Published: Feb 12, 2015
It is not news that obese women encounter a lot of problems in getting pregnant. Many women choose the path to infertility treatments to get pregnant. When they have children, it is more likely that their child would also be obese.
The news that researchers have found a solution to this problem may be appealing to those suffering. Research done on mice resulted in the finding the cause for these problems.
Today obesity has become one of the major problems in the United States with around 34.9% adults who are obese. It is not just a disorder but a life threatening one. Obesity can also lead your cells to dysfunction. Obesity has been directly linked to having higher levels of cholesterol and fats which do not let your cells function properly. Due to the dysfunction, the ER (Endoplasmic Reticulum) cannot function properly and produce proteins. This is called ER stress; and it can cause a cell to explode.
In order to see if this disorder also occurs in the egg, some researchers conducted a study on mice. Two groups of mice were selected to perform the research on: one group had Blobby mice, which were obese, and the other group had lean mice. The research was done by Rebbeca Robker and her colleagues at the University of Adelaide in Australia. The Blobby mice go through mutation causing overeating and becoming obese.
They monitored the mitochondria activity in the mice egg cells and ER stress. Mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell, producing energy. After the research, it was noted that there was a high level of ER stress in the Blobby mice as compared to the lean mice. There was also reduction in mitochondrial activity in the egg cells of the Blobby mice.
The researchers said that when they found out that the mitochondrion cells were damaged, they knew that it would affect the eggs as well. They further added that since the mother’s mitochondria plays an important role in the development of every cell in the child, therefore any damage caused to the mitochondria in the cell may result in damaged mitochondria in the child.
David Albertini, from the University of Kansas Medical Centre, is a scientist in reproduction. He says that this research is an important one because this study provides a new outlook towards the problem of obesity through researching the effects of obesity on the quality of eggs. The diabetes drug which is in the process could be a savior for many.
The replication of the mitochondria was affected as it could not replicate inside the embryos. Due to this the offspring mice of the Bobby mice were born heavier as compared to those of the lean mice. The offspring also had less mitochondrion in their kidneys, hearts and livers.
Robker says that the new found information is significant because it provided a new prospect as to how obesity in the mother can get transferred to the child. She further adds that this could become a way to reduce obesity amongst people because people will now be aware.