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Obesity Damage to Mother’s Eggs Passed on to Offspring

Posted: February 11th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Cankler Science News, Favorite New Thought, Health, Outside the Box | Tags: , | Comments Off on Obesity Damage to Mother’s Eggs Passed on to Offspring

Obesity damage to mum's eggs passes to offspringResearchers from the University of Adelaide say they’ve unraveled a key mechanism that may explain how obesity can be passed from mother to child, the discovery may also provide clarity into why obese women find it so difficult to fall pregnant.

According to their study, obese mothers ‘transmit’ metabolic problems to their offspring through changes to the mitochondria in their eggs, long before conception has taken place.

The researchers were able to reverse this damage in eggs of obese mice using drugs that reduce cellular stress.

They say their findings, published today in Development, may point towards future therapies to help obese women overcome fertility issues and prevent multigenerational health problems related to obesity ::::

Lead author and cell biologist Associate Professor Rebecca Robker from the Robinson Institute at the University of Adelaide was interested in why obese women have such trouble conceiving.

She found that not only do obese women not respond as well to fertility treatments, but their embryos seem to develop slightly differently, and they are more prone to miscarriages regardless of whether they conceive naturally or not; all of which suggested to her that there might be developmental problems with the early embryos.

“The thing that’s really emerging now is that obese couples, their children also seem to have a propensity for obesity that’s not explained by genetics,” Robker said.

Over-nutrition in females causes altered fetal growth during pregnancy and permanently programs the metabolism of offspring; however, the temporal and mechanistic origins of these changes, and whether they are reversible, are unknown.

In their study, Robker and colleagues found big differences in the eggs of obese mice compared to those of lean mice; specifically, that the mitochondria, the energy producing components of a cell, are damaged, dysfunctional, and there are fewer of them.

“The mitochondria in the egg give rise to all of the mitochondria in the body of that offspring,” Robker said. “So we put those two pieces of information together and thought if the mitochondria in the egg are damaged, are they defective then in repopulating those cells of the embryo?”

The researchers found that the embryos of obese mice had less mitochondrial DNA in a whole range of tissues, from the heart, kidney, muscles and liver, even if those embryos were transplanted into a lean surrogate mother, this could have lifetime consequences for the offspring’s metabolic function.

“Maybe in the muscle they would have less capacity to burn fat, maybe in the cardiac tissues as adults they would be less able to cope with a high fat diet, maybe in the kidney they would be less able to have optimal filtration and that could contribute to high blood pressure.” Robker said.

In exploring how obesity affects the mitochondria, the team speculated that it might have something to do with stress to another cellular component known as the endoplasmic reticulum.

Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a type of organelle in the cells that forms an interconnected network of flattened, membrane-enclosed sacs or tubes known as cisternae. The membranes of the ER are continuous with the outer membrane of the nuclear envelope. ER occurs in most types of eukaryotic cells, but is absent from red blood cells and spermatozoa. There are two types of ER, rough and smooth. The outer (cytosolic) face of the rough ER is studded with ribosomes that are the sites of protein synthesis. The rough ER is especially prominent in cells such as hepatocytes whereas active smooth ER lacks ribosomes and functions in lipid metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism, and detoxification and is especially abundant in liver and gonad cells.

When researchers treated the obese mice with a drug known to reduce endoplasmic reticulum stress, they saw an increase in the mitochondrial DNA in their eggs, suggesting that this treatment offsetted the negative impact of obesity.

“These compounds were highly successful in preventing the stress response,” she says. “Effectively the problem was fully reversed.” Robker said.

However, Robker emphasises it will be a long time before a treatment like this becomes a reality. In the meantime, she urges women to take control of their health not just during pregnancy.

“Women often think ‘I’m pregnant, I’ll start being healthy now’, but some signals have already been communicated to that egg, and nutrition has been stored in that egg since before conception.” Robker said.


RELATED! Long Term Australian Health Study Finds Increased Risk of Diabetes and Obesity

ObesityIt’s one of the most complex health issues facing the developed world in this 21st century, and it seems the harder we look into obesity, the more complex it becomes. Long gone is the simple ethos “food in = energy out.”

Researchers are battling to come to terms with what can only be described as an epidemic. A third of the world’s adult population is physically inactive, the couch-potato lifestyle kills about 5 million people every year, experts contributing to a special feature in the medical journal The Lancet say.

“Roughly three of every 10 individuals aged 15 years or older – about 1.5 billion people – do not reach present physical activity recommendations,” Dr Pedro Hallal and colleagues said in a report that described the problem as a pandemic.

Complicating an already complicated issue, a 2012 study by researchers at Georgetown University revealed how the mutation in a single gene can be responsible for the inability of neurons to effectively pass along appetite suppressing signals from the body to the right place in the brain.

