Poor nutrition in the womb can put a person at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other age-related diseases in later life.
This could lead to new ways of identifying people who are at a higher risk of developing these diseases and open up targets for treatment.
The team from University of Cambridge and Medical Research Council (MRC) Toxicology Unit, University of Leicester, a research published in the journal Cell Death and Differentiation, that, in rats and humans, individuals who experience poor diet in the womb are less able to store fats correctly in later life.
Storing fats in the right areas of the body is important because otherwise they can accumulate in places like the liver and muscle where they are more likely to lead to disease.
The team found that this process is controlled by a molecule called miR-483-3p. They found that miR-483-3p was produced at higher levels in individuals with poor diet in their mother’s wombs than those who were better nourished.