Short-term and long-term effects of submaximal maternal exercise on offspring glucose homeostasis and pancreatic function

Charline Quiclet, Farida Siti, Hervé Dubouchaud, Guillaume Vial, Phanélie Berthon, Eric Fontaine, Cécile Batandier, Karine Couturier

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Only a few studies have explored the effects of maternal exercise during gestation on adult offspring metabolism. We set out to test whether maternal controlled submaximal exercise maintained troughout all gestational periods induces persistant metabolic changes in the offspring. We used a model of 15-wk-old nulliparous female Wistar rats that exercised (trained group) before and during gestation at a submaximal intensity or remained sedentary (control group). At weaning, male offspring from trained dams showed reduced basal glycemia (119.7 ± 2.4 vs. 130.5 ± 4.1 mg/dl, P < 0.05), pancreas relative weight (3.96 ± 0.18 vs. 4.54 ± 0.14 g/kg body wt, P ± 0.05), and islet mean area (22,822 ± 4,036 vs. 44,669 ± 6,761 µm2, P < 0.05) compared with pups from control dams. Additionally, they had better insulin secretory capacity when stimulated by 2.8 mM glucose + 20 mM arginine compared with offspring from control dams (+96%, P < 0.05). At 7 mo of age, offspring from trained mothers displayed altered glucose tolerance (AUC = 15,285 ± 527 vs. 11,898 ± 988 mg·dl-1·120 min, P < 0.05) and decreased muscle insulin sensitivity estimated by the phosphorylated PKB/ total PKB ratio (-32%, P < 0.05) and tended to have a reduced islet insulin secretory capacity compared with rats from control dams. These results suggest that submaximal maternal exercise modifies short-term male offspring pancreatic function and appears to have rather negative long-term consequences on sedentary adult offspring glucose handling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E508-E518
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016


  • Exercise
  • Gestation
  • Glucose homeostasis
  • Offspring
  • Pancreas


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