UC biologists find link between paternal diet and offspring’s health

UC biologists find link between paternal diet and offspring’s health

Doctors long have stressed the importance of good nutrition for expectant mothers.

Now biologists at the University of Cincinnati say the father’s diet could play a similar role in the health of a baby.

UC biology professors Michal Polak and Joshua Benoit manipulated the nutrition of male fruit flies and observed a strong correlation between poor diet and poor survivorship among their offspring. The study was published this week in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

“We were really surprised,” Polak said. “In many species, the moms do a lot of the care. So we expect there to be an effect from maternal diet on offspring because of that strong link. But it was a real surprise to find a link between paternal diet and offspring.”

UC collaborated on the study with researchers from the University of Western Australia and the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre.

Everyone knows a father is responsible for half of his offspring’s genes. But the UC study comes at a time when researchers are learning more about other influences fathers have on their offspring’s health that are not necessarily coded within genes, a concept called epigenetics. These influences include direct environmental effects such as exposure to toxins that can be passed from the father to his offspring through his seminal plasma.

Epigenetics is the way by which cells read genes, making some dormant and others active. Environmental cues can turn certain genes on or off. And these epigenetic modifications, too, can be inherited.

For example, an Australian study in 2016 found that male mice that lived on the equivalent of a fast-food diet were more likely to have sons that were diabetic even though daughters remained unaffected. If these traits were coded in the father’s DNA, both sons and daughters would see similar health effects.

“Epigenetic changes are seen in population genetics as less durable than actual mutations to the genetic code or DNA molecule,” Polak said. “If it’s a dominant, deleterious mutation, it could be quickly eliminated out of a gene pool by selection. But if it’s positively selected, then it could sweep the gene pool and increase in frequency until it becomes fixed.”

Research on fruit flies has earned six Nobel Prizes, including this year’s winner in physiology or medicine. The latest Nobel Prize study examined how genes control body clocks or circadian rhythms, which can help explain why some people have chronic trouble sleeping.

“I am very pleased for the field. I am very pleased for the fruit fly,” co-winner Michael Rosbash told The Associated Press.

Fruit flies are found around the world. UC’s Benoit even saw them buzzing around inside a research station in Antarctica, where they probably stowed away on food supplies imported from Chile.

The flies became popular study subjects in the early 1900s when biologists began to unravel how genetic inheritance worked. High school biology textbooks still use the color of fruit fly eyes to illustrate the concept.

Today, scientists regularly study fruit flies because they share 60 percent of our genes and more than 75 percent of our disease genes. Geneticists have mapped their entire genome. More than 150 years of study have made this unassuming little fly a good model system, Polak said.

“It’s almost arbitrary why fruit flies were chosen,” Polak said. “It just became the workhorse in those original labs.”

Benoit said flies are a practical and inexpensive test subject.

“They reproduce quickly. You can rear a few hundred in just one of these little jars. You can have thousands of fruit flies in the same amount of space you could fit six mice,” Benoit said. “It’s a great system to work on. That’s why so many questions have been answered about them.”

For the UC study, Polak isolated females and males of the fruit fly species Drosophila melanogaster, which is famous for its enormous red eyes and high reproductive capacity. A single fly can lay 50 eggs per day or as many as 2,000 eggs in her short two-month lifetime.

UC researchers fed females the same diet. But they fed males 30 different diets of yeast and sugars. The flies could eat all they wanted from the agar mixture in the bottom of their glass beaker homes, but the quality of the food varied dramatically from low to high concentrations of proteins, carbohydrates and calories.

 

After 17 days on the strict diet, the males were mated individually and consecutively with two females, which all received the same diet of yeasted cornmeal. By controlling the diet and age of the mated female, researchers tried to limit variation in maternal conditions for the study.

And by mating the males consecutively, researchers wanted to learn about the effect of male mating order and what role diet played in changing the male’s ejaculate.

After the first mating, the male fly was mated 15 minutes later with a second female. Afterward, the females were placed in isolated breeding vials filled with grape agar suitable for laying eggs. After 24 hours, researchers counted their eggs.

After another 24-hour incubation period, the eggs were examined under a microscope to determine how many hatched or contained viable embryos. Unfertilized eggs were removed from consideration. After the first count, researchers waited another 24 hours to give potentially unviable eggs time to develop or hatch but none did.

Polak and Benoit found that embryos from the second mating were more likely to survive as their fathers’ diets improved in nutrition. These effects were less apparent in the first mating. Likewise, embryo mortality was highest for offspring of males that fed on a high-carbohydrate, low-protein diet.

