OBJECTIVE : Maternal protein malnutrition during perinatal period has long-term consequences on the offspring's metabolic phenotype. Here we determined the effects of maternal protein-restricted (PR) diet on offspring's metabolism in 3- and 12-week-old. METHODS : Sprague-Dawley rats were fed with standard chow diet or PR diet during pregnancy and lactation. Food intake and body weight of offspring were measured weekly. The oral glucose tolerance tests were underwent, the pancreases were collected for histochemical staining, and the duodenum, jejunum and ileum were collected for gene and protein expression analysis in 3- and 12-week-old offspring. RESULTS : PR offspring had significant lower body weight and persisted till 12-week-old. From 3- to 12-week-old, PR offspring presented considerably impaired glucose tolerance, while no marked change was shown in control rats. Additionally, the average islet size of PR offspring decreased significantly in 12-week-old. The mRNA and protein expression of nutrient-responsive receptors and transporters T1R3, SGLT1 and GLUT2 increased significantly in the intestine of 3-week-old PR offspring. And from 3- and 12-week-old, the increase tendency of expression subdued. CONCLUSIONS : These results suggest that maternal PR diet during critical developmental windows influences offspring metabolism, which may be subdued partially, but not be reversed completely by chow diet after weaning.