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PLoS One. 2009 Dec 30;4(12):e8456. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008456.

Advancing paternal age is associated with deficits in social and exploratory behaviors in the offspring: a mouse model.

Author information

1
Medical Research Council Social Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, King's College London, London, United Kingdom.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Accumulating evidence from epidemiological research has demonstrated an association between advanced paternal age and risk for several psychiatric disorders including autism, schizophrenia and early-onset bipolar disorder. In order to establish causality, this study used an animal model to investigate the effects of advanced paternal age on behavioural deficits in the offspring.

METHODS:

C57BL/6J offspring (n = 12 per group) were bred from fathers of two different ages, 2 months (young) and 10 months (old), and mothers aged 2 months (n = 6 breeding pairs per group). Social and exploratory behaviors were examined in the offspring.

PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

The offspring of older fathers were found to engage in significantly less social (p = 0.02) and exploratory (p = 0.02) behaviors than the offspring of younger fathers. There were no significant differences in measures of motor activity.

CONCLUSIONS:

Given the well-controlled nature of this study, this provides the strongest evidence for deleterious effects of advancing paternal age on social and exploratory behavior. De-novo chromosomal changes and/or inherited epigenetic changes are the most plausible explanatory factors.

PMID:
20041141
PMCID:
PMC2794376
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0008456
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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