The mechanism by which maternal obesity influences fetal brain development and behavior is not well understood. In this issue of the JCI, Lippert et al. showed that feeding maternal mice a high-fat diet (HFD) during lactation attenuated the activity of dopamine (DA) midbrain neurons and altered the DA-related behavioral phenotype seen in the offspring. The authors further suggested that the altered excitatory and inhibitory balance between D1 medium spiny neurons (MSN) and D2 MSN mediates this behavioral phenotype. These mechanisms may provide strategies for preventing the negative effects of maternal obesity on offspring development and adult health.


Yuki Yasumoto, Tamas L. Horvath


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