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J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2012 Apr;67(4):351-7. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glr116. Epub 2011 Aug 10.

The delayed impact of parental age on offspring mortality in mice.

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Reynolds Department of Geriatric Medicine, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA.


The certitude of death makes reproduction the foundation upon which all life-history strategies are based. Plasticity in the reproductive biology of organisms is an essential adaptive response to the capricious and hazardous environments of earth. In this article, we use data from a breeding colony for laboratory mice to examine the mortality risks of offspring born at the outer boundaries of their Dam's reproductive plasticity. Our results suggest that the mortality/survival characteristics of offspring are affected by both litter parity and offspring gender. Females born to young Dams have consistently longer life spans than females born to older Dams. Conversely, males are either not affected by parental age or have longer life spans when born to older Dams.

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