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Journal Article

Paternal nutritional programming of lipid metabolism is propagated through sperm and seminal plasma


Chiarugi,  Davide
Methods and Development Group Computing and Databases Services, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Furse, S., Watkins, A. J., Williams, H. E. L., Snowden, S. G., Chiarugi, D., & Koulman, A. (2022). Paternal nutritional programming of lipid metabolism is propagated through sperm and seminal plasma. Metabolomics, 18(2): 13. doi:10.1007/s11306-022-01869-9.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000B-F2B5-7
Background: The paternal diet affects lipid metabolism in offspring for at least two generations through nutritional programming. However, we do not know how this is propagated to the offspring.

Objectives: We tested the hypothesis that the changes in lipid metabolism that are driven by paternal diet are propagated through spermatozoa and not seminal plasma.

Methods: We applied an updated, purpose-built computational network analysis tool to characterise control of lipid metabolism systemically (Lipid Traffic Analysis v2.3) on a known mouse model of paternal nutritional programming.

Results: The analysis showed that the two possible routes for programming effects, the sperm (genes) and seminal plasma (influence on the uterine environment), both have a distinct effect on the offspring's lipid metabolism. Further, the programming effects in offspring suggest that changes in lipid distribution are more important than alterations in lipid biosynthesis.

Conclusions: These results show how the uterine environment and genes both affect lipid metabolism in offspring, enhancing our understanding of the link between parental diet and metabolism in offspring.