High Iron Exposure from the Fetal Stage to Adulthood in Mice Alters Lipid Metabolism

Minju Kim, Yeon Hee Kim, Sohyun Min, Seung Min Lee

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Iron supplementation is recommended during pregnancy and fetal growth. However, excess iron exposure may increase the risk of abnormal fetal development. We investigated the potential side effects of high iron levels in fetuses and through their adult life. C57BL/6J pregnant mice from 2 weeks of gestation and their offspring until 30 weeks were fed a control (CTRL, FeSO4 0 g/1 kg) or high iron (HFe, FeSO4 9.9 g/1 kg) diets. HFe group showed higher iron accumulation in the liver with increased hepcidin, reduced TfR1/2 mRNAs, and lowered ferritin heavy chain (FTH) proteins in both liver and adipose tissues despite iron loading. HFe decreased body weight, fat weight, adipocyte size, and triglyceride levels in the blood and fat, along with downregulation of lipogene-sis genes, including PPARγ, C/EBPα, SREBP1c, FASN, and SCD1, and fatty acid uptake and oxidation genes, such as CD36 and PPARα. UCP2, adiponectin, and mRNA levels of antioxidant genes such as GPX4, HO‐1, and NQO1 were increased in the HFe group, while total glutathione was re-duced. We conclude that prolonged exposure to high iron from the fetal stage to adulthood may decrease fat accumulation by altering ferritin expression, adipocyte differentiation, and triglyceride metabolism, resulting in an alteration in normal growth.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2451
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jun 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This study was supported by BK21 FOUR, College of Human Ecology, Yonsei University, Seoul 03722, Republic of Korea.

Funding Information:
Funding: This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (no. 2016R1D1A1B010).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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