Presented by: Daniel Radford-Smith
Depression is a common disorder which continues to increase in prevalence. Epidemiological evidence demonstrates a role for gestational obesity in offspring behavioural disorders, alongside perturbations to the microbiota-gut-brain axis. Prebiotic administration reduces offspring depressive-like behaviour in naïve, normal weight dams, but the action of probiotics in obese dams is unknown. Moreover, the mechanisms by which perinatal probiotic exposure exerts beneficial effects remains elusive. We aimed to determine whether maternal probiotic supplementation protected adult offspring against the adverse behavioural and metabolic effects of maternal obesity. CD-1 female mice were randomly assigned to receive either a high-fat diet or a carbohydrate-matched control diet prior to and throughout gestation and nursing. Adult offspring behaviour was tested at 16 weeks of age. We then used nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to investigate the functional changes of maternal diet-induced obesity and maternal probiotic intake in offspring, across the gut-brain axis. Progeny of obese dams exhibited increased depressive-like behaviour, while maternal probiotic intake mitigated the pro-depressant effects of maternal obesity. Faecal short-chain fatty acids were increased in probiotic offspring in adulthood, while acetate and lactate were increased in the adult brain. We provide novel evidence for the therapeutic effects of perinatal probiotic supplementation on offspring depressive-like behaviour, induced by maternal obesity, and associate these effects with a longstanding increase in microbial short-chain fatty acid production.
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