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Telomere Dynamics Throughout Spermatogenesis

1
Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, McGill University, Montreal, QC H3G 1Y6, Canada
2
Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, McGill University, Montreal, QC H4A 3J1, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Genes 2019, 10(7), 525; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10070525
Received: 14 May 2019 / Revised: 5 July 2019 / Accepted: 10 July 2019 / Published: 12 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Male Germline Chromatin)
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Abstract

Telomeres are repeat regions of DNA that cap either end of each chromosome, thereby providing stability and protection from the degradation of gene-rich regions. Each cell replication causes the loss of telomeric repeats due to incomplete DNA replication, though it is well-established that progressive telomere shortening is evaded in male germ cells by the maintenance of active telomerase. However, germ cell telomeres are still susceptible to disruption or insult by oxidative stress, toxicant exposure, and aging. Our aim was to examine the relative telomere length (rTL) in an outbred Sprague Dawley (SD) and an inbred Brown Norway (BN) rat model for paternal aging. No significant differences were found when comparing pachytene spermatocytes (PS), round spermatids (RS), and sperm obtained from the caput and cauda of the epididymis of young and aged SD rats; this is likely due to the high variance observed among individuals. A significant age-dependent decrease in rTL was observed from 115.6 (±6.5) to 93.3 (±6.3) in caput sperm and from 142.4 (±14.6) to 105.3 (±2.5) in cauda sperm from BN rats. Additionally, an increase in rTL during epididymal maturation was observed in both strains, most strikingly from 115.6 (±6.5) to 142 (±14.6) in young BN rats. These results confirm the decrease in rTL in rodents, but only when an inbred strain is used, and represent the first demonstration that rTL changes as sperm transit through the epididymis. View Full-Text
Keywords: male germ cells; spermatogenesis; sperm; telomeres; chromatin; reproductive aging male germ cells; spermatogenesis; sperm; telomeres; chromatin; reproductive aging
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Fice, H.E.; Robaire, B. