Paternal dietary restriction affects progeny fat content in Caenorhabditis elegans

IUBMB Life. 2012 Jul;64(7):644-8. doi: 10.1002/iub.1042. Epub 2012 May 28.


Epidemiological data from human populations and few reports in rodents suggested that the paternal diet affects offspring adiposity and its related diseases. We tested whether this nongenetic and intergenerational inheritance depends on paternal treatment dose. Using the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans, males undergoing several dietary restriction regimes were crossed with ad libitum fed females. We found an inverted U-shaped relationship between the extent of paternal dietary restriction and the level of fat content of progeny. The relationship was evident in both sexes. Body proportions were not affected in offspring. Overall, our findings extent the concept of developmental and adaptive plasticity to include the extent of paternal food consumption in the origin of phenotypic alterations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adiposity / physiology*
  • Animal Feed*
  • Animals
  • Body Weight
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Female
  • Food Deprivation
  • Male
  • Paternal Exposure
  • Phenotype
  • Time Factors