Impact of Maternal Over-nutrition during Pregnancy on Maternal Oxidative Stress and Fetal Skeletal/Visceral Anomalies of the Rats

Débora Cristina Damasceno, Bruna Dallaqua, Isabela Lovizutto Iessi, Gustavo Tadeu Volpato and Kleber Eduardo Campos

The maternal food supply, nutrition and metabolism leads to lifelong consequences for the health of the infants. Experimental models have been developed to explore these repercussions. We intended (1) to verify the influence of a maternal overnutrition on the maternal oxidative stress in pregnant rat, (2) to evaluate if the maternal oxidative stress interferes on the fetal growth, and (3) to analyze external, skeletal and visceral fetal anomalies. On day 0 of pregnancy, the rats were randomly distributed into two groups (n=21 rats/group): Control group - fed regular diet; Overnutrition group – fed high caloric diet, which was made by mixing the supplemented ingredients to a previously triturated Purina Chow. On day 21 of pregnancy, the rats were euthanized to evaluate reproductive outcomes and fetal development, and to obtain blood samples for maternal metabolic parameters. The fetal weights were significantly reduced after overnutrition treatment during pregnancy. The overnoutrished rats presented higher malonaldehyde-MDA and thiol group concentrations and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity whereas glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity was lower. The fetuses from overnutrition group presented higher frequency of skeletal and visceral anomalies. Thus, the overnutrition caused metabolic changes in the maternal organism, particularly in oxidative metabolism, which impaired the fetal growth and development, showing harmful effect of a hypercaloric diet during pregnancy.