Maternal periodontitis induces intergenerational injuries on reproductive performance of adult female rat offspring
Keywords:Maternal immune activation, Reproduction, Intergenerational effect, Periodontitis, Rat
Substantial evidence suggests a direct link between periodontitis in pregnant women and subsequent adverse pregnancy outcomes. However, no studies have evaluated the transgenerational effects of periodontitis on the reproductive performance of subsequent generations. The present study investigated whether maternal periodontal disease exerts deleterious transgenerational effects on reproductive performance in F1 female rats. Rat female offspring from mothers that were subjected to experimentally induced periodontitis or sham operation were mated with sexually experienced male rats. The weight and reproductive performance of these F1 offspring were evaluated on gestation day 21, including maternal weight, litter weight, individual pup weight, number of pups, and number of resorptions. The percentage of dams with resorptions and the litter weight/number of pups were also calculated. Compared with the control group, an increase was observed in the percentage and number of resorptions and litter weight/number of pups, and a decrease was observed in the number of pups born in the experimental group. Maternal weight, litter weight, and individual pup weight were not different between the control and experimental groups. Maternal periodontitis impaired reproductive performance in the F1 generation. We showed that periodontitis may induce reproductive injury in adult offspring even if the offspring do not undergo any inflammatory/infectious process during their postnatal life or during gestation. These findings reinforce the importance of oral care during pregnancy.
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