Blastomere removal affects homeostatic control leading to obesity in male mice

in Reproduction
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  • 1 Department of Experimental Embryology, Institute of Genetics and Animal Biotechnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Jastrzębiec, Poland
  • 2 Department of Molecular Biology, Institute of Genetics and Animal Biotechnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Jastrzębiec, Poland
  • 3 National Research Council of Italy, Institute of Biomedical Research and Innovation, Laboratory of Environmental Epidemiology, Palermo, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to S Sampino; Email: s.sampino@igbzpan.pl
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Preimplantation embryos are particularly vulnerable to environmental perturbations, including those related to assisted reproductive technologies. Invasive embryo manipulations, such as blastomere biopsy, are applied worldwide in clinical settings for preimplantation genetic testing. Mouse models have previously shown that blastomere biopsy may be associated with altered phenotypes in adult offspring. The aim of the present study was to investigate the specific contribution of blastomere removal to the physiological, behavioral, and molecular regulators of energy homeostasis, as compared to sham manipulation (re-introducing the blastomere into the embryo after its removal) and in vitro culture. Mice derived from 8-cell embryos subjected to blastomere removal displayed: (i) higher body weight and adiposity, (ii) increased food intake and sucrose preference, (iii) decreased time of immobility in the tail suspension test, and (iv) resistance to weight loss after social isolation or following 3 days of physical exercise – compared to mice derived from sham biopsy or from in vitro-cultured embryos. Mice generated after blastomere removal also had increased circulating leptin and leptin gene expression in adipose tissue, as well as increased ghrelin receptor gene expression in the hypothalamus, compared to control mice. The effects of blastomere biopsy on offspring phenotype were sexually dimorphic, with females not being affected. These results indicate that blastomere deprivation, rather than other perturbations of the blastomere biopsy procedure, programs male embryos to develop physiological, behavioral, and molecular dysregulation of energy homeostasis, leading to postnatal obesity.

 

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