BACKGROUND AIMS: Maternal undernutrition programs metabolic adaptations which are ultimately detrimental to adult. L-tryptophan supplementation was given to manipulate the long-term sequelae of early-life programming by undernutrition and explore whether cultured cells retain circadian clock dysregulation. METHODS: Male rat pups from mothers fed on low protein (8%, LP) or control (18%, CP) diet were given, one hour before light off, an oral bolus of L-tryptophan (125 mg/kg) between Day-12 and Day-21 of age. Body weight, food intake, blood glucose along with the capacity of colonization of primary cells from biopsies were measured during the young (45-55 days) and adult (110-130 days) phases. Circadian clock oscillations were re-induced by a serum shock over 30 hours on near-confluent cell monolayers to follow PERIOD1 and CLOCK proteins by Fluorescent Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay (FLISA) and period1 and bmal1 mRNA by RT-PCR. Cell survival in amino acid-free conditions were used to measure circadian expression of MAP-LC3B, MAP-LC3B-FP and Survivin. RESULTS: Tryptophan supplementation did not alter body weight gain nor feeding pattern. By three-way ANOVA of blood glucose, sampling time was found significant during all phases. A significant interaction between daily bolus (Tryptophan, saline) and diets (LP, CP) were found during young (p = 0.0291) and adult (p = 0.0285) phases. In adult phase, the capacity of colonization at seeding of primary cells was twice lower for LP rats. By three-way ANOVA of PERIOD1 perinuclear/nuclear immunoreactivity during young phase, we found a significant effect of diets (p = 0.049), daily bolus (p<0.0001) and synchronizer hours (p = 0.0002). All factors were significantly interacting (p = 0.0148). MAP-LC3B, MAP-LC3B-FP and Survivin were altered according to diets in young phase. CONCLUSIONS: Sequelae of early-life undernutrition and the effects of L-tryptophan supplementation can be monitored non-invasively by circadian sampling of blood D-glucose and on the expression of PERIOD1 protein in established primary cell lines.