• How does a western-type diet influence oocyte and embryo development? 
  • Do mitochondria influence cellular stress signaling in the oocyte in response to metabolic stress
  •  Can anti-oxidants protect oocyte quality under maternal metabolic stress conditions? 
  •  Is the oviductal and uterine micro-environment also affected by metabolic disorders? To what extent are cell functions altered? 
  •  Does the composition of the follicular fluid change when the mother is obese or has an unhealthy diet? 
  • Does maternal fat rich diet affect the offspring’s health
  • Does a too high bodymass of the mother have an epigenetic effect on the offspring? 
  • Can we design preconception care strategies for the mother to improve fertility?

Key publications

Exposure of bovine oocytes and embryosto elevated non-esterified fatty acidconcentrations: integration of epigeneticand transcriptomic signatures in resultantblastocysts, KLJ Desmet, V Van Hoeck, D Gagné, E Fournier, A Thakur, AM O’Doherty, CP Walsh, MA Sirard,PEJ Bols and JLMR Leroy, BMC Genomics (2016) 17:1004 

Maternal metabolic stress may affect oviduct gatekeeperfunction, L Jordaens, V Van Hoeck, V Maillo, A Gutierrez-Adan, WFA Marei, B Vlaeminck,S Thys, RG Sturmey, PEJ Bols and JLMR Leroy, Reproduction (2017) 153 759–773

Mitochondria-targeted therapy rescues development and quality of embryos derived from oocytes matured under oxidative stress conditions: a bovine in vitro model, W Marei, L Van den Bosch, I Pintelon, O Mohey-Elsaeed, PEJ Bols and JLMR Leroy, Human Reproduction (2019) Vol 34 No 10 1984-1998

Molecular interactions at the bovine embryo–endometrialepithelium interface, M Sponchiado, WFA Marei, GTSBeemster, PEJ Bols,M Binelli and JLMR Leroy, Society for Reproduction and Fertility (2020) 1470–1626 (paper) 1741–7899 (online)

Differential effects of high fatdiet-induced obesity on oocytemitochondrial functions in inbredand outbred mice, WFA Marei, A Smits, O Mohey-Elsaeed, I Pintelon,D Ginneberge, PEJ Bols, K Moerloose and JLMR Leroy, Nature - Scientific Resports (2020) 10:9806

Oocyte maturation under lipotoxicconditions induces carryovertranscriptomic and functionalalterations during post-hatchingdevelopment of good-qualityblastocysts: novel insights from abovine embryo-transfer model, KLJ Desmet, WFA Marei,C Richard,K Sprangers,GTS Beemster, P Meysman,K Laukens, K Declerck, W Vanden Berghe, PEJ Bols,I Hue and JLMR Leroy, Human Reproduction (2020) 1–15