Global fructose consumption is on the rise; however, maternal high-fructose intake may have adverse effects on offspring. We previously demonstrated that excessive fructose intake by rat dams altered steroidogenic gene transcription in the hippocampus of offspring. Herein, we examined how maternal high-fructose intake influences the regulation of adrenal glucocorticoid levels in offspring. Rat dams received 20% fructose solution during gestation and lactation. After weaning, the offspring were provided normal water. Maternal high-fructose intake did not alter mRNA expression levels of adrenal corticosterone-synthesizing and corticosterone-inactivating proteins or the circulating adrenocorticotropic hormone levels of offspring at postnatal day (PD) 21; however, it increased circulating corticosterone levels and decreased mRNA and protein levels of adrenal 5α-reductase type 1 and 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 in offspring at PD160. Furthermore, maternal high-fructose intake enhanced DNA methylation of the adrenal 5α-reductase 1 promoter region in PD160 offspring. Thus, maternal high-fructose intake was found to affect adrenal steroid hormone clearance in adult offspring — at least in part — through epigenetic mechanisms.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes