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Paternal nutritional programming of lipid metabolism is propagated through sperm and seminal plasma

Furse, Samuel; Watkins, Adam J.; Williams, Huw E.L.; Snowden, Stuart G.; Chiarugi, Davide; Koulman, Albert


Samuel Furse

Stuart G. Snowden

Davide Chiarugi

Albert Koulman


Background: The paternal diet affects lipid metabolism in offspring for at least two generations through nutritional programming. However, we do not know how this is propagated to the offspring. Objectives: We tested the hypothesis that the changes in lipid metabolism that are driven by paternal diet are propagated through spermatozoa and not seminal plasma. Methods: We applied an updated, purpose-built computational network analysis tool to characterise control of lipid metabolism systemically (Lipid Traffic Analysis v2.3) on a known mouse model of paternal nutritional programming. Results: The analysis showed that the two possible routes for programming effects, the sperm (genes) and seminal plasma (influence on the uterine environment), both have a distinct effect on the offspring’s lipid metabolism. Further, the programming effects in offspring suggest that changes in lipid distribution are more important than alterations in lipid biosynthesis. Conclusions: These results show how the uterine environment and genes both affect lipid metabolism in offspring, enhancing our understanding of the link between parental diet and metabolism in offspring.


Furse, S., Watkins, A. J., Williams, H. E., Snowden, S. G., Chiarugi, D., & Koulman, A. (2022). Paternal nutritional programming of lipid metabolism is propagated through sperm and seminal plasma. Metabolomics, 18(2), Article 13.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 4, 2022
Online Publication Date Feb 10, 2022
Publication Date Feb 10, 2022
Deposit Date Dec 6, 2022
Publicly Available Date Dec 6, 2022
Journal Metabolomics
Print ISSN 1573-3882
Electronic ISSN 1573-3890
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 18
Issue 2
Article Number 13
Keywords Clinical Biochemistry; Biochemistry; Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
Public URL
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