Researchers also found a connection between the male’s body condition and his offspring’s mortality. Males with lower energy reserves (measured in whole-body fatty acids, glucose and protein) were more likely to have fewer surviving offspring.

Females laid roughly the same number of eggs regardless of the male’s diet or mating frequency. But the study suggested that something important in the male’s ejaculate was lost between the first and second pairings.

“The second copulation is where the effects of diet really became stronger,” Polak said. “Emaciated males in poor condition produced embryos with a higher rate of mortality. But only in the second copulation.”

Polak’s study also found a slightly higher incidence of embryo mortality associated with male flies in the first mating that were fed the highest-calorie diet.

“There have been a fair number of studies that suggest male nutrition does affect reproductive capacity,” Benoit said. “But the reduction in viability was a lot smaller than what we saw in the low-quality diet or may have been masked since only a single mating was assessed.”

Polak said the study raises questions about how nutrition might affect successive generations. A 2002 Swedish population study found a correlation between 9-year-old children who had ample access to food and higher rates of diabetes and heart disease among their grandchildren. Meanwhile, children who faced privation from famine at the same age had children and grandchildren with less incidences of heart disease and diabetes.

The study was funded in part by a four-year $882,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

Now Benoit and Polak are turning their attention to a new study examining the genetic and epigenetic responses of fruit flies that are stressed by parasitic mites.

“The seminal fluid does have a protective role to play for the embryo. You definitely have implications for embryo health and viability. But that’s another chapter,” Polak said.

The researchers also are interested in testing whether parasitic infection could change the quality of male seminal plasma, possibly exerting effects on the embryo as they observed in the diet study.

After spending most of his academic career studying them, Polak has respect for the lowly fruit fly.

“You get a special sort of appreciation for them when you see them in your kitchen courting on a piece of fruit,” he said. “You know a lot about them – and maybe you’re a little less likely to swat them.”

Source:
http://magazine.uc.edu/editors_picks/recent_features/fruitfly.html
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Connie’s comments: Whole foods, exercise, avoidance of toxins and quality supplementation are important for both mother and father to have healthy offspring.

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Prognostic biomarker is how cancer might develop for each one

Before a cancer will advance in the future, do you want to have a tests – prognostic biomarker, that will tell you how cancer will progress in the future? Would you like to know from your blood test how cancer might develop over time?

All of us do not want to be in a situation where cancer is in the last stage already and applying precision medicine to reduce cost, to reduce side effects of chemo and to target cancer with precision.

Mammaprint test (breast cancer tissues) provides a correlation with high or low outcome risk for distant metastases in patients with invasive breast cancer.

Other genetic tests using saliva and blood samples will come out soon using prognostic biomarkers to warn us of how cancer or faster cell degradation might develop in the distant future. We have to be proactive with our health before it is too late.

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Email motherhealth@gmail.com if you wanted to be proactive in knowing how you can slow cancer or aging in the future and/or find prognostic biomarkers to give us time to help our body fight cancer or slow aging.

Connie


From Wiki:

A biomarker indicates a change in expression or state of a protein that correlates with the risk or progression of a disease, or with the susceptibility of the disease to a given treatment.

Before

Prognostic biomarkers indicate the likelihood of patient outcome regardless of a specific treatment.

Disease-related biomarkers give an indication of the probable effect of treatment on patient (risk indicator or predictive biomarkers), if a disease already exists (diagnostic biomarker).

Prognostic markers shows the progression of disease with or without treatment.

How such a disease may develop in an individual case regardless of the type of treatment is called prognostic biomarker.

After

Predictive biomarkers are used to help optimize ideal treatments, and indicates the likelihood of benefiting from a specific therapy.

Predictive biomarkers help to assess the most likely response to a particular treatment type.

Drug-related biomarkers indicate whether a drug will be effective in a specific patient and how the patient’s body will process it.

Biomarkers for precision oncology are typically utilized in the molecular diagnostics of chronic myeloid leukemia, colon, breast, and lung cancer, and in melanoma.

A biomarker can be a substance that is introduced into an organism as a means to examine organ function or other aspects of health. For example, rubidium chloride is used in isotopic labeling to evaluate perfusion of heart muscle. It can also be a substance whose detection indicates a particular disease state, for example, the presence of an antibody may indicate an infection.

Biomarkers can be characteristic biological properties or molecules that can be detected and measured in parts of the body like the blood or tissue. They may indicate either normal or diseased processes in the body.[1] Biomarkers can be specific cells, molecules, or genes, gene products, enzymes, or hormones. Complex organ functions or general characteristic changes in biological structures can also serve as biomarkers.

Biomarkers also cover the use of molecular indicators of environmental exposure in epidemiologic studies such as human papilloma virus or certain markers of tobacco exposure such as 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK).

Biomarkers used for personalized medicine are typically categorized as either prognostic or predictive. An example is KRAS, an oncogene that encodes a GTPase involved in several signal transduction pathways.

In addition to long-known parameters, such as those included and objectively measured in a blood count, there are numerous novel biomarkers used in the various medical specialties. Currently, intensive work is taking place on the discovery and development of innovative and more effective biomarkers.

These “new” biomarkers have become the basis for preventive medicine, meaning medicine that recognises diseases or the risk of disease early, and takes specific countermeasures to prevent the development of disease.

Biomarkers are also seen as the key to personalised medicine, treatments individually tailored to specific patients for highly efficient intervention in disease processes. Often, such biomarkers indicate changes in metabolic processes.

The “classic” biomarker in medicine is a laboratory parameter that the doctor can use to help make decisions in making a diagnosis and selecting a course of treatment.

For example, the detection of certain autoantibodies in patient blood is a reliable biomarker for autoimmune disease, and the detection of rheumatoid factors has been an important diagnostic marker for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) for over 50 years.[7][8]

For the diagnosis of this autoimmune disease the antibodies against the bodies own citrullinated proteins are of particular value. These ACPAs, (ACPA stands for Anti-citrullinated protein/peptide antibody) can be detected in the blood before the first symptoms of RA appear. They are thus highly valuable biomarkers for the early diagnosis of this autoimmune disease.[9] In addition, they indicate if the disease threatens to be severe with serious damage to the bones and joints,[10][11] which is an important tool for the doctor when providing a diagnosis and developing a treatment plan.

There are also more and more indications that ACPAs can be very useful in monitoring the success of treatment for RA.[12]This would make possible the accurate use of modern treatments with biologicals. Physicians hope to soon be able to individually tailor rheumatoid arthritis treatments for each patient.

According to Häupl T. et al. prediction of response to treament will become the most important aim of biomarker research in medicine. With the growing number of new biological agents, there is increasing pressure to identify molecular parameters such as ACPAs that will not only guide the therapeutic decision but also help to define the most important targets for which new biological agents should be tested in clinical studies.[13]

An NIH study group committed to the following definition in 1998: “a characteristic that is objectively measured and evaluated as an indicator of normal biologic processes, pathogenic processes, or pharmacologic responses to a therapeutic intervention.” In the past, biomarkers were primarily physiological indicators such as blood pressure or heart rate. More recently, biomarker is becoming a synonym for molecular biomarker, such as elevated prostate specific antigen as a molecular biomarker for prostate cancer, or using enzyme assays as liver function tests. There has recently been heightened interest in the relevance of biomarkers in oncology, including the role of KRAS in CRC and other EGFR-associated cancers. In patients whose tumors express the mutated KRAS gene, the KRAS protein, which forms part of the EGFR signaling pathway, is always ‘turned on’. This overactive EGFR signaling means that signaling continues downstream – even when the upstream signaling is blocked by an EGFR inhibitor, such as cetuximab (Erbitux) – and results in continued cancer cell growth and proliferation. Testing a tumor for its KRAS status (wild-type vs. mutant) helps to identify those patients who will benefit most from treatment with cetuximab.

Biomarker

In medicine, a biomarker can be a traceable substance that is introduced into an organism as a means to examine organ function or other aspects of health. For example, rubidium chloride is used as a radioactive isotope to evaluate perfusion of heart muscle. It can also be a substance whose detection indicates a particular disease state, for example, the presence of anantibody may indicate an infection. More specifically, a biomarker indicates a change in expression or state of a protein that correlates with the risk or progression of a disease, or with the susceptibility of the disease to a given treatment.

bio-1

Biochemical biomarkers are often used in clinical trials, where they are derived from bodily fluids that are easily available to the early phase researchers. A useful way of finding genetic causes of diseases such as schizophrenia has been the use of a special kind of biomarker called an endophenotype.

Other biomarkers can be based on measures of the electrical activity of the brain (using Electroencephalography (so-calledQuantitative electroencephalography (qEEG)) or Magnetoencephalography), or volumetric measures of certain brain regions (using Magnetic resonance imaging) or saliva testing of natural metabolites, such as saliva nitrite, a surrogate marker for nitric oxide. One example of a commonly used biomarker in medicine is prostate-specific antigen (PSA). This marker can be measured as a proxy of prostate size with rapid changes potentially indicating cancer. The most extreme case would be to detect mutant proteins as cancer specific biomarkers through Selected Reaction Monitoring (SRM), since mutant proteins can only come from an existing tumor, thus providing ultimately the best specificity for medical purposes.[5]

bio-2