Influences of maternal B12 and methionine intake during gestation and lactation on testicular development of offspring in rats

Kazuhiro Yamada, Nozomi Maeda, Junko Noguchi, Hideaki Yamada, Emi Morinaga, Hitomi Yatake, Yuji Yamamoto, Tadahiro Tadokoro, Tetsunori Kawata

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The influence of maternal vitamin B12 malnutrition on testicular development of offspring was examined using soy protein-based B12-deficient diets with or without 0.5% dl-methionine supplementation. Dams were fed the B12-deficient diet throughout gestation and lactation, whereas dams in a control group were fed a control diet which contained cyanocobalamin in the B12-deficient diet without methionine. Offspring born to dams fed the B12-deficient diet without methionine showed poor testicular development, e.g. decreased numbers of seminiferous tubules containing healthy spermatocytes and a high ratio of apoptotic cells per all germ cells. The abnormality was rarely observed in the group fed the B12-deficient diet with methionine. It was likely that the testicular abnormality of offspring was caused by B12-deficiency post partum and was prevented by the methionine supplementation. These observations suggested that maternal B12 nutritional status during the pre-weaning period is quite important for spermatogenesis of male offspring and that the requirement of B12 for testicular development is to produce active B12-dependent methionine synthase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-242
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Folate and methionine metabolism
  • Maternal nutrition
  • Methionine synthase
  • Testicular development
  • Vitamin B

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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