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    Skewing of the sex ratio towards males occurs in humans. The possible explanation for excess male births could be a preference for Y-bearing sperm at fertilization and/or selective elimination of female embryos during pregnancy. In this study, we have tested the sex ratio in the preimplantation embryo (2-3 cells stage/closest possible primary sex ratio), the post-implantation embryo (day E7.5), and at birth (secondary sex ratio) on a homogenous (genetic, environmental, and dietary) population of mice to ascertain the biological reason i.e., male preference at fertilization or female elimination during pregnancy or both. Primary sex ratio on early preimplantation embryos (2-3 cells stage) was studied on 598 embryos and secondary sex ratio (at birth) on 721 pups using PCR-based sexing (both X & Y chromosome-specific) besides sex ratio of 80 post-implantation embryos (day E7.5). We have also investigated whether the fat content (high & low) of the diet affects the sex ratio. We observed a skewed sex ratio (more female) in preimplantation embryos (0.436; 95 % CI 0.39, 0.48), and post-implantation embryos (0.462; 95 % CI 0.35, 0.57) but reverse skewing (more male) at birth (0.539; 95 % CI 0.5, 0.58). We also observed that high-fat diet promoted male sex ratio at birth (0.657; 95 % CI 0.57, 0.74) whereas a low-fat diet had the opposite effect (0.46; 95 % CI 0.36, 0.56) but no effect at fertilization (2-3 cells stage embryos). This indicates selective elimination of female embryo and fetus throughout pregnancy in mice, more so with a high-fat diet. Copyright © 2021 Society for Biology of Reproduction & the Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research of Polish Academy of Sciences in Olsztyn. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


    Ashutosh Halder, Isha Chaudhary, Manish Jain, Shivam Pandey. Sex ratio trajectory in mouse. Reproductive biology. 2021 Sep;21(3):100514

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    PMID: 34049115

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