Taurine supplementation in high-fat diet fed male mice attenuates endocrine pancreatic dysfunction in their male offspring
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Obesity in fathers leads to DNA damage and epigenetic changes in sperm that may carry potential risk factors for metabolic diseases to the next generation. Taurine (TAU) supplementation has demonstrated benefits against testicular dysfunction and pancreatic islet impairments induced by obesity, but it is not known if these protective actions prevent the propagation of metabolic disruptions to the next generation; as such, we hypothesized that paternal obesity may increase the probability of endocrine pancreatic dysfunction in offspring, and that this could be prevented by TAU supplementation in male progenitors. To test this, male C57Bl/6 mice were fed on a control diet (CTL) or a high-fat diet (HFD) without or with 5% TAU in their drinking water (CTAU and HTAU) for 4 months. Subsequently, all groups of mice were mated with CTL females, and the F1 offspring were identified as: CTL-F1, CTAU-F1, HFD-F1, and HTAU-F1. HFD-fed mice were normoglycemic, but glucose intolerant and their islets hypersecreted insulin. However, at 90 days of age, HFD-F1 offspring displayed normal glucose homeostasis and adiposity, but reduced glucose-induced insulin release. HFD-F1 islets also exhibited β- and α-cell hypotrophy, and lower δ-cell number per islet. Paternal TAU supplementation prevented the decrease in glucose-induced insulin secretion and normalized β-cell size and δ-cell number, and increased α-cell size/islet in HTAU-F1 mice. In conclusion, HFD consumption by male founders decreases β-cell secretion and islet-cell distribution in their offspring. TAU attenuates the deleterious effects of paternal obesity on insulin secretion and islet-cell morphology in F1 offspring.
KeywordsInsulin secretion Islet morphology Metabolic programming Paternal obesity Taurine
This study forms part of the M.Sc. thesis of Israelle Netto Freitas and was supported by grants from Fundação Carlos Chagas Filho de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ n.: E-26/203.632/2015) and Conselho Nacional para o Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq). We are grateful to Professor Thiago Alvares (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Campus UFRJ-Macaé) for help with statistical analyses and Nicola Conran for English edition.
Ribeiro RA, Freitas IN and Araujo TR: conception and experimental design, execution of all experiments, analyses, data interpretation, and manuscript writing; Vettorazzi JF and Magalhães EA: insulin secretion measurement and endocrine pancreatic morphology; Carneiro EC and Bonfleur ML: intellectual contribution during work development and manuscript writing.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
All contributing authors report that there are no conflicts of interest that could be perceived as prejudicing the impartiality of the research reported.
This study used experimental animals. The use of mice in this study was approved by the local Ethics Animal Care and Use Committee (CEUA UFRJ-Macaé Campus, license nº.: MAC31).
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