Mother's obesity may lead to infertility in the next generation

Levels of the hormone ghrelin are low in obese women and a recent study accepted for publication in Endocrinology, a publication of The Endocrine Society, reports that mice whose mothers had low ghrelin levels were less fertile due to a defect in implantation.

Hormones involved in energy balance and , such as ghrelin, have been shown to regulate reproductive function in animals and humans. However ghrelin's role in reproductive tract development remains unclear. The current study examined the effect of ghrelin deficiency on the developmental programming of female fertility.

"While our study involved mice, we believe our findings have significant implications for women," said Hugh Taylor, MD, of the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn. and lead author of the study. "Our results suggest that low ghrelin levels could program the development of the in the female children of . These women may then be less fertile as adults."

In this study, researchers observed that female mice born of mice with ghrelin deficiency had diminished fertility and produced smaller litters than mice born of mice with normal ghrelin levels. Mice exposed to ghrelin deficiency in-utero demonstrated alterations in uterine which lead to impaired embryo implantation and consequently low fertility.


Explore further

Hormone that controls hunger and appetite also linked to reduced fertility

More information: The article, "Maternal Ghrelin Deficiency Compromises Reproduction in Female Progeny through Altered Uterine Developmental Programming," appears in the April 2011 issue of Endocrinology.
Citation: Mother's obesity may lead to infertility in the next generation (2011, March 23) retrieved 18 November 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2011-03-mother-obesity-infertility.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments