Effects of maternal grape juice intake on unfolded protein response in the mammary glands of offspring of high fat diet fed rat dams

Caroline Dani, Luciana Kneib Gonçalves, Isabel Teixeira Proença, Fabia de Oliveira Andrade, Leena Hilakivi-Clarke

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4 Scopus citations


Maternal high fat diet (HFD) and obesity during pregnancy increase female offsprings mammary cancer risk in animal studies. We aimed to observe whether the consumption of grape juice during pregnancy can reverse this risk. During pregnancy and lactation, female Wistar rats were fed either a control or HFD and also received grape juice or tap water. At the age of 50 days, female offspring were euthanized, and mammary glands were collected to assess changes in biomarkers of increased mammary cancer risk. Maternal HFD increased the number of terminal end buds in offspring’s mammary glands and promoted cell proliferation (ki67). Maternal grape consumption blocked these effects. Apoptosis marker caspase 7, but not caspase 3, was reduced in the HFD offspring. HFD offspring also exhibited a reduction in the indicators of cell cycle regulation (p27, p21) and an ability to maintain DNA integrity (reduced p53). Maternal grape juice did not have any effect on these endpoints in the HFD offspring but reduced caspase 7 and p53 levels in the control offspring, perhaps reflecting reduced cellular stress. Maternal HFD increased oxidative stress marker GPx1 mRNA expression, and grape juice increased the levels of GPx2 in both the control and HFD offspring. HFD increased XBP1/Xbp1s, Atf4 and Atf6 mRNA expression and reduced ATF6 and CHOP protein levels. Maternal grape juice reversed the increase in XBP1/Xbp1s, Atf4 and Atf6 in the HFD offspring. PPARγ was downregulated in the HFD group, and grape juice reversed this effect. Grape juice also reduced the levels of HER2 and IRS, both in the control and HFD offspring. In conclusion, maternal grape juice supplementation reversed some of the biomarkers that are indicative of increased breast cancer risk in the HFD offspring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2253
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by R01-CA164384 and the American Institute for Cancer Research (to L. Hilakivi-Clarke) and P30-CA51008 (to Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center; funding for Shared Resources).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Grape juice
  • High fat diet
  • Maternal diet
  • Offspring
  • Prevention


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