Nav: Home

Alignment of mother and offspring body clock could prevent diseases such as heart disease and obesity

May 11, 2018

The care provided by a mother can impact the body clock and health of offspring after birth, according to new research published in The Journal of Physiology. By reducing abnormalities in the body clock of offspring, it may be possible to develop therapies for serious lifestyle-related diseases, such as heart disease and obesity.

The body has an internal clock that regulates sleepiness over a 24 hour period, called your circadian rhythm. The circadian system is important so that processes in our body are synchronised with day and night, i.e. when it is light or dark outside. Disturbances in these mechanisms can lead to poor health, such as heart disease.

The mother-offspring interaction is very important for health later in adulthood. This is the first study to provide compelling evidence that the circadian characteristics of a mother may positively affect the likelihood of disease developing in offspring. Providing better maternal care significantly reduced abnormalities in the circadian system and resulted in a lower likelihood of development of heart disease.

The study conducted by the Institute of Physiology of the Czech Academy of Sciences was performed in two strains of laboratory rats, in which the maternal care and synchrony of their circadian clocks with external day/night cycle differed. The effect of maternal care provided by the genetic mother of these pups was compared with maternal care of the foster mother. The pups either had an aberrant circadian system and were genetically determined to develop disease in adulthood or they were healthy controls. The researchers tested the effect of maternal care on the body clock before and just after weaning, and on their activity rhythms, heart rate and blood pressure in adulthood. Proper maternal care provided to pups genetically predisposed to develop disease led to improvement of their clock function and abolished the rise in their heart rate in adulthood.

The data obtained in pups before weaning were based on population samples because the researchers could not assess circadian rhythms of the clocks in each individual pup within the body without disturbing the maternal behaviour. Additionally, in the rat strain spontaneously developing disease, the molecular mechanisms connecting the circadian clock and the pathology has not been understood.

Alena Sumova, corresponding author for the study said: "These results point to a real possibility to reduce abnormalities in the offspring's body clock and therefore limit the progression of disease in order to improve health. Our future research will be directed at understanding in more detail how an aberrant circadian system contributes to the progression of disease. We believe that this research is worth future explorations as it may provide novel therapies for serious life-style related diseases in humans.'
-end-


The Physiological Society

Related Heart Disease Articles:

Where you live could determine risk of heart attack, stroke or dying of heart disease
People living in parts of Ontario with better access to preventive health care had lower rates of cardiac events compared to residents of regions with less access, found a new study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
Older adults with heart disease can become more independent and heart healthy with physical activity
Improving physical function among older adults with heart disease helps heart health and even the oldest have a better quality of life and greater independence.
Dietary factors associated with substantial proportion of deaths from heart disease, stroke, and disease
Nearly half of all deaths due to heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes in the US in 2012 were associated with suboptimal consumption of certain dietary factors, according to a study appearing in the March 7 issue of JAMA.
Certain heart fat associated with higher risk of heart disease in postmenopausal women
For the first time, researchers have pinpointed a type of heart fat, linked it to a risk factor for heart disease and shown that menopausal status and estrogen levels are critical modifying factors of its associated risk in women.
Maternal chronic disease linked to higher rates of congenital heart disease in babies
Pregnant women with congenital heart defects or type 2 diabetes have a higher risk of giving birth to babies with severe congenital heart disease and should be monitored closely in the prenatal period, according to a study published in CMAJ.
Novel heart valve replacement offers hope for thousands with rheumatic heart disease
A novel heart valve replacement method is revealed today that offers hope for the thousands of patients with rheumatic heart disease who need the procedure each year.
Younger heart attack survivors may face premature heart disease death
For patients age 50 and younger, the risk of premature death after a heart attack has dropped significantly, but their risk is still almost twice as high when compared to the general population, largely due to heart disease and other smoking-related diseases The risk of heart attack can be greatly reduced by quitting smoking, exercising and following a healthy diet.
Citrus fruits could help prevent obesity-related heart disease, liver disease, diabetes
Oranges and other citrus fruits are good for you -- they contain plenty of vitamins and substances, such as antioxidants, that can help keep you healthy.
Gallstone disease may increase heart disease risk
A history of gallstone disease was linked to a 23 percent increased risk of developing coronary heart disease.
Americans are getting heart-healthier: Coronary heart disease decreasing in the US
Coronary heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States.

Related Heart Disease Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Setbacks
Failure can feel lonely and final. But can we learn from failure, even reframe it, to feel more like a temporary setback? This hour, TED speakers on changing a crushing defeat into a stepping stone. Guests include entrepreneur Leticia Gasca, psychology professor Alison Ledgerwood, astronomer Phil Plait, former professional athlete Charly Haversat, and UPS training manager Jon Bowers.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#524 The Human Network
What does a network of humans look like and how does it work? How does information spread? How do decisions and opinions spread? What gets distorted as it moves through the network and why? This week we dig into the ins and outs of human networks with Matthew Jackson, Professor of Economics at Stanford University and author of the book "The Human Network: How Your Social Position Determines Your Power, Beliefs, and Behaviours".