Maternal high fat high sugar diet disrupts olfactory behavior but not mucosa sensitivity in the offspring

Laëtitia Merle, Ophélie Person, Pierre Bonnet, Stéphane Grégoire, Vanessa Soubeyre, Xavier Grosmaitre, David Jarriault
Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2019-06-01; 104: 249-258
DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2019.02.005

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The influence of maternal diet on progeny’s metabolic health has been thoroughly
investigated, but the impact on sensory systems remains unexplored. Neurons of
the olfactory system start to develop during the embryonic life and carry on
their maturation after birth. Besides, these neurons are under metabolic
influences, and it has recently been shown that adult mice exposed to an
obesogenic or diabetogenic diet display reduced olfactory abilities. However,
whether or not Folfactory function is affected by the perinatal nutritional
environment is unknown. Here we investigated the effect of a high fat high
sucrose (HFHS) maternal diet (46% of total energy brought by lipids, 26.6% by
sucrose) on progeny’s olfactory system in mice. In male offspring at weaning
stage, maternal HFHS diet induced overweight and increased gonadal fat,
associated with hyperleptinemia. The progeny of HFHS diet fed dams showed reduced
sniffing behavior in the presence of low doses of phenylethanol (an attractive
odorant for mice), compared to the progeny of standard diet fed dams.
Furthermore, they exhibited increased time to retrieve a piece of breakfast
cereals hidden beneath the bedding in a buried food test. Meanwhile,
electroolfactogram recordings revealed no change in the sensitivity of olfactory
mucosa. mRNA levels for elements of the olfactory transduction cascade were not
affected either. Our results demonstrate that maternal HFHS diet during gestation
and lactation strongly modulates olfactory perception in the offspring, without
impairing odor detection by the olfactory epithelium. Maternal HFHS diet starting
two months before gestation did not induce additional impairments in progeny.


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