More Research Shows that Aging Fathers Could Increase the Risk of Autism

January 29, 2024

Mice Study Reveals that Age-Altered Sperm miRNAs May Influence Offspring Neurodevelopment

A new study from Tohoku University has investigated the impact of aging on male mice’s sperm microRNAs (miRNAs), shedding light on potential consequences for the development of offspring. MicroRNAs are small, non-coding RNA molecules that are critical in regulating gene expression. The current study’s design included a detailed analysis of sperm samples from both young and older mice, which uncovered noteworthy age-related modifications in miRNAs. The authors compared miRNAs in sperm from mice aged 3, 12, and 20 months and identified the ones that changed during these periods. By studying these modifications, the findings revealed significant age-related changes in sperm microRNAs in mice, which could be transferred to fertilized eggs and impact offspring development. The study also discovered that these altered microRNAs impacted genes related to the nervous system and autism spectrum disorder. The authors believe that their research advances the understanding of the intricate relationship between paternal aging, altered miRNAs, and the potential implications for the health and development of offspring, particularly in the context of neurodevelopmental disorders like ASD.

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