Paternal genetic alterations may affect embryo viability and reproductive outcomes. Currently it is unknown whether embryo metabolism is affected by sperm-mediated abnormalities. Hence, using a mouse model, this study investigated the response to paternally transmitted DNA lesions on genetic integrity and metabolism in preimplantation embryos. Spent embryo culture media were analysed for metabolites by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and embryonic genetic integrity was determined by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick-end labelling (TUNEL) assay on embryonic Day 4.5 (E4.5). Metabolic signatures were compared between normally derived embryos (control) and embryos derived from spermatozoa carrying induced DNA lesions (SDL). SDL embryos showed a significant reduction in blastocyst formation on E3.5 and E4.5 (P < 0.0001) and had an approximately 2-fold increase in TUNEL-positive cells (P < 0.01). A cohort of SDL embryos showing delayed development on E4.5 had increased uptake of pyruvate (P < 0.05) and released significantly less alanine (P < 0.05) to the medium compared with the corresponding control embryos. On the other hand, normally developed SDL embryos had a reduced (P < 0.001) pyruvate-to-alanine ratio compared with normally developed embryos from the control group. Hence, the difference in the metabolic behaviour of SDL embryos may be attributed to paternally transmitted DNA lesions in SDL embryos.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Reproductive Medicine
- Animal Science and Zoology
- Molecular Biology
- Developmental Biology