Maternal green tea extract intake during lactation attenuates hepatic lipid accumulation in adult male rats exposed to a continuous high-fat diet from the foetal period

  • Shojiro Yamasaki Hokkaido University
  • Goh Kimura Hokkaido University
  • Kazunari Koizumi Hokkaido University
  • Ning Dai Hokkaido University
  • Rahel Mesfin Ketema Hokkaido University
  • Tomomi Tomihara Hokkaido University
  • Yukako Ueno Hokkaido University
  • Yuki Ohno Hokkaido University
  • Shin Sato Aomori University of Health and Welfare
  • Masaaki Kurasaki Hokkaido University
  • Toshiyuki Hosokawa Hokkaido University
  • Takeshi Saito Hokkaido University
Keywords: maternal supplements, high-fat diet, green tea extract, adult offspring, hepatic fat accumulation


Background: Maternal lipid intake in the early postnatal period has a long-term effect on the possibility of fatty liver formation in children; besides, the importance of lipid consumption during lactation for children’s health has been suggested. Green tea extract (GTE) contains abundant catechins, and it has been reported to improve lipid metabolism and prevent fatty liver.

Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the effects of maternal GTE intake during lactation on hepatic lipid accumulation in adult male rats exposed to a continuous high-fat (HF) diet from the foetal period.

Methods: Pregnant Wistar rats received diets containing 13% (control-fat, CON) or 45% (high-fat, HF) fat. CON-fed mothers received the same diet during lactation, whereas HF-fed mothers received either HF diet alone or HF diet supplemented with 0.24% GTE. At weaning, male offspring were divided into three groups, i.e. CON/CON/CON, HF/HF/HF (HF-offspring) or HF/HF+GTE/HF (GTE-offspring), and were fed until 51 weeks.

Results: A significant hepatic triglyceride (Tg) accumulation was observed in the HF-offspring when compared with the other offspring. This is presumed to be caused by the promotion of Tg synthesis derived from exogenous fatty acid due to a significant increase in diacylglycerol O-acyltransferase 1 and a decrease in Tg expenditure caused by decreasing microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTTP) and long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase. On the other hand, attenuated hepatic Tg accumulation was observed in the GTE-offspring. The levels of the hepatic lipid metabolism-related enzymes were improved to the same level as the CON-offspring, and particularly, MTTP was significantly increased as compared with the HF-offspring.

Conclusion: This study indicates the potential protective effects of maternal GTE intake during lactation on HF diet-induced hepatic lipid accumulation in adult male rat offspring and the possible underlying mechanisms.


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Author Biographies

Shojiro Yamasaki, Hokkaido University

Graduate School of Health Sciences

Goh Kimura, Hokkaido University

Graduate School of Health Sciences

Kazunari Koizumi, Hokkaido University

Graduate School of Health Sciences

Ning Dai, Hokkaido University

Graduate School of Health Sciences

Rahel Mesfin Ketema, Hokkaido University

Graduate School of Health Sciences

Tomomi Tomihara, Hokkaido University

Graduate School of Health Sciences

Yukako Ueno, Hokkaido University

Graduate School of Health Sciences

Yuki Ohno, Hokkaido University

Graduate School of Health Sciences

Shin Sato, Aomori University of Health and Welfare
Department of Nutrition
Masaaki Kurasaki, Hokkaido University
Faculty of Environmental Earth Science
Toshiyuki Hosokawa, Hokkaido University
Institute for the Advancement of Higher Education


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How to Cite
Yamasaki S., Kimura G., Koizumi K., Dai N., Ketema R., Tomihara T., Ueno Y., Ohno Y., Sato S., Kurasaki M., Hosokawa T., & Saito T. (2020). Maternal green tea extract intake during lactation attenuates hepatic lipid accumulation in adult male rats exposed to a continuous high-fat diet from the foetal period. Food & Nutrition Research, 64.
Original Articles