Examining the potential benefits of (-)-epicatechin, (+)-catechin, and rutin on maternal and offspring cardiovascular outcomes in LDLr-/- mice exposed to an atherogenic environment during early development

Mary N. R. Lesser, Johanna Park, Michael D. Gedestad, Carl L. Keen, Janet Y. Uriu- Adams, Louise Lanoue


Background: Maternal nutritional status can have an impact on numerous early developmental processes, and in certain cases these effects can influence the risk her offspring have for select chronic diseases later in life. We report on the effects of maternal consumption of high levels of certain flavonoids on the development of coronary artery disease (CAD) in an atherosclerosis-prone mutant mouse model.

Methods: LDLr -/- mutant mice were fed a control fat (CF), high fat (HF), or the HF diet supplemented with epicatechin and catechin (HFEC) or rutin (HFRU), prior to pregnancy and during lactation to explore whether the flavonoids influenced markers of vascular health in the lactating dams (lactation day (LD) 21).  Post-weaning (postnatal day (PND) 22), offspring were challenged with an atherogenic environment (HF diet in the absence of flavonoids) and vascular health markers were assessed in the adult offspring (PND 60).

Results: Dams fed the HF diet had elevated markers of atherosclerosis on LD 21 compared to dams fed the control diet.  Flavonoid consumption prior to pregnancy and during lactation had inconsistent effects on maternal markers of atherosclerosis (plasma cholesterol, aortic lipid accumulation, and oxidative stress biomarkers) at LD 21 compared to dams fed the HF diet without flavonoids. At PND 60, there were no differences in vascular health markers among the groups of LDLr -/- offspring whose mothers consumed the CF or the HF diet with or without flavonoids during lactation.

Conclusions: Maternal consumption of the flavonoid-supplemented HF diets had modest effects on maternal markers of atherosclerosis. Offspring exposure of the flavonoid-supplemented HF diets during early lactation had little effect on the cardiovascular parameters assessed in the adult offspring.

Full Text: [Abstract] [Full Article]

DOI: 10.31989/ffhd.v6i4.232


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Copyright (c) 2016 Mary N. R. Lesser

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