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Bromocriptine treatment at the end of lactation prevents hyperphagia, higher visceral fat and liver triglycerides in early‐weaned rats at adulthood

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Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology

Published online on


Non‐pharmacological early weaning (NPEW) leads offspring to obesity, higher liver oxidative stress and microsteatosis in adulthood. Pharmacological EW (PEW) by maternal treatment with bromocriptine (BRO) causes obesity in the adult progeny but precludes hepatic injury. To test the hypothesis that BRO prevents the deleterious changes of NPEW, we injected BRO into the pups from the NPEW model in late lactation. Lactating rats were divided into two groups: dams with an adhesive bandage around the body to prevent breastfeeding on the last 3 days of lactation and dams whose pups had free suckling (C). Offspring from both groups were subdivided into two groups: pups treated with BRO (intraperitoneal (i.p.) 4 mg/kg per day) on the last 3 days of lactation (NPEW/BRO and C/BRO) or pups treated with the vehicle (NPEW and C). At PN120, offspring were challenged with a high fat diet (HFD), and food intake was recorded after 30 minutes and 12 hours. Rats were killed at PN120 and PN200. At PN120, adipocyte size was greater in the NPEW group but was normal in the NPEW/BRO group. At PN200, the NPEW group presented hyperphagia, higher adiposity, adipocyte hypertrophy, hyperleptinaemia, glucose intolerance and increased hepatic triglycerides. These parameters were normalized in the NPEW/BRO group. In the feeding test, BRO groups showed lower HFD intake at 30 minutes than did their controls; however, at 12 hours, the NPEW group ate more HFD. The treatment with BRO can preclude some deleterious effects of the NPEW model, which prevented the development of overweight and its comorbidities.