This study evaluated the effects of a post-weaning high-fat (HF) diet on somatic growth, food consumption, metabolic parameters, phagocytic rate and nitric oxide (NO) production of peritoneal macrophages in young rats submitted to a maternal low-protein (LP) diet. Male Wistar rats (aged 60 d) were divided in two groups (n 22/each) according to their maternal diet during gestation and lactation: control (C, dams fed 17 % casein) and LP (dams fed 8 % casein). At weaning, half of the groups were fed HF diet and two more groups were formed (HF and low protein–high fat (LP-HF)). Somatic growth, food and energy intake, fat depots, serum glucose, cholesterol and leptin concentrations were evaluated. Phagocytic rate and NO production were analysed in peritoneal macrophages under stimulation of zymosan and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)+interferon γ (IFN-γ), respectively. The maternal LP diet altered the somatic parameters of growth and development of pups. LP and LP-HF pups showed a higher body weight gain and food intake than C pups. HF and LP-HF pups showed increased retroperitoneal and epididymal fat depots, serum level of TAG and total cholesterol compared with C and LP pups. After LPS+IFN-γ stimulation, LP and LP-HF pups showed reduced NO production when compared with their pairs. Increased phagocytic activity and NO production were seen in LP but not LP-HF peritoneal macrophages. However, peritoneal macrophages of LP pups were hyporesponsive to LPS+IFN-γ induced NO release, even after a post-weaning HF diet. Our data demonstrated that there was an immunomodulation related to dietary fatty acids after the maternal LP diet-induced metabolic programming.