The Journal of endocrinology
URL with Digital Object Identifier
Maternal diabetes impairs fetal development and increases the risk of metabolic diseases in the offspring. Previously, we showed maternal dietary supplementation with 6% of olive oil prevents diabetes-induced embryo and fetal defects, in part, through the activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs). In this study we examined the effects of this diet on neonatal and adult pancreatic development in both male and female offspring. A mild diabetic model was developed by injecting neonatal rats with streptozotocin (90 mg/kg). During pregnancy these dams were fed a chow diet supplemented or not with 6% olive oil. Dual immunohistochemistry was performed to detect α and β cells in islets at post-natal day 2 and at 5 months of age. Morphometric analysis was carried out to determine the number of islets, α and β cell clusters and β-cell mass. At 5 months, male offspring of diabetic mothers had reduced β-cell mass. Moreover, this β-cell pancreatic deficit was prevented by the maternal supplementation with olive oil. While no changes in PPARα expression was detected in the pancreas, both PPARβ/δ and PPARγ expression were reduced in 5-month-old male offspring of diabetic rats. Interestingly, the reduction in PPAR β/δ expression was prevented by maternal olive-oil supplementation. To further explore the direct effects on PPARs, INS-1E (β) and αTC1-6 (α) cell lines were treated with oleic acid. Interestingly PPARβ/δ expression is highly expressed in INS-1E. Collectively, these findings suggest that olive oil supplementation in utero may prevent diabetes-induced β cell loss in postnatal life by modulating pancreatic PPARs.