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Paternal hypoxia exposure impairs fertilization process and preimplantation embryo development

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 June 2021

Hai-Ping Tao
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Adaptation and Evolution of Plateau Biota, Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining810001, China University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing100049, China Qinghai Key Laboratory of Animal Ecological Genomics, Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining810001, Qinghai, China
Gong-Xue Jia
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Adaptation and Evolution of Plateau Biota, Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining810001, China University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing100049, China Qinghai Key Laboratory of Animal Ecological Genomics, Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining810001, Qinghai, China
Xiao-Na Zhang
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Adaptation and Evolution of Plateau Biota, Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining810001, China University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing100049, China
Yu-Jun Wang
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Adaptation and Evolution of Plateau Biota, Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining810001, China University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing100049, China
Bin-Ye Li
Affiliation:
Center for Reproductive Medicine, Qinghai People’s Hospital, Xining810007, Qinghai, China.
Qi-En Yang*
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Adaptation and Evolution of Plateau Biota, Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining810001, China University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing100049, China Qinghai Key Laboratory of Animal Ecological Genomics, Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining810001, Qinghai, China
*
Author for correspondence: Qi-En Yang. Key Laboratory of Adaptation and Evolution of Plateau Biota, Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining810001, China. Email: yangqien@nwipb.cas.cn

Summary

Environmental hypoxia exposure causes fertility problems in human and animals. Compelling evidence suggests that chronic hypoxia impairs spermatogenesis and reduces sperm motility. However, it is unclear whether paternal hypoxic exposure affects fertilization and early embryo development. In the present study, we exposed male mice to high altitude (3200 m above sea level) for 7 or 60 days to evaluate the effects of hypoxia on sperm quality, zygotic DNA methylation and blastocyst formation. Compared with age-matched controls, hypoxia-treated males exhibited reduced fertility after mating with normoxic females as a result of defects in sperm motility and function. Results of in vitro fertilization (IVF) experiments revealed that 60 days’ exposure significantly reduced cleavage and blastocyst rates by 30% and 70%, respectively. Immunohistochemical staining of pronuclear formation indicated that the pronuclear formation process was disturbed and expression of imprinted genes was reduced in early embryos after paternal hypoxia. Overall, the findings of this study suggested that exposing male mice to hypoxia impaired sperm function and affected key events during early embryo development in mammals.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press

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Footnotes

*

These authors contributed equally to this work.

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