Obesity adversely affects reproduction and results in oocyte defects in both mice and humans. In the present study we used a mouse model to examine whether the adverse effects of an obesogenic diet on oocyte metabolism and morphology can be reversed by return to a control diet. The intervention group consisted of C57BL6/J mice placed on a high-fat diet (HFD; 35.8% fat and 20.2% protein by nutritional content) for 6 weeks and then switched to an isocaloric control diet (CD; 13% fat and 25% protein) for 8 weeks (HFD/CD mice). The control group consisted of age-matched C57BL6/J mice maintained on CD for 14 weeks (CD/CD mice). Although metabolic parameters (weight, glucose tolerance and cholesterol levels) of HFD/CD mice returned to normal after this 'diet reversal' period, several oocyte defects were not reversible. These HFD/CD oocytes demonstrated significantly higher percentages of abnormal meiotic spindles, lower mitochondrial membrane potential and lower ATP and citrate levels, and higher percentages of abnormal lipid accumulation and mitochondrial distribution compared with CD/CD mice. These results suggest that the negative effects of an obesogenic diet on oocyte quality are not reversible, despite reversal of metabolic parameters. These data may provide better insight when counselling obese women regarding reproductive options and success.
- diet reversal
- meiotic spindle