Food and Behaviour Research

Donate Log In

Maternal gut microbiota in pregnancy influences offspring metabolic phenotype in mice

Kimura I, Miyamoto J, Ohue-Kitano R, Watanabe K, Yamada T, Onuki M, Aoki R, Isobe Y, Kashihara D, Inoue D, Inaba A, Takamura Y, Taira S, Kumaki S, Watanabe M, Ito M, Nakagawa F, Irie J, Kakuta H, Shinohara M, Iwatsuki K, Tsujimoto G, Ohno H, Arita M, Itoh H, Hase K (2020) Science.  2020 Feb;367(6481).  pii: eaaw8429. doi: 10.1126/science.aaw8429. 

Web URL: Read this and related abstracts on PubMed here


Antibiotics and dietary habits can affect the gut microbial community, thus influencing disease susceptibility. Although the effect of microbiota on the postnatal environment has been well documented, much less is known regarding the impact of gut microbiota at the embryonic stage.

Here we show that 
maternal microbiota shapes the metabolic system of offspring in mice.

pregnancy, short-chain fatty acids produced by the maternal microbiota dictate the differentiation of neural, intestinal, and pancreatic cells through embryonic GPR41 and GPR43.

This developmental process helps maintain postnatal energy homeostasis, as evidenced by the fact that 
offspring from germ-free mothers are highly susceptible to metabolic syndrome, even when reared under conventional conditions.

Thus, our findings elaborate on a link between the 
maternal gut environment and the developmental origin of metabolic syndrome.


See the associated news article: