Paternal high-fat diet enhances offspring whole-body insulin sensitivity and skeletal muscle insulin signaling early in life

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© 2018 The Authors. Evidence suggests that paternal diet can predispose offspring to metabolic dysfunction. Despite this knowledge, little is known regarding the effects of paternal high-fat feeding on offspring insulin sensitivity. The purpose of this study was to investigate for the first time the effects of paternal high-fat feeding on whole-body and skeletal muscle insulin action in young and adult offspring. At 4 weeks of age, founder C57BL6/N males (F0) were fed a high-fat diet or control diet for 12 weeks and then bred with females on a control diet. Offspring (F1) were euthanized at 6 weeks, 6 months, or 12 months and insulinstimulated insulin signaling was measured ex vivo in isolated soleus muscle. At 6 weeks of age, paternal high fat offspring (HFO) had enhanced wholebody insulin sensitivity (35%, P < 0.05), as well as, increased insulin-stimulated skeletal muscle phosphorylation of Akt threonine 308 (70%, P < 0.05) and AS160 threonine 642 (80%, P < 0.05) compared to paternal control fed offspring (CFO), despite both offspring groups consuming standard chow. At 6 months of age, HFO had increased percent body fat compared to CFO (74%, P < 0.005) and whole-body and skeletal muscle insulin signaling normalized to CFO. Body fat was inversely related with insulin signaling in HFO, but not CFO. These findings suggest that paternal high-fat feeding contributes to enhanced whole-body and skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity in HFO early in life; however, these benefits are lost by early adulthood, potentially due to premature increases in body fat.