Effect of dietary lipid structure in early postnatal life on mouse adipose tissue development and function in adulthood.Br J Nutr 2014; 111(2):215-26BJ
Obese individuals have more (hyperplastic) and larger (hypertrophic) adipocytes in their white adipose tissue (WAT) than normal-weight individuals. The difference in cell number emerges early in childhood, suggesting that this is a critical period for being susceptible to obesity. Breast-feeding has been shown to be protective against obesity, and we have previously shown in mice that the physical structure of lipids in human milk may contribute to this protective effect. In the present study, we investigated how differences in the physical structure of lipids in the early diet may modulate adipose tissue development. Male mice were fed a diet containing control infant milk formula (Control IMF; Danone Research) or Nuturis® (Concept IMF with large phospholipid-coated lipid droplets; Danone Research) from postnatal day (PN)16 to 42. Subsequently, mice were challenged with a moderate Western-style diet (WSD) until PN98, and body composition was monitored by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Epididymal WAT was analysed for adipocyte size, number and gene expression of metabolic transcription factors. Early Concept IMF exposure reduced fat accumulation during the WSD challenge by 30 % compared with the Control IMF. It reduced adipocyte size without affecting adipocyte number in adult mice. The Concept IMF decreased the expression of PPARγ, CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein and retinoid X receptor α in WAT in adulthood, key regulators of metabolic activity. In conclusion, Concept IMF exposure in early life reduced susceptibility to obesity in adult life, by preventing adipocyte hypertrophia upon adult dietary challenge without affecting adipogenesis. These data emphasise the importance of the physical properties of dietary lipids in early life in obesity risk later in life.