Int J Obes (Lond). 2020 May;44(5):1185–1190. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31776435/
These authors investigated the effect of maternal and paternal obesity on gene expression level in the mouse blastocyst. Firstly, they show that female and male offspring were differentially sensitive to an obesogenic maternal environment in the early phase of preimplantation. Male blastocysts from obese mothers showed more severe transcriptome changes than the female blastocysts. It is possible that these changes result in programming effects that persist into postnatal life. Secondly, paternal obesity also resulted in significant sex-specific transcriptome changes of blastocysts. The 49 differentially abundant transcripts (DATs) found in male blastocysts of obese fathers were increased and overlapped completely with the set of upregulated DATs in male blastocysts of obese mothers. In contrast, 47 of 49 DATs were downregulated in female blastocysts when the father was obese. This observation argues for a sex-specific programming effect of paternal obesity.
The observations from this animal experiment support the hypothesis that paternal BMI at the time of conception may also have an important influence on the long-life programming of metabolic diseases in the offspring (1, 2). In epidemiological studies investigating a relationship between parental BMI and lifelong metabolic risk in children, measured data on BMI are often only available for the mothers, and data from the father are missing or were only reported. The observations from this animal study suggest that paternal BMI should also be measured in epidemiological studies and should be included in analyses examining a potential programming effect of parental BMI on lifetime risks of overweight and obesity and associated diseases in the offspring.
References: 1. Cropley JE, Eaton SA, Aiken A, Young PE, Giannoulatou E, HoJWK, et al. Male-lineage transmission of an acquired metabolicphenotype induced by grand-paternal obesity. Mol Metab. 2016;5:699708.20.2. Grandjean V, Fourre S, De Abreu DA, Derieppe MA, Remy JJ,Rassoulzadegan M. RNA-mediated paternal heredity of diet-inducedobesity and metabolicdisorders. Scientific Rep. 2015;5:18193.