Maternal Pyrroloquinoline Quinone Supplementation Improves Offspring Liver Bioactive Lipid Profiles throughout the Lifespan and Protects against the Development of Adult NAFLD.

Int J Mol Sci. 2022 May 27;23(11):6043.

Maternal obesity and consumption of a high-fat diet significantly elevate risk for pediatric nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), affecting 10% of children in the US. Almost half of these children are diagnosed with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a leading etiology for liver transplant. Animal models show that signs of liver injury and perturbed lipid metabolism associated with NAFLD begin in utero; however, safe dietary therapeutics to blunt developmental programming of NAFLD are unavailable. Using a mouse model of maternal Western-style diet (WD), we previously showed that pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ), a potent dietary antioxidant, protected offspring of WD-fed dams from development of NAFLD and NASH. Here, we used untargeted mass spectrometry-based lipidomics to delineate lipotoxic effects of WD on offspring liver and identify lipid targets of PQQ. PQQ exposure during pregnancy altered hepatic lipid profiles of WD-exposed offspring, upregulating peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) α signaling and mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation to markedly attenuate triglyceride accumulation beginning in utero. Surprisingly, the abundance of very long-chain ceramides, important in promoting gut barrier and hepatic function, was significantly elevated in PQQ-treated offspring. PQQ exposure reduced the hepatic phosphatidylcholine/phosphatidylethanolamine (PC/PE) ratio in WD-fed offspring and improved glucose tolerance. Notably, levels of protective n - 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) were elevated in offspring exposed to PQQ, beginning in utero, and the increase in n - 3 PUFAs persisted into adulthood. Our findings suggest that PQQ supplementation during gestation and lactation augments pathways involved in the biosynthesis of long-chain fatty acids and plays a unique role in modifying specific bioactive lipid species critical for protection against NAFLD risk in later life.

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