The world has recently experienced a decline in male reproductive (e.g. sperm counts and motility) and metabolic (e.g. obesity and diabetes) health. We and others have shown that the metabolic state – depending on factors such as diet, obesity and physical exercise – may affect sperm quality and sperm sncRNA. In parallel, evidence from animal models shows that the metabolic health of the father may influence the metabolic health in his offspring. Vectors for such paternal intergenerational metabolic responses (IGMRs) has been suggested to involve sRNAs. Together, this suggests that there are overlapping aetiologies between the male metabolic syndrome, male factor infertility and intergenerational responses.
In this talk, I will discuss the advances in our understanding of the roles of sRNA in spermatogenesis and offspring development. A special focus will lie on novel findings regarding small mitochondrial RNA (mitoRNA), and their emerging roles in intergenerational metabolic and reproductive health.
Hosted by Pablo M Garcia-Roves – Nutrition, Metabolism and Gene Therapy Group
Dr. Anita Öst is a principal investigator at the Faculty of Heath Sciences in the University of Linköping ,Sweden. Her research revolves around elucidating epigenetic mechanisms in obesity and metabolic disease with a focus on paternal intergenerational metabolic response. During her PhD in Prof. Peter Strålfors group, she explored several aspects of insulin signaling in human type 2 diabetes. As a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Andrew Pospisilik‘s lab at the Max Planck Institute for Immunobiology and Epigenetics, she established a Drosophila model of paternally induced obesity. This model is now the firm foundation for defining the Molecular Regulation of Epigenetic Inheritance of Metabolic Disease. In addition to this research focus, her lab is also involved in investigating the relationship between lifestyle parameters and male fertility in humans.