Maternal periodontitis decreases plasma membrane GLUT4 content in skeletal muscle of adult offspring
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Aims The fetal programming hypothesis suggests that intrauterine stimuli can induce metabolic changes in offspring, increasing the disease risk in adulthood. Periodontal disease may enhance serum cytokine levels. Cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) have been associated with reduced glucose transporter type 4 (GLUT4) expression, decreased protein kinase B (Akt) phosphorylation, and insulin resistance. This study aimed to evaluate GLUT4 content, and Akt serine phosphorylation status in the gastrocnemius skeletal muscle (GSM), glycemia, insulinemia and change in body weight in offspring of rats with periodontal disease. Main methods Female Wistar rats were distributed into a control group (CN) and an experimental periodontal disease group (PD), in which a ligature was placed around the mandibular first molars. Seven days after ligature placement, both groups were mated with normal male rats. The ligatures remained throughout pregnancy until weaning, after which the male offspring were distributed into groups: CN-o, control rat offspring; and PD-o, periodontal disease rat offspring. The body weight from 0 to 75 days of age was measured. At 75 days, the glycemia, insulinemia, TNF-α levels, Akt serine phosphorylation, and GLUT4 content in the GSM were measured in the offspring. Key findings The PD-o group showed a low birth weight (LBW), unchanged glycemia, increased insulinemia, insulin resistance, increased TNF-α levels, decreased Akt serine phosphorylation status, and reduced GLUT4 content in the plasma membrane and translocation index after insulin stimulation. Significance Maternal periodontal disease causes LBW, insulin resistance, and alterations in the final stage of insulin signaling in the GSM of adult offspring.
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