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Western diet in the perinatal period promotes dysautonomia in the offspring of adult rats

  • R. Vidal-Santos (a1), F. N. Macedo (a1), M. N. S. Santana (a1), V. U. De Melo (a1), J. L. de Brito Alves (a2), M. R. V. Santos (a1), L. C. Brito (a3), E. Nascimento (a4), J. H. Costa-Silva (a2) and V. J. Santana-Filho (a1)...


The present study investigated the impact of a western diet during gestation and lactation on the anthropometry, serum biochemical, blood pressure and cardiovascular autonomic control on the offspring. Male Wistar rats were divided into two groups according to their mother’s diet received: control group (C: 18% calories of lipids) and westernized group (W: 32% calories of lipids). After weaning both groups received standard diet. On the 60th day of life, blood samples were collected for the analysis of fasting glucose and lipidogram. Cardiovascular parameters were measured on the same period. Autonomic nervous system modulation was evaluated by spectrum analysis of heart rate (HR) and systolic arterial pressure (SAP). The W increased glycemia (123±2 v. 155±2 mg/dl), low-density lipoprotein (15±1 v. 31±2 mg/dl), triglycerides (49±1 v. 85±2 mg/dl), total cholesterol (75±2 v. 86±2 mg/dl), and decreased high-density lipoprotein (50±4 v. 38±3 mg/dl), as well as increased body mass (209±4 v. 229±6 g) than C. Furthermore, the W showed higher SAP (130±4 v. 157±2 mmHg), HR (357±10 v. 428±14 bpm), sympathetic modulation to vessels (2.3±0.56 v. 6±0.84 mmHg2) and LF/HF ratio (0.15±0.01 v. 0.7±0.2) than C. These findings suggest that a western diet during pregnancy and lactation leads to overweight associated with autonomic misbalance and hypertension in adulthood.


Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: R. V. dos Santos, Department of Physiology, Federal University of Sergipe, Frei Paulo St. 445, apt 303, Building Pegasus, Aracaju/SE 49052-270, Brazil. (Email


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