Female offspring sired by diet induced obese male mice display impaired blastocyst development with molecular alterations to their ovaries, oocytes and cumulus cells

Tod Fullston, Helana Shehadeh, Lauren Y. Sandeman, Wan Xian Kang, Linda L. Wu, Rebecca L. Robker, Nicole O. McPherson, Michelle Lane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To investigate the impacts that a paternal high fat diet (HFD) has on embryology, ovarian/cumulus cell gene expression and COC metabolism from female offspring, using a mouse model. Methods: Founder male mice were either fed a control diet (CD) or a HFD for 12 weeks. The HFD induced obesity but not diabetes, and founder males were then mated to normal weight CD fed female mice. Female offspring were maintained on a CD, super-ovulated, mated and the resultant zygotes were cultured to the blastocyst stage for embryo morphology, blastocyst cell number and apoptosis assessment. Ovaries and cumulus cells from offspring were collected for gene expression analysis of selected genes that maintain chromatin remodeling and endoplasmic reticulum (ER), metabolic and inflammatory homeostasis. Cumulus/oocyte complexes were also investigated for glucose uptake and lipid accumulation. Results: Female offspring sired by obese fathers produced embryos with delayed development and impaired quality, displayed increases in ovarian expression of Glut1, Glut3 and Glut4, and an increase in cumulus cell expression of Glut4. Interestingly their COCs did take up more glucose, but did accumulate more lipid. Conclusions: A paternal HFD is associated with subfertility in female offspring despite the offspring being fed a CD and this subfertility is concomitant with ovarian/cumulus cell molecular alterations and increased lipid accumulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)725-735
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 May 2015


  • Blastocyst quality
  • Cumulus cells
  • Embryo development
  • Glucose transport
  • Ovarian gene expression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Genetics(clinical)

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