Science Bulletin

, Volume 61, Issue 6, pp 428–429 | Cite as

Fat dad, fat kids: sperm small RNAs in control!

  • Yong ZhangEmail author
  • Josue Regalado
  • Wei YanEmail author
Research Highlight

An individual’s diet appears to have a profound impact on the health of his/her offspring as recent studies indicate that offspring can inherit metabolic disorders from their fathers [1]. However, it remains unclear what factors in the sperm are responsible for the intergenerational inheritance of paternally acquired traits.

A recent study by Chen et al. [ 2] starts to shed lights on this question by demonstrating that a subset of small RNAs in the sperm, called tsRNAs, might mediate the transmission of the metabolic disorder from fathers to their offspring. By injecting the sperm head from the male mice on high fat diet (HFD) into normal mouse oocytes, they observed that the offspring displayed impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance. To identify the sperm-borne factors responsible for the induction of metabolic disorders in offspring, the authors injected total RNAs purified from HFD sperm into normal zygotes. Interestingly, the offspring showed impaired glucose tolerance,...


Small RNAs Sperm Head Metabolic Gene Expression Head Injection Perform Sequencing Analysis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of NevadaRenoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Physiology and Cell BiologyUniversity of Nevada School of MedicineRenoUSA

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