RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - Fifty-one offspring of both sexes of obese (Ob group) and 15 offspring of normal-weight (control group) mothers were studied. Plasma glucose, insulin, and C-peptide were measured during an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Insulin sensitivity was calculated using the oral glucose insulin sensitivity index, and insulin secretion and β-cell glucose sensitivity were computed by a mathematical model. Fasting leptin and adiponectin were also measured. Body composition was assessed by dual-X-ray absorptiometry. RESULTS - No birth weight statistical difference was observed in the two groups. Of the Ob group, 69% were obese and 19% were overweight. The Ob group were more insulin resistant than the control group β98.58 ± 79.32 vs. 513.81 ± 70.70 ml -1 · min -1 m -2 in women, P <0.0001; 416.42 ± 76.17 vs. 484.242 ± 45.76 ml -1 · min -1 · m -2 in men, P 0.05). Insulin secretion after OGTT was higher in Ob group than in control group men (63.94 ± 21.20 vs. 35.71 ± 10.02 nmol · m -2, P <0.01) but did not differ significantly in women. β-Cell glucose sensitivity was not statistically different between groups. A multivariate analysis of variance showed that maternal obesity and offspring sex concurred together with BMI and β-cell glucose sensitivity to determine the differences in insulin sensitivity and secretion observed in offspring. CONCLUSIONS - Obese mothers can give birth to normal birth weight babies who later develop obesity and insulin resistance. The maternal genetic/epigenetic transmission shows a clear sexual dimorphism, with male offspring having a higher value of insulin sensitivity (although not statistically significant) associated with significantly higher insulin secretion than female offspring.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Internal Medicine
- Advanced and Specialised Nursing