October 2, 2016

In utero caffeine exposure induces transgenerational effects on the adult heart

X Fang et al, 2016. In utero caffeine exposure induces transgenerational effects on the adult heart, Scientific Reports, published online.


Each year millions of pregnant woman are exposed to caffeine, which acts to antagonize adenosine action. The long-term consequences of this exposure on the developing fetus are largely unknown, although in animal models we have found adverse effects on cardiac function. To assess if these effects are transmitted transgenerationally, we exposed pregnant mice to caffeine equivalent to 2–4 cups of coffee at two embryonic stages. Embryos (F1 generation) exposed to caffeine early from embryonic (E) day 6.5–9.5 developed a phenotype similar to dilated cardiomyopathy by 1 year of age. Embryos exposed to caffeine later (E10.5–13.5) were not affected. We next examined the F2 generation and F3 generation of mice exposed to caffeine from E10.5–13.5, as this coincides with germ cell development. These F2 generation adult mice developed a cardiac phenotype similar to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The F3 generation exhibited morphological changes in adult hearts, including increased mass. This report shows that in utero caffeine exposure has long-term effects into adulthood and that prenatal caffeine exposure can exert adverse transgenerational effects on adult cardiac function.

Modtag nyhedsbrev

Ja tak, jeg vil gerne modtage nyhedsbrev, når der er noget nyt om kaffe og helbred.