Maternal obesity predisposes offspring (F1) to cardiovascular disease. To evaluate basal heart function and ischemia-reperfusion (IR) responses in F1 males and females of obese mothers, female Wistar rats (F0) were fed chow or an obesogenic (MO) diet from weaning through pregnancy and lactation. Non-sibling F1 males and females were weaned to chow at postnatal day (PND) 21 and euthanized at PND 550. Offspring of MO mothers (MOF1) rarely survive beyond PND 650. Hearts were immediately isolated from euthanized F1s and subjected to 30 min ischemia with 20 min reperfusion. Retroperitoneal fat, serum triglycerides, glucose, insulin, and insulin resistance were measured. Baseline left ventricular developed pressure (LVDP) was lower in male and female MOF1 than in controls. After global ischemia, LVDP in control (C) male and female F1 recovered 78 and 83%, respectively, while recovery in MO male and female F1 was significantly lower at 28 and 52%, respectively. Following the IR challenge, MO hearts showed a higher functional susceptibility to reperfusion injury, resulting in lower cardiac reserve than controls in both sexes. Female hearts were more resistant to IR. Retroperitoneal fat was increased in male MOF1 vs. CF1. Circulating triglycerides and insulin resistance were increased in male and female MOF1 vs. CF1. These data show that MO programming reduces F1 cardiac reserve associated with age-related insulin resistance in a sex-specific manner.

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