Frontiers of Medicine

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 266–276 | Cite as

Postnatal feeding with high-fat diet induces obesity and precocious puberty in C57BL/6J mouse pups: a novel model of obesity and puberty

  • Rahim Ullah
  • Yan Su
  • Yi Shen
  • Chunlu Li
  • Xiaoqin Xu
  • Jianwei Zhang
  • Ke Huang
  • Naveed Rauf
  • Yang He
  • Jingjing Cheng
  • Huaping Qin
  • Yu-Dong Zhou
  • Junfen Fu
Research Article


Childhood obesity and obesity-related metabolic complications are induced by a high-fat postnatal diet. The lack of a suitable animal model, however, remains a considerable challenge in obesity studies. In the current study, we provided high-fat diet (HFD) to dams during lactation and to pups after weaning. We also developed a novel model of C57BL/6J mouse pups with HFD-induced postnatal obesity. Results showed that feeding with HFD induces fat deposition and obesity in pups. Furthermore, HFD more potently increased the body weight (BW) of male than female pups. HFD-fed female pups were obese, underwent precocious puberty, and showed increased kisspeptin expression in the hypothalamus. However, parental obesity and precocious puberty exerted no synergistic effects on the HFD-induced postnatal weight gain and puberty onset of the pups. Interestingly, some HFD-fed litters with normal BW also exhibited precocious puberty. This finding suggested that diet composition but not BW triggers puberty onset. Our model suggests good construction validity of obesity and precocious puberty. Furthermore, our model can also be used to explore the mutual interactions between diet–induced postnatal childhood obesity and puberty.


postnatal HFD feeding obesity kisspeptin HPG axis precocious puberty 


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The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 81570759 and 81270938), National Key Research and Development Programme of China (No. 2016YFC1305301), Zhejiang Provincial Key Science and Technology Project (No. 2014C03045-2), Key Disciplines of Medicine (Innovation discipline,11-CX24) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (2017XZZX001-01).


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Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rahim Ullah
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yan Su
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yi Shen
    • 2
  • Chunlu Li
    • 2
  • Xiaoqin Xu
    • 1
  • Jianwei Zhang
    • 1
  • Ke Huang
    • 1
  • Naveed Rauf
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yang He
    • 2
  • Jingjing Cheng
    • 2
  • Huaping Qin
    • 2
  • Yu-Dong Zhou
    • 2
  • Junfen Fu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Endocrinology, Children’s HospitalZhejiang University School of MedicineHangzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of Neurobiology, Institute of Neuroscience, and the Collaborative Innovation Center for Brain Science, Key Laboratory of Medical Neurobiology of the Ministry of Health of ChinaZhejiang University School of MedicineHangzhouChina

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