Maternal obesity and overnutrition increase oxidative stress in male rat offspring reproductive system and decrease fertility

G. L. Rodríguez-González, C. C. Vega, L. Boeck, M. Vázquez, C. J. Bautista, L. A. Reyes-Castro, O. Saldaña, D. Lovera, P. W. Nathanielsz, E. Zambrano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Purpose:Increasing evidence exists that maternal obesity (MO) and overnutrition during pregnancy and lactation have long-lasting consequences for progeny metabolism, cardiovascular and endocrine function. Data on effects of MO on offspring reproduction are limited. We hypothesized that MO during pregnancy and lactation in founder F 0 rat mothers would increase testicular and sperm oxidative stress (OS) and adversely impact male fertility in their F 1 offspring.Methods:We induced pre-pregnancy MO by feeding F 0 females a high-fat diet from weaning through pregnancy and lactation. After weaning, all F 1 rats ate control (C) diet. We determined serum testosterone, malondialdehyde (MDA), reactive oxygen species (ROS) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity in F 1 testes and sperm at postnatal days (PNDs) 110, 450 and 650.Results:At PNDs 450 and 650, MO offspring had lower luteinizing hormone while testosterone levels were lower at all ages. Testicular MDA and ROS concentrations and SOD and GPx activity were higher in MO F 1 at all ages. Nitrotyrosine immunostaining was higher at all ages in MO F 1 testes than C F 1. At PNDs 450 and 650, MO F 1 spermatozoa showed higher MDA concentrations and lower SOD and GPx activity with reduced sperm concentration, viability and motility, and more sperm abnormalities. Fertility rate was not affected at PND 110 but was lower in MO F 1 at PNDs 450 and 650.Conclusions:We conclude that MO during pregnancy and lactation increases F 1 testicular and sperm OS leading to premature aging of reproductive capacity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)549-556
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 9 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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