The effects of male age on sperm DNA damage in healthy non-smokers

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The trend for men to have children at older ages raises concerns that advancing age may increase the production of genetically defective sperm, increasing the risks of transmitting germ-line mutations. We investigated the associations between male age and sperm DNA damage and the influence of several lifestyle factors in a healthy non-clinical group of 80 non-smokers (age: 22-80) with no known fertility problems using the sperm Comet analyses. The average percent of DNA that migrated out of the sperm nucleus under alkaline electrophoresis increased with age (0.18% per year, p=0.006); but there was no age association for damage measured under ... continued below

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Schmid, T; Eskenazi, B; Baumgartner, A; Marchetti, F; Young, S; Weldon, R et al. March 8, 2006.

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The trend for men to have children at older ages raises concerns that advancing age may increase the production of genetically defective sperm, increasing the risks of transmitting germ-line mutations. We investigated the associations between male age and sperm DNA damage and the influence of several lifestyle factors in a healthy non-clinical group of 80 non-smokers (age: 22-80) with no known fertility problems using the sperm Comet analyses. The average percent of DNA that migrated out of the sperm nucleus under alkaline electrophoresis increased with age (0.18% per year, p=0.006); but there was no age association for damage measured under neutral conditions (p=0.7). Men who consumed >3 cups coffee per day had {approx}20% higher % tail DNA under neutral but not alkaline conditions compared to men who consumed no caffeine (p=0.005). Our findings indicate that (a) older men have increased sperm DNA damage associated with alkali-labile sites or single-strand DNA breaks, and (b) independent of age, men with substantial daily caffeine consumption have increased sperm DNA damage associated with double-strand DNA breaks. DNA damage in sperm can be converted to chromosomal aberrations and gene mutations after fertilization increasing the risks for developmental defects and genetic diseases among offspring.

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PDF-file: 29 pages; size: 0.2 Mbytes

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  • Journal Name: Human Reproduction, vol. 22, no. 1, January 22, 2007, pp. 180-7; Journal Volume: 22; Journal Issue: 1

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  • Report No.: UCRL-JRNL-219655
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 902230
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc890190

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • March 8, 2006

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  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Dec. 5, 2016, 2:42 p.m.

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Schmid, T; Eskenazi, B; Baumgartner, A; Marchetti, F; Young, S; Weldon, R et al. The effects of male age on sperm DNA damage in healthy non-smokers, article, March 8, 2006; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc890190/: accessed December 12, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.