High fat diet-induced obesity prolongs critical stages of the spermatogenic cycle in a Ldlr−/−.Leiden mouse model

D. Komninos, L. Ramos, G.W. van der Heijden, M.C. Morrison, R. Kleemann, A.E. van Herwaarden, A.J. Kiliaan*, I.A.C. Arnoldussen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Obesity can disturb spermatogenesis and subsequently affect male fertility and reproduction. In our study, we aim to elucidate at which cellular level of adult spermatogenesis the detrimental effects of obesity manifest. We induced high fat diet (HFD) obesity in low-density lipoprotein receptor knock-out Leiden (Ldlr−/−.Leiden) mice, and studied the morphological structure of the testes and histologically examined the proportion of Sertoli cells, spermatocytes and spermatids in the seminiferous tubules. We examined sperm DNA damage and chromatin condensation and measured plasma levels of leptin, testosterone, cholesterol and triglycerides. HFD-induced obesity caused high plasma leptin and abnormal testosterone levels and induced an aberrant intra-tubular organisation (ITO) which is associated with an altered spermatids/spermatocytes ratio (2:1 instead of 3:1). Mice fed a HFD had a higher level of tubules in stages VII + VIII in the spermatogenic cycle. The stages VII + VII indicate crucial processes in spermatogenic development like initiation of meiosis, initiation of spermatid elongation, and release of fully matured spermatids. In conclusion, HFD-induced obese Ldlr−/−.Leiden mice develop an aberrant ITO and alterations in the spermatogenic cycle in crucial stages (stages VII and VII). Thereby, our findings stress the importance of lifestyle guidelines in infertility treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number430
JournalScientific Reports
Volume12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jan 2022

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