinéia Conationi da Silva Franco, Tatiane Aparecida da Silva Ribeiro, Rosana Torrezan, Clarice Gravena, and Paulo Cezar de Freitas Mathias

Similar to gestation/lactation, puberty is also a critical phase in which neuronal connections are still being produced and during which metabolic changes may occur if nutrition is disturbed. In the present study we aimed to determine whether peripubertal protein restriction induces metabolic programming. Thirty-day-old male rats were fed either a low protein (LP group) diet (4% w/w protein) or a normal protein (NP group) diet (23%) until 60 days of age, when they received the NP diet until they were 120 days old. Body weight (BW), food intake, fat tissue accumulation, glucose tolerance, and insulin secretion were evaluated. The nerve electrical activity was recorded to evaluate autonomous nervous system (ANS) function. Adolescent LP rats presented hypophagia and lower BW gain during the LP diet treatment (P<0.001). However, the food intake and BW gain by the LP rats were increased (P<0.001) after the NP diet was resumed. The LP rats presented mild hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, severe hyperleptinemia upon fasting, peripheral insulin resistance and increased fat tissue accumulation and vagus nerve activity (P<0.05). Glucose-induced insulin secretion was greater in the LP islets than in the NP islets; however, the cholinergic response was decreased (P<0.05). Compared with the islets from the NP rats, the LP islets showed changes in the activity of muscarinic receptors (P<0.05); in addition, the inhibition of glucose-induced insulin secretion by epinephrine was attenuated (P<0.001). Protein restriction during adolescence caused high-fat tissue accumulation in adult rats. Islet dysfunction could be related to an ANS imbalance.

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Júlio Cezar de Oliveira, Egberto Gaspar de Moura, Rosiane Aparecida Miranda, Ana Maria Praxedes de Moraes, Luiz Felipe Barella, Ellen Paula Santos da Conceição, Rodrigo Mello Gomes, Tatiane Aparecida Ribeiro, Ananda Malta, Isabela Peixoto Martins, Claudinéia Conationi da Silva Franco, Patrícia Cristina Lisboa, and Paulo Cezar de Freitas Mathias

We examined the long-term effects of protein restriction during puberty on the function of hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) and hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal (HPG) axes in male rats. Male Wistar rats from the age of 30 to 60 days were fed a low-protein diet (4%, LP). A normal-protein diet (20.5%) was reintroduced to rats from the age of 60 to 120 days. Control rats were fed a normal-protein diet throughout life (NP). Rats of 60 or 120 days old were killed. Food consumption, body weight, visceral fat deposits, lipid profile, glycemia, insulinemia, corticosteronemia, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), testosteronemia and leptinemia were evaluated. Glucose-insulin homeostasis, pancreatic-islet insulinotropic response, testosterone production and hypothalamic protein expression of the androgen receptor (AR), glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and leptin signaling pathway were also determined. LP rats were hypophagic, leaner, hypoglycemic, hypoinsulinemic and hypoleptinemic at the age of 60 days (P < 0.05). These rats exhibited hyperactivity of the HPA axis, hypoactivity of the HPG axis and a weak insulinotropic response (P < 0.01). LP rats at the age of 120 days were hyperphagic and exhibited higher visceral fat accumulation, hyperleptinemia and dyslipidemia; lower blood ACTH, testosterone and testosterone release; and reduced hypothalamic expression of AR, GR and SOCS3, with a higher pSTAT3/STAT3 ratio (P < 0.05). Glucose-insulin homeostasis was disrupted and associated with hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia and increased insulinotropic response of the pancreatic islets. The cholinergic and glucose pancreatic-islet responses were small in 60-day-old LP rats but increased in 120-day-old LP rats. The hyperactivity of the HPA axis and the suppression of the HPG axis caused by protein restriction at puberty contributed to energy and metabolic disorders as long-term consequences.

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Tatiane Aparecida Ribeiro, Audrei Pavanello, Laize Peron Tófolo, Júlio Cezar de Oliveira, Ana Maria Praxedes de Moraes, Claudinéia Conationi da Silva Franco, Kelly Valério Prates, Isabela Peixoto Martins, Kesia Palma-Rigo, Rosana Torrezan, Erica Yeo, Rodrigo Mello Gomes, Flávio Andrade Francisco, Paulo Cezar de Freitas Mathias, and Ananda Malta

We tested whether chronic supplementation with soy isoflavones could modulate insulin secretion levels and subsequent recovery of pancreatic islet function as well as prevent metabolic dysfunction induced by early overfeeding in adult male rats. Wistar rats raised in small litters (SL, 3 pups/dam) and normal litters (NL, 9 pups/dam) were used as models of early overfeeding and normal feeding, respectively. At 30 to 90 days old, animals in the SL and NL groups received either soy isoflavones extract (ISO) or water (W) gavage serving as controls. At 90 days old, body weight, visceral fat deposits, glycemia, insulinemia were evaluated. Glucose-insulin homeostasis and pancreatic-islet insulinotropic response were also determined.

The early life overnutrition induced by small litter displayed metabolic dysfunction, glucose and insulin homeostasis disruption in adult rats. However, adult SL rats treated with soy isoflavones showed improvement in glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity, insulinemia, fat tissue accretion and body weight gain, compared with SL-W group. Pancreatic-islet response to cholinergic, adrenergic and glucose stimuli was improved in both isoflavone-treated groups. In addition, different isoflavone concentrations increased glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in islets of all groups with higher magnitude in both NL and SL isoflavone treated groups. These results indicate that long-term treatment with soy isoflavones inhibits early overfeeding-induced metabolic dysfunction in adult rats and modulated the process of insulin secretion in pancreatic islets.

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Ananda Malta, Júlio Cezar de Oliveira, Tatiane Aparecida da Silva Ribeiro, Laize Peron Tófolo, Luiz Felipe Barella, Kelly Valério Prates, Rosiane Aparecida Miranda, Ghada Elmhiri, Claudinéia Conationi da Silva Franco, Aryane Rodrigues Agostinho, Amanda Bianchi Trombini, Audrei Pavanello, Clarice Gravena, Latifa Abdennebi-Najar, and Paulo Cezar de Freitas Mathias

Nutritional insults during developmental plasticity have been linked with metabolic diseases such as diabetes in adulthood. We aimed to investigate whether a low-protein (LP) diet at the beginning of adulthood is able to program metabolic disruptions in rats. While control rats ate a normal-protein (23%; NP group) diet, treated rats were fed a LP (4%; LP group) diet from 60 to 90 days of age, after which an NP diet was supplied until they were 150 days old. Plasma levels of glucose and insulin, autonomous nervous system (ANS), and pancreatic islet function were then evaluated. Compared with the NP group, LP rats exhibited unchanged body weight and reduced food intake throughout the period of protein restriction; however, after the switch to the NP diet, hyperphagia of 10% (P<0.05), and catch-up growth of 113% (P<0.0001) were found. The LP rats showed hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, and higher fat accretion than the NP rats. While the sympathetic tonus from LP rats reduced by 28%, the vagus tonus increased by 21% (P<0.05). Compared with the islets from NP rats, the glucose insulinotropic effect as well as cholinergic and adrenergic actions was unaltered in the islets from LP rats. Protein restriction at the beginning of adulthood induced unbalanced ANS activity and fat tissue accretion later in life, even without functional disturbances in the pancreatic islets.