That maternal and paternal exercise improve the metabolic health of adult offspring is well established. Tissue and serum metabolites play a fundamental role in the health of an organism, but how parental exercise affects offspring tissue and serum metabolites has not yet been investigated. Here, male and female breeders were fed a high-fat diet and housed with or without running wheels before breeding (males) and before and during gestation (females). Offspring were sedentary and chow fed, with parents as follows: sedentary (Sed), maternal exercise (MatEx), paternal exercise (PatEx), or maternal+paternal exercise (Mat+PatEx). Adult offspring from all parental exercise groups had similar improvement in glucose tolerance and hepatic glucose production. Targeted metabolomics was performed in offspring serum, liver, and triceps muscle. Offspring from MatEx, PatEx, and Mat+PatEx each had a unique tissue metabolite signature, but Mat+PatEx offspring had an additive phenotype relative to MatEx or PatEx alone in a subset of liver and muscle metabolites. Tissue metabolites consistently indicated that the metabolites altered with parental exercise contribute to enhanced fatty acid oxidation. These data identify distinct tissue-specific adaptations and mechanisms for parental exercise–induced improvement in offspring metabolic health. Further mining of this data set could aid the development of novel therapeutic targets to combat metabolic diseases.
This article contains supplementary material online at https://doi.org/10.2337/figshare.20301321.