Epigenetic inheritance (EI) of metabolic phenotypes via the paternal lineage has been shown in rodent models of diet-induced obesity (DIO). However, the factors involved in soma-to-germline information transfer remain elusive. Here, we address the role of alterations in insulin, leptin, and adiponectin levels for EI of metabolic phenotypes by treating C57BL/6NTac male mice (F0) with the synthetic glucocorticoid dexamethasone and generating offspring (F1) either by in vitro fertilization or by natural fecundation. Dexamethasone treatment slightly alters F0 body composition by increasing fat mass and decreasing lean mass, and significantly improves glucose tolerance. Moreover, it increases insulin and leptin levels and reduces adiponectin levels in F0 fathers as observed in mouse models of DIO. However, these paternal changes of metabolic hormones do not alter metabolic parameters, such as body weight, body composition and glucose homeostasis in male and female F1 mice even when these are challenged with a high-fat diet. Accordingly, sperm transcriptomes are not altered by dexamethasone treatment. Our results suggest that neither increased glucocorticoid, insulin, and leptin levels, nor decreased adiponectin levels in fathers are sufficient to confer soma-to-germline information transfer in EI of obesity via the paternal lineage.
Mammalian Genome – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 11, 2015
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