High-fiber diet mitigates maternal obesity-induced cognitive and social dysfunction in the offspring via gut-brain axis

Xiaoning Liu, Xiang Li, Bing Xia, Xin Jin, Qianhui Zou, Zhenhua Zeng, Weiyang Zhao, Shikai Yan, Ling Li, Shufen Yuan, Shancen Zhao, Xiaoshuang Dai, Fei Yin, Enrique Cadenas, Rui Hai Liu, Beita Zhao, Min Hou, Zhigang Liu, Xuebo Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Maternal obesity has been reported to be related to neurodevelopmental disorders in the offspring. However, the underlying mechanisms and effective interventions remain unclear. This cross-sectional study with 778 children aged 7–14 years in China indicated that maternal obesity is strongly associated with children's lower cognition and sociality. Moreover, it has been demonstrated that maternal obesity in mice disrupted the behavior and gut microbiome in offspring, both of which were restored by a high-fiber diet in either dams or offspring via alleviating synaptic impairments and microglial maturation defects. Co-housing and feces microbiota transplantation experiments revealed a causal relationship between microbiota and behavioral changes. Moreover, treatment with the microbiota-derived short-chain fatty acids also alleviated the behavioral deficits in the offspring of obese dams. Together, our study indicated that the microbiota-metabolites-brain axis may underlie maternal obesity-induced cognitive and social dysfunctions and that high dietary fiber intake could be a promising intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)923-938.e6
JournalCell Metabolism
Volume33
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 4 2021

Keywords

  • SCFAs
  • cognitive deficits
  • dietary fiber
  • gut microbiota
  • maternal obesity
  • offspring
  • social behavioral deficits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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