Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease

Original Article

Circulating levels of the cytokines IL10, IFNγ and resistin in an obese mouse model of developmental programming

M. A. Kępczyńskaa1, E. T. Wargenta1, M. A. Cawthornea1, J. R. S. Archa1, J. F. O'Dowda1 and C. J. Stockera1 c1

a1 Clore Laboratory, University of Buckingham, Buckingham, UK


An infant's early developmental environment plays a pivotal role in the programming of its physiological phenotype. The identification of the factors in the maternal environment that mediate the effects of maternal obesity and diet is essential to the development of clinical intervention strategies. Maternal hyperglycaemia, hyperinsulinaemia, hypertriglyceridaemia, hyperleptinaemia and altered inflammatory cytokines concentrations are potentially important predictive factors of her future offspring's susceptibility to metabolic disease. Using a diet-induced obese mouse model, we have investigated which of these maternal factors could induce adverse metabolic programming in the offspring. Female C57Bl/6 mice were fed either laboratory chow (10% fat) or high fat diet (42% fat) for 10 weeks before mating and throughout gestation. At day 18 of pregnancy, maternal body weight, body composition and glucose tolerance were measured, as well as plasma insulin, adiponectin, RBP4, leptin, resistin and the inflammatory cytokines (IL6, IL10, IL12, IL1β, IFNγ, KC, TNF-α). At day 18 of pregnancy, high fat-fed dams were significantly heavier than the chow dams and had increased fat mass. High fat-fed dams had higher 5 h fasting blood glucose than chow dams and elevated plasma insulin. Although the obese dams had both reduced plasma adiponectin and resistin levels compared with lean dams, their plasma IL6, IL10 and IFNγ levels were all increased. High fat feeding in pregnancy leads to altered plasma concentrations of both adipokines and adipocytokines in the dam that may directly pass to the fetus and affect their development.

(Received December 21 2012)

(Revised May 03 2013)

(Accepted May 29 2013)

(Online publication June 24 2013)

Key words

  • cytokines;
  • developmental programming;
  • maternal obesity;
  • metabolic disease;
  • overnutrition


c1 Address for correspondence: C. Stocker, Clore Laboratory, University of Buckingham, Hunter Street, Buckingham MK18 1EG, UK. (Email