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Pediatrics and Child Health

Adult Body Weight Is Programmed by a Redox-Regulated and Energy-Dependent Process during the Pronuclear Stage in Mouse
Published: Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Author: Bernadette Banrezes et al.

by Bernadette Banrezes, Thierry Sainte-Beuve, Eugénie Canon, Richard M. Schultz, José Cancela, Jean-Pierre Ozil

In mammals fertilization triggers a series of Ca2+ oscillations that not only are essential for events of egg activation but also stimulate oxidative phosphorylation. Little is known, however, about the relationship between quantitative changes in egg metabolism and specific long-term effects in offspring. This study assessed whether post-natal growth is modulated by early transient changes in NAD(P)H and FAD2+ in zygotes. We report that experimentally manipulating the redox potential of fertilized eggs during the pronuclear (PN) stage affects post-natal body weight. Exogenous pyruvate induces NAD(P)H oxidation and stimulates mitochondrial activity with resulting offspring that are persistently and significantly smaller than controls. Exogenous lactate stimulates NAD+ reduction and impairs mitochondrial activity, and produces offspring that are smaller than controls at weaning but catch up after weaning. Cytosolic alkalization increases NAD(P)+ reduction and offspring of normal birth-weight become significantly and persistently larger than controls. These results constitute the first report that post-natal growth rate is ultimately linked to modulation of NAD(P)H and FAD2+ concentration as early as the PN stage.