Leptin in breast milk prevents hyperlipidemia in adult female rats born small for gestational age

Xiaoyi Fang, Guangming Li, Airun Zhang, Hanni Lin, Min Wang, Yongheng Chen, Yuguang Li


Background: To investigate the effect of breast milk leptin on prevention of hyperlipidemia in adult rats born small for gestational age (SGA).
Methods: SGA rat pups were cultivated through restricted feeding of dams and were randomly divided into four groups, named SB, SF, SFL, and SBLA, which were fed with breast milk, formula milk, leptin-added-formula milk, and breast milk with a leptin antagonist, respectively, within 20 days after birth. Appropriate-for-gestational-age (AGA) pups were fed with breast milk and designated as the AB group. Body biometrics and serum leptin, total cholesterol (TC), and triglyceride (TG) levels were quantified on days 18, 30, 90, and 120 of life.
Results: Compared with the breast-fed AGA rats, the breast-fed SGA rats had lower weight and body mass index (BMI) at all age groups and higher TC on days 30 and 90 (P<0.05 for all comparisons). Formula-fed SGA rats had higher TC and TG level compared with breastfed and leptin-added-formula-fed SGA rats. The leptin-antagonist-added breast-fed SGA rats had higher BMI, TC, and TG levels compared with pure breast-fed SGA rats on days 90 and 120 (P<0.05 for all comparisons).
Conclusions: Leptin in breast milk might prevent adulthood hyperlipidemia in SGA infants.