Australian researchers have just undertaken one of the most comprehensive studies tracking the health of the nation. The findings paint a disturbing picture of the nation’s battle with diabetes and obesity. The AusDiab study was funded through a National Health and Medical Research Council grant and followed 11,000 Australians for 12 years :: Read the full article »»»»

RELATED! Chronic Obesity Killing 5 Million+ Each Year

Chronic Obesity Killing 5 Million+ Each YearA third of the world’s adult population is physically inactive, the couch-potato lifestyle kills about 5 million people every year, experts contributing to a special feature in the medical journal The Lancet say.

“Roughly three of every 10 individuals aged 15 years or older – about 1.5 billion people – do not reach present physical activity recommendations,” Dr Pedro Hallal and colleagues said in a report that described the problem as a pandemic.

The Lancet Physical Activity Series Working Grouppaints an even grimmer picture for adolescents, with four out of five 13 to 15-year-olds not moving enough, the report said.

Inactivity was described for the study as failing to do 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five times a week, 20 minutes of vigorous activity three times a week, or a combination of the two :: Read the full article »»»»

The Kernel

RELATED! Researchers Reveal How a Single Gene Mutation Leads to Uncontrolled Obesity

Researchers Reveal How a Single Gene Mutation Leads to Uncontrolled ObesityResearchers at Georgetown University Medical Center have revealed how a mutation in a single gene is responsible for the inability of neurons to effectively pass along appetite suppressing signals from the body to the right place in the brain. What results is obesity caused by a voracious appetite.

Their study, published March 18th on Nature Medicine‘s website, suggests there might be a way to stimulate expression of that gene to treat obesity caused by uncontrolled eating.

The research team specifically found that a mutation in the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) gene in mice does not allow brain neurons to effectively pass leptin and insulin chemical signals through the brain. In humans, these hormones, which are released in the body after a person eats, are designed to “tell” the body to stop eating. But if the signals fail to reach correct locations in the hypothalamus, the area in the brain that signals satiety, eating continues. Read the full article »»»»

Australia! Obesity Epidemic Affecting Autopsies

Australia - Obesity Epidemic Affecting AutopsiesAustralians are getting more obese by the day, with experts warning body fat is masking the diagnosis of other illnesses. It is causing stress on Australia’s public health system and the people who have to examine the grossly overweight bodies. South Australian forensic pathologist Roger Byard says the problem is so bad he cannot get some of his clients onto his examination tables, reports Rebecca Brice from abc.net.au.

Dr Byard says obesity is one of the most frightening epidemics he has seen in his four decades in medicine. “We have antibiotics for infections, we have chemotherapy for cancer, so we take two steps forward but with the obesity problem we’re almost taking three steps back,” Dr Byard said.

Dr Byard says since 1986 the rate of morbidly obese bodies entering his Adelaide mortuary has risen from just over 1 per cent to almost 5 per cent. At times the bodies are so big he has to dissect them on the floor. “We try to avoid this obviously, but if a body is so large that we can’t safely put the body on a trolley then we have to perform the autopsy on the floor, which is terribly difficult.”

The bigger the bodies, he says, the harder it is to dissect them and the harder it is to find the cause of death. “Obesity comes with so many diseases – it’s almost how do you choose which is the problem,” he said. “As well as the fact that they have to carry this excess weight around, their heart’s being compressed and this adipose tissue material is secreting toxins that people think actually cause death of heart cells. So they’re being attacked on all fronts.” Dr Byard said.

The problems are not confined to the morgue. Some obese hospital patients do not fit into CT scanning machines and excess fat can hinder the taking of blood using syringes, which impedes diagnosis in both the dead and the living :: Read the full article »»»»

RELATED! Australia’s War on Sugar

Australia's War on SugarIn Australia the war on obesity is heating up, three major health organisations want a sugar tax on all sweetened beverages – not just soft drinks, but products like flavoured milk and sports drinks – to limit consumption and curb what is shaping up to be the nations biggest health problem.

However, Australia’s Food and Grocery Council – the body representing the food and beverage industry – is hitting back against health campaigns aimed at reducing sugar consumption, prompting critics to compare the industry’s position to that of tobacco companies fight against smoking decades ago.

In the UK a similar campaign ‘Action on Sugar’ has just launched, in the hope of reversing the obesity epidemic by targeting the “huge and unnecessary amounts of sugar that are currently being added to our food and soft drinks”. The campaign’s expert advisors include heavyweights from the scientific and medical community.

Last month leaked draft guidelines from the World Health Organisation – WHO – suggested the organisation is considering halving the recommended daily intake of sugar from ten teaspoons to five. WHO’s “global strategy on diet” also says an unhealthy diet is a major risk factor for chronic disease and recommends reducing sugar intake to help prevent conditions like type 2 diabetes and dental problems :: Read the full article »»»»


source: uoa
source: development

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