Reproduction, Fertility and Development Reproduction, Fertility and Development Society
Vertebrate reproductive science and technology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Parental diet-induced obesity leads to retarded early mouse embryo development and altered carbohydrate utilisation by the blastocyst

Natalie K. Binder A , Megan Mitchell B and David K. Gardner A C

A Department of Zoology, University of Melbourne, Parkville 3010, Victoria, Australia.

B Discipline of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The Robinson Institute, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5006, Australia.

C Corresponding author. Email: david.gardner@unimelb.edu.au

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 24(6) 804-812 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/RD11256
Submitted: 4 October 2011  Accepted: 3 December 2011   Published: 2 February 2012

Abstract

Maternal obesity results in reproductive complications, whereas the impact of paternal obesity is unclear. In the present study, the effects of parental obesity on preimplantation embryo cell cycle length and carbohydrate utilisation were investigated. Maternal and paternal obesity were assessed independently by deriving zygotes from normal or obese C57BL/6 female mice mated with normal Swiss male mice (maternal obesity), or from normal Swiss female mice mated with normal or obese C57BL/6 male mice (paternal obesity). Zygotes were cultured in vitro and development was then assessed by time-lapse microscopy and metabolism determined using ultramicrofluorescence. Maternal obesity was associated with a significant delay in precompaction cell cycle kinetics from the 1-cell stage. A significant increase in glucose consumption by embryos from obese compared with normal females occurred after compaction, although glycolysis remained unchanged. Similarly, paternal obesity led to significant delays in cell cycle progression during preimplantation embryo development. However, this developmental delay was observed from the second cleavage stage onwards, following embryonic genome activation. Blastocysts from obese males showed disproportionate changes in carbohydrate metabolism, with significantly increased glycolysis. Overall, metabolic changes were not inhibitory to blastocyst formation; however, blastocyst cell numbers were significantly lower when either parent was obese. These data suggest that both maternal and paternal obesity significantly impacts preimplantation embryo physiology.

Additional keywords: high fat diet, maternal, metabolism, nutrition, paternal, preimplantation.


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