Supplementary material from "Neonatal mice exposed to a high-fat diet <i>in utero</i> influence the behaviour of their nursing dam"

Published on 2018-11-08T04:23:37Z (GMT) by
The behaviour of a nursing dam influences the development, physiology, and behaviour of her offspring. Maternal behaviours can be modulated both by environmental factors, including diet, and by physical or behavioural characteristics of the offspring. In most studies of the effects of the environment on maternal behaviour, F<sub>0</sub> dams nurse their own F<sub>1</sub> offspring. Because the F<sub>1</sub> are indirectly exposed to the environmental stressor <i>in utero</i> in these studies, it is not possible to differentiate between effects on maternal behaviour from direct exposure of the dam and those mediated by changes in the F<sub>1</sub> as a consequence of <i>in utero</i> exposure. In this study, we used a mouse model of high-fat (HF) diet feeding, which has been shown to influence maternal behaviours, combined with cross-fostering to discriminate between these effects. We tested whether the diet of the F<sub>0</sub> dam or the exposure experienced by the F<sub>1</sub> pups <i>in utero</i> is the most significant predictor of maternal behaviour. Neither factor significantly influenced pup retrieval behaviours. However, strikingly, F<sub>1</sub> <i>in utero</i> exposure was a significant predictor of maternal behaviour in the 15 min immediately following pup retrieval while F<sub>0</sub> diet had no discernable effect. Our findings suggest that <i>in utero</i> exposure to HF diet programmes physiological changes in the offspring which influence the maternal behaviours of their dam after birth.

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Baptissart, Marine; Lamb, Harold E.; To, Kimberly; Bradish, Christine; Tehrani, Jesse; Reif, David; et al. (2018): Supplementary material from "Neonatal mice exposed to a high-fat diet in utero influence the behaviour of their nursing dam". The Royal Society. Collection.