Children of obese women are at increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, but the mechanisms by which this occurs and how it can be prevented are unknown. The Moley lab has modeled this in mice, finding that, despite eating a control diet and being normal weight, offspring of obese dams have hyperinsulinemia, cardiac mitochondrial dysfunction, and pathological cardiac hypertrophy. This proposal will test the central hypothesis that offspring of obese dams develop reversible cardiac pathology because of poor mitochondrial quality and metabolic dysfunction.
· Determine the effects of maternal obesity on offspring cardiac metabolism.
· Determine the extent to which cardiac abnormalities in the offspring of obese dams can be reversed by activating mitochondrial quality control.
Potential impact on child health
With over two-thirds of reproductive-age women classified as overweight or obese in the US, millions of children are at increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The findings from this work will, in the long term, lead to strategies to reduce cardiac risks in offspring of obese women.