A high-fat diet negatively affects rat sperm mitochondrial respiration

Recent evidences have linked abdominal obesity, insulin resistance, and dyslipidemia to male infertility. Since a defective energy metabolism may play an important role in the impairment of sperm quality, the aim of this study is to investigate the sperm energetic metabolism in rats fed with a high-fat diet, an animal model associated with metabolic syndrome development. Sexually mature male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into two groups and fed for 4 weeks a standard diet (control group) or a diet enriched in 35% of fat (high fat group). Liver and adipose tissue weight, plasma glucose, insulin, and lipid concentrations were determined. Activities of enzymes involved in sperm energetic metabolism were evaluated by spectrophotometric assays. Sperm mitochondrial respiratory activity was evaluated with a polarographic assay of oxygen consumption. The administration of a high-fat diet caused a significant increase in body weight of rats and provoked hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, and dyslipidemia. In these animals, we also observed a reduction in sperm concentration and motility. The investigation of sperm energetic metabolism in animals fed a high-fat diet revealed an impairment in the activity of pyruvate and lactate dehydrogenase, citrate synthase, and respiratory chain complexes. A parallel reduction in the cellular levels of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and an increase in oxidative damage were also observed. A defective energy metabolism may play an important role in the impairment of sperm quality in the high-fat diet fed rats.

Andrology. 2016 Apr 07 [Epub ahead of print]

A Ferramosca, A Conte, N Moscatelli, V Zara

Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche ed Ambientali, Università del Salento, Lecce, Italy., Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche ed Ambientali, Università del Salento, Lecce, Italy., Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche ed Ambientali, Università del Salento, Lecce, Italy., Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche ed Ambientali, Università del Salento, Lecce, Italy.

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