Dipeptidyl peptidase IV inhibition delays developmental programming of obesity and metabolic disease in male offspring of obese mothers

Kim Ramil C. Montaniel, Matthew Bucher, Elysse A. Phillips, Cun Li, Elinor L. Sullivan, Paul Kievit, Sandra Rugonyi, Peter W. Nathanielsz, Alina Maloyan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Maternal obesity programs the offspring to metabolic diseases later in life; however, the mechanisms of programming are yet unclear, and no strategies exist for addressing its detrimental transgenerational effects. Obesity has been linked to dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPPIV), an adipokine, and treatment of obese individuals with DPPIV inhibitors has been reported to prevent weight gain and improve metabolism. We hypothesized that DPPIV plays a role in maternal obesity-mediated programming. We measured plasma DPPIV activity in human maternal and cord blood samples from normal-weight and obese mothers at term. We found that maternal obesity increases maternal and cord blood plasma DPPIV activity but only in male offspring. Using two non-human primate models of maternal obesity, we confirmed the activation of DPPIV in the offspring of obese mothers. We then created a mouse model of maternal high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity, and found an early-life increase in plasma DPPIV activity in male offspring. Activation of DPPIV preceded the progression of obesity, glucose intolerance and insulin resistance in male offspring of HFD-fed mothers. We then administered sitagliptin, DPPIV inhibitor, to regular diet (RD)- A nd HFD-fed mothers, starting a week prior to breeding and continuing throughout pregnancy and lactation. We found that sitagliptin treatment of HFD-fed mothers delayed the progression of obesity and metabolic diseases in male offspring and had no effects on females. Our findings reveal that maternal obesity dysregulates plasma DPPIV activity in males and provide evidence that maternal inhibition of DPPIV has potential for addressing the transgenerational effects of maternal obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)727-740
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 24 2022


  • DDPIV inhibitors
  • developmental programming
  • maternal obesity
  • metabolic disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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