Oral Presentation The Joint Annual Scientific Meetings of the Endocrine Society of Australia and the Society for Reproductive Biology 2017

Beneficial impact of a dietary supplement on sperm characteristics in mice fed high fat diet (#38)

Josephine Yu 1 , Virginie Lecomte 1 , Michael Fenech 2 , John Aitken 3 , Margaret J Morris 1 , Chris A Maloney 1
  1. School of Medical Sciences, UNSW Sydney, Kensington, NSW, Australia
  2. CSIRO Human Nutrition, Adelaide, SA, Australia
  3. University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, Australia

Obesity is one of our most serious health concerns. It can be passed from generation to generation, creating a vicious cycle; paternal as well as maternal factors contribute via non-genetic mechanisms. A key process associated with obesity is oxidative stress, which has detrimental effects on sperm of obese males, including reduced cell viability and increased DNA damage. We developed a dietary micronutrient supplement targeting the oxidative stress present in obesity, with the aim of ameliorating the consequences of reduced sperm quality. Here we report preliminary findings. Male C57Bl6 mice were fed control or high fat diet, with and without supplement for 12 weeks (12/group). Body weight was measured over time and glucose tolerance was measured prior to cull. Sperm was collected by the swim out method; oxidative state and cell viability were assessed using dyes (SyG) to assess cell viability and (MSR) to detect superoxide, the predominant ROS in mitochondria. DNA integrity was assessed by sperm chromatin dispersion test. Supplemented animals had significantly reduced adiposity and body weight (-19% vs high fat diet;p<0.001), and were comparable to control mice. Supplemented mice also showed improved glucose clearance and insulin sensitivity, indicating improved metabolic function. High fat diet increased sperm oxidative state and decreased viability, which were improved in supplemented mice. High fat feeding also significantly increased the percentage of sperm with DNA fragmentation (40.4%) whereas this was returned to levels comparable to control diet (18.2%) in high fat diet mice given supplement (5.6%;p<0.01); in control diet plus supplement DNA fragmentation was 11.2%. Overall, these promising results suggest this novel supplement may prevent the damage to sperm DNA integrity caused by high fat diet. Further investigation is required, particularly on progeny, however, these results suggest that the supplement may have the potential to ameliorate the obesity epidemic and protect the health of future generations.