Dietary lipid droplet structure in postnatal life improves hepatic energy and lipid metabolism in a mouse model for postnatal programming

Tomas Jelenik, Andrea Kodde, Dominik Pesta, Esther Phielix, Annemarie Oosting, Elisabeth Rohbeck, Bedair Dewidar, Lucia Mastrototaro, Sandra Trenkamp, Jaap Keijer, Eline M. van der Beek, Michael Roden*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Early-life diets may have a long-lasting impact on metabolic health. This study tested the hypothesis that an early-life diet with large, phospholipid-coated lipid droplets (Concept) induces sustained improvements of hepatic mitochondrial function and metabolism. Young C57BL/6j mice were fed Concept or control (CTRL) diet from postnatal day 15 (PN15) to PN42, followed by western style (WSD) or standard rodent diet (AIN) until PN98. Measurements comprised body composition, insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle- and β-oxidation-related hepatic oxidative capacity using high-resolution respirometry, mitochondrial dynamics, mediators of insulin resistance (diacylglycerols, DAG) or ceramides) in subcellular compartments as well as systemic oxidative stress. Concept feeding increased TCA cycle-related respiration by 33% and mitochondrial fusion protein-1 by 65% at PN42 (both p 0.05). At PN98, CTRL, but not Concept, mice developed hyperinsulinemia (CTRL/AIN 0.22 ± 0.44 vs. CTRL/WSD 1.49 ± 0.53 nmol/l, p 0.05 and Concept/AIN 0.20 ± 0.38 vs. Concept/WSD 1.00 ± 0.29 nmol/l, n.s.) and insulin resistance after WSD (CTRL/AIN 107 ± 23 vs. CTRL/WSD 738 ± 284, p 0.05 and Concept/AIN 109 ± 24 vs. Concept/WSD 524 ± 157, n.s.). WSD-induced liver weight was 18% lower in adult Concept-fed mice and β-oxidation-related respiration was 69% higher (p 0.05; Concept/WSD vs. Concept/AIN) along with lower plasma lipid peroxides (CTRL/AIN 4.85 ± 0.28 vs. CTRL/WSD 5.73 ± 0.47 µmol/l, p 0.05 and Concept/AIN 4.49 ± 0.31 vs. Concept/WSD 4.42 ± 0.33 µmol/l, n.s.) and were in part protected from WSD-induced increase in hepatic cytosolic DAG C16:0/C18:1. Early-life feeding of Concept partly protected from WSD-induced insulin resistance and systemic oxidative stress, potentially via changes in specific DAG and mitochondrial function, highlighting the role of early life diets on metabolic health later in life.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106193
JournalPharmacological Research
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • Diacylglycerol
  • Early life programming
  • Insulin resistance
  • Milk fat globule membrane
  • Mitochondrial function
  • Supramolecular structure of lipid droplets


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