Refereed review article in scientific journal (A2)

Metabolic diseases affect male reproduction and induce signatures in gametes that may compromise the offspring health

List of Authors: Pereir SC, Crisostomo L, Sousa M, Oliveira PF, Alves MG


Publication year: 2020

Journal: Environmental epigenetics



Volume number: 6

Number of pages: 18

ISSN: 2058-5888



The most prevalent diseases worldwide are non-communicable such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. Noteworthy, the prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes is expected to steadily increase in the next decades, mostly fueled by bad feeding habits, stress, and sedentarism. The reproductive function of individuals is severely affected by abnormal metabolic environments, both at mechanical and biochemical levels. Along with mechanical dysfunctions, and decreased sperm quality (promoted both directly and indirectly by metabolic abnormalities), several studies have already reported the potentially harmful effects of metabolic disorders in the genetic and epigenetic cargo of spermatozoa, and the epigenetic inheritance of molecular signatures induced by metabolic profile (paternal diet, obesity, and diabetes). The inheritance of epigenetic factors towards the development of metabolic abnormalities means that more people in reproductive age can potentially suffer from these disorders and for longer periods. In its turn, these individuals can also transmit this (epi)genetic information to future generations, creating a vicious cycle. In this review, we collect the reported harmful effects related to acquired metabolic disorders and diet in sperm parameters and male reproductive potential. Besides, we will discuss the novel findings regarding paternal epigenetic inheritance, particularly the ones induced by paternal diet rich in fats, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. We analyze the data attained with in vitro and animal models as well as in long-term trans generational population studies. Although the findings on this topic are very recent, epigenetic inheritance of metabolic disease has a huge societal impact, which may be crucial to tackle the `fat epidemic' efficiently.

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Last updated on 2022-31-08 at 11:19