Research Article: Advancing Paternal Age Is Associated with Deficits in Social and Exploratory Behaviors in the Offspring: A Mouse Model

Date Published: December 30, 2009

Publisher: Public Library of Science

Author(s): Rebecca G. Smith, Rachel L. Kember, Jonathan Mill, Cathy Fernandes, Leonard C. Schalkwyk, Joseph D. Buxbaum, Abraham Reichenberg, Kenji Hashimoto. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0008456

Abstract: 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.

Partial Text: Accumulating evidence from epidemiological research has demonstrated an association between advanced paternal age and risk for several psychiatric disorders including autism [1], schizophrenia [2] and early-onset bipolar disorder [3]. Despite the methodological advantages of epidemiological research, a major limitation is that techniques are limited to observation. In order to establish causality, experimental evidence in the form of randomized-controlled trials or the development of animal models is required [4]. Animal models are particularly important as they allow environmental and genetic confounds to be controlled.

Using a mouse model we documented deleterious effects of advancing paternal age on offspring behavior. Male offspring of older fathers engaged in less social behavior and exhibited less exploration in a novel environment. These effects were not confounded by differences in overall locomotor activity. Abnormalities in social behavior characterize psychiatric disorders previously linked to advancing paternal age, suggesting a common phenotype affected by paternal age.

Source:

http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0008456

 

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