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Maternal obesity increases fetal adiposity which may adversely affect metabolic health of the offspring. Choline regulates lipid metabolism and thus may influence adiposity. This study investigates the effect of maternal choline supplementation on fetal adiposity in a mouse model of maternal obesity. C57BL/6J mice were fed either a high-fat (HF) diet or a control (NF) diet and received either 25 mM choline supplemented (CS) or control untreated (CO) drinking water for 6 weeks before timed-mating and throughout gestation. At embryonic day 17.5, HF feeding led to higher (p < 0.05) percent total body fat in fetuses from the HFCO group, while the choline supplemented HFCS group did not show significant difference versus the NFCO group. Similarly, HF feeding led to higher (p < 0.05) hepatic triglyceride accumulation in the HFCO but not the HFCS fetuses. mRNA levels of lipogenic genes such as Acc1, Fads1, and Elovl5, as well as the transcription factor Srebp1c that favors lipogenesis were downregulated (p < 0.05) by maternal choline supplementation in the HFCS group, which may serve as a mechanism to reduce fat accumulation in the fetal liver during maternal HF feeding. In summary, maternal choline supplementation improves indices of fetal adiposity in obese dams at late gestation.


This article was originally published in Nutrients, available at doi:10.3390/nu9080899.

This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution license.



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