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Antioxidant effects of N-acetylcysteine prevent programmed metabolic disease in mice

posted on 22.05.2020, 13:40 by Ada Admin, Maureen J. Charron, Lyda Williams, Yoshinori Seki, Xiu Quan Du, Bhagirath Chaurasia, Alan Saghatelian, Scott A. Summers, Ellen B. Katz, Patricia M. Vuguin, Sandra E. Reznik
An adverse maternal in utero environment can program offspring for increased risk for metabolic disease. The aim of this study was to determine whether N-acetylcysteine (NAC), an anti-inflammatory antioxidant, attenuates programmed susceptibility to obesity and insulin resistance in high fat diet (HFD) offspring. CD1 female mice were acutely fed a standard breeding chow or HFD. NAC was added to the drinking water (1g/kg) of the treatment cohorts from embryonic day 0.5 (e0.5) until the end of lactation. NAC treatment normalized HFD-induced maternal weight gain and oxidative stress, improved the maternal lipidome and prevented maternal leptin resistance. These favorable changes in the in utero environment normalized postnatal growth, decreased white adipose tissue (WAT) and hepatic fat, improved glucose and insulin tolerance and antioxidant capacity, reduced leptin and insulin and increased adiponectin in HFD offspring. The lifelong metabolic improvements in the offspring were accompanied by reductions in pro-inflammatory gene expression in liver and WAT and increased thermogenic gene expression in brown adipose tissue (BAT). These results, for the first time, provide a mechanistic rationale for how NAC can prevent the onset of metabolic disease in the offspring of mothers who consume a typical Western HFDs.


This work was supported by NIH grant R21DK081194 (M.J.C.), American Diabetes Association grant 1-13-CE-06 (M.J.C) and an NIH Ruth Kirschstein predoctoral fellowship F31 DK093332 (L.W.)



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