Maternal high-fat diet results in microbiota-dependent expansion of ILC3s in mice offspring

Sarah Thomas Babu, Xinying Niu, Megan Raetz, Rashmin C. Savani, Lora V. Hooper, Julie Mirpuri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Maternal obesity and a high-fat diet (HFD) during the perinatal period have documented short- and long-term adverse outcomes for offspring. However, the mechanisms of maternal HFD effects on neonatal offspring are unclear. While the effects of maternal HFD exposure during pregnancy on the offspring are increasingly being appreciated, we do not know if maternal HFD alters the microbiota or affects neonatal susceptibility to inflammatory conditions, nor the mechanisms involved. In this study, we show that the offspring of mothers exposed to HFD develop a unique microbiota, marked by expansion of Firmicutes, and an increase in IL-17-producing type 3 innate lymphoid cells (ILC3s). The expansion of ILC3s was recapitulated through neocolonization with HFD microbiota alone. Further, the HFD offspring were susceptible to a neonatal model of inflammation that was reversible with IL-17 blockade. Collectively, these data suggest a previously unknown and unique role for ILC3s in the promotion of an early inflammatory susceptibility in the offspring of mothers exposed to HFD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJCI Insight
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 4 2018


  • Immunology
  • Inflammation
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Innate immunity
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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