Thanks to epidemiological studies, researchers now know that obesity and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are linked. Animal models also show that a maternal high-fat diet and maternal obesity make offspring more likely to be obese. A team at the Institut Pasteur and Inserm is now reporting that excess calorie intake by neonatal mice born to mothers on a high fat diet or made to force feed have more permeable intestines during weaning. These mice also express pro-inflammatory cytokines and microbiota that produce hydrogen sulphide.
These intestinal changes lead to an increased susceptibility to colitis in adults and long-term susceptibility to IBD.
The research is reported in Nature Metabolism.