Maternal Diet Affects Fat Taste Receptor Protein Expression in Rat Pups
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Obesity rates are skyrocketing in the United States and the developed world. This is partly due to an evolved preference for fatty foods. Taste receptor cells express a variety of surface proteins which help detect fatty acids and may contribute to preference for fatty foods. These proteins have become targets in research related to obesity and related health condition, in fact, knockouts of some of these proteins have been shown to prevent diabetes. Maternal obesity has been linked to higher weights, fat reward, and hepatic lipid levels in offspring; these effects may be due to epigenetic changes in gene expression. This study was undertaken in order to determine if feeding a mother rat a diet high in fat has any effects on the expression of a variety of known fat taste receptor proteins in taste receptor cells in her offspring.