A maternal Western-style diet (WSD) is associated with poor reproductive outcomes, but whether this is from the diet itself or underlying metabolic dysfunction is unknown. Here, we performed a longitudinal study using regularly cycling female rhesus macaques (n = 10) that underwent 2 consecutive in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles, one while consuming a low-fat diet and another 6–8 months after consuming a high-fat WSD. Metabolic data were collected from the females prior to each IVF cycle. Follicular fluid (FF) and oocytes were assessed for cytokine/steroid levels and IVF potential, respectively. Although transition to a WSD led to weight gain and increased body fat, no difference in insulin levels was observed. A significant decrease in IL-1RA concentration and the ratio of cortisol/cortisone was detected in FF after WSD intake. Despite an increased probability of isolating mature oocytes, a 44% reduction in blastocyst number was observed with WSD consumption, and time-lapse imaging revealed delayed mitotic timing and multipolar divisions. RNA sequencing of blastocysts demonstrated dysregulation of genes involved in RNA binding, protein channel activity, mitochondrial function and pluripotency versus cell differentiation after WSD consumption. Thus, short-term WSD consumption promotes a proinflammatory intrafollicular microenvironment that is associated with impaired preimplantation development in the absence of large-scale metabolic changes.


Sweta Ravisankar, Alison Y. Ting, Melinda J. Murphy, Nash Redmayne, Dorothy Wang, Carrie A. McArthur, Diana L. Takahashi, Paul Kievit, Shawn L. Chavez, Jon D. Hennebold


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