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The effect of maternal intake of sucrose or high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)-55 during gestation and lactation on lipogenic gene expression in rat offspring at 3 and 12 weeks of age

  • H. Kaur (a1), C. R. Toop (a1), B. S. Muhlhausler (a1) (a2) (a3) and S. Gentili (a1)


Perinatal exposure to sucrose or high-fructose corn syrup-55 (HFCS-55) in rats has previously been associated with altered hepatic fat content and composition post-weaning, although the effects on hepatic metabolism are unknown. The current study aimed to determine the sex-specific effects of maternal consumption of sucrose or HFCS-55 on the expression of hepatic lipogenic genes in the offspring. Liver samples were collected from offspring of albino Wistar rats provided with ad libitum access to either water (control), 10% sucrose or 10% HFCS-55 solution during pregnancy and lactation at 3 weeks (control n=16, sucrose n=22, HFCS-55 n=16) and 12 weeks (control n=16, sucrose n=10, HFCS-55 n=16) of age. Hepatic expression of the transcription factors such as carbohydrate response element-binding protein, sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1c and downstream genes was determined by quantitative real-time PCR. Sucrose-exposed offspring had higher hepatic SREBP-1c messenger RNA expression compared with control and HFCS-55 groups at both 3 weeks (P=0.01) and 12 weeks (P=0.03) of age. There were no differences in the expression of other hepatic lipogenic genes between groups at either 3 or 12 weeks. Thus, perinatal exposure to sucrose may be more detrimental to offspring hepatic metabolism compared with HFCS-55, independent of sex, and it will be important to evaluate the longer-term effects of perinatal sucrose exposure in future studies.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: S. Gentili, School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, Sansom Institute for Health Research, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia. E-mail:


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The effect of maternal intake of sucrose or high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)-55 during gestation and lactation on lipogenic gene expression in rat offspring at 3 and 12 weeks of age

  • H. Kaur (a1), C. R. Toop (a1), B. S. Muhlhausler (a1) (a2) (a3) and S. Gentili (a1)


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