Adiponectin Enhances Mouse Fetal Fat Deposition

  1. Jianhua Shao1
  1. 1Department of Pediatrics, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California
  2. 2Department of Pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado
  1. Corresponding author: Jianhua Shao, jishao{at}


Maternal obesity increases offspring birth weight and susceptibility to obesity. Adiponectin is an adipocyte-secreted hormone with a prominent function in maintaining energy homeostasis. In contrast to adults, neonatal blood adiponectin levels are positively correlated with anthropometric parameters of adiposity. This study was designed to investigate the role of adiponectin in maternal obesityenhanced fetal fat deposition. By using high-fat diet–induced obese mouse models, our study showed that maternal obesity increased fetal fat tissue mass, with a significant elevation in fetal blood adiponectin. However, adiponectin gene knockout (Adipoq−/−) attenuated maternal obesity-induced high fetal fat tissue mass. We further studied the effects of fetal adiponectin on fetal fat deposition by using a cross breeding approach to create Adipoq−/+ and Adipoq−/− offspring, whereas maternal adiponectin was null. Adipoq−/+ offspring had more fat tissue mass at both birth and adulthood. Significantly high levels of lipogenic genes, such as sterol regulatory element–binding protein 1c and fatty acid synthase, were detected in the livers of Adipoq−/+ fetuses. In addition, expression of genes for placental fatty acid transport was significantly increased in Adipoq−/+ fetuses. Together, our study indicates that adiponectin enhances fetal fat deposition and plays an important role in maternal obesity-induced high birth weight.


  • Received January 17, 2012.
  • Accepted May 25, 2012.

Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. See for details.

| Table of Contents

This Article

  1. Diabetes vol. 61 no. 12 3199-3207
  1. Supplementary Data
  2. All Versions of this Article:
    1. db12-0055v1
    2. 61/12/3199 most recent