Thrasher Research Fund - Medical research grants to improve the lives of children

Project Details

Early Career

Status: Funded - Open

Prenatal Exercise Dose and Infant Adiposity (PEDIA)

Alex Claiborne, PhD


BACKGROUND: Maternal overweight/obesity during pregnancy contributes to high adiposity in offspring. Prenatal exercise (PEx) has been shown to decrease infant adiposity and improve fat metabolism in offspring mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). GAP: Given the novelty of this particular topic, data from randomized clinical trials are lacking. Furthermore, no studies have assessed the dose-response influence of PEx on infant adiposity. HYPOTHESIS: Overweight or obese women who sustain a high duration and high volume of resistance exercise during pregnancy will decrease infant adiposity outcomes to a greater extent than those with lower exercise duration and volume. METHODS: The parent trials (EMCOR & ENHANCED) use a randomized exercise intervention (aerobic-AE, resistance-RE, aerobic + resistance-AERE, comparison (COM) groups). The proposed project will categorize subjects from these trials into 3 groups: 1) high volume/high duration (600 MET*minutes/week; EMCOR), 2) low volume/high duration (360 MET*min/wk; EMCOR), and 3) low duration/low volume (360 MET*min/wk; from ENHANCED). Following delivery, MSCs from the umbilical cord will be analyzed for adipogenesis and compared with infant body fat measurements taken at 1 month of age. RESULTS: Our preliminary data show that maternal RE favorably impacts offspring MSC fat metabolism, which is in turn related to infant body fat percentage. Furthermore, maternal RE duration and volume are associated with decreased body fat percentage at 1 month of age. IMPACT: The proposed work will have a significant impact on taming the vicious cycle of obesity, potentially providing the earliest and most efficacious intervention to attenuate obesity in the next generation.

Supervising Institution:
East Carolina University

Linda May

Project Location:
North Carolina

Award Amount: