Childhood obesity and diabetes are closely related to these conditions in either parent, but how the father contributes is unclear. A study in rats shows that normal females mated with obese, glucose-intolerant fathers on a high-fat diet produce female offspring who develop glucose intolerance due to impaired insulin secretion and pancreatic function. This is the first report in any species that a father’s diet can initiate progression to diabetes in his offspring. The work highlights a novel role for environmentally induced paternal factors in influencing metabolic disease in offspring and in the growing epidemics of obesity and diabetes.
- (News & Views p922, doi: 10.1038/467922a)
- Chronic high-fat diet in fathers programs β-cell dysfunction in female rat offspring (Letter p963, doi: 10.1038/nature09491)
Recent Hot Topics
Sign up for Nature Research e-alerts to get the lastest research in your inbox every week.