Long-term Hyperandrogenemia and/or Western-style Diet in Rhesus Macaque Females Impairs Preimplantation Embryogenesis

Sweta Ravisankar, Melinda J. Murphy, Nash Redmayne-Titley, Brett Davis, Fangzhou Luo, Diana Takahashi, Jon D. Hennebold, Shawn L. Chavez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hyperandrogenemia and obesity are common in women with polycystic ovary syndrome, but it is currently unclear how each alone or in combination contribute to reproductive dysfunction and female infertility. To distinguish the individual and combined effects of hyperandrogenemia and an obesogenic diet on ovarian function, prepubertal female rhesus macaques received a standard control (C) diet, testosterone (T) implants, an obesogenic Western-style diet (WSD), or both (T+WSD). After 5 to 6 years of treatment, the females underwent metabolic assessments and controlled ovarian stimulations. Follicular fluid (FF) was collected for steroid and cytokine analysis and the oocytes fertilized in vitro. Although the T+WSD females exhibited higher insulin resistance compared to the controls, there were no significant differences in metabolic parameters between treatments. Significantly higher concentrations of CXCL-10 were detected in the FF from the T group, but no significant differences in intrafollicular steroid levels were observed. Immunostaining of cleavage-stage embryos revealed multiple nuclear abnormalities in the T, WSD, and T+WSD groups. Single-cell DNA sequencing showed that while C embryos contained primarily euploid blastomeres, most cells in the other treatment groups were aneuploid. Despite yielding a higher number of mature oocytes, T+WSD treatment resulted in significantly reduced blastocyst formation rates compared to the T group. RNA sequencing analysis of individual blastocysts showed differential expression of genes involved in critical implantation processes between the C group and other treatments. Collectively, we show that long-term WSD consumption reduces the capacity of fertilized oocytes to develop into blastocysts and that the addition of T further impacts gene expression and embryogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberbqac019
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022


  • PCOS
  • aneuploidy
  • diet
  • hyperandrogenemia
  • obesogenic
  • preimplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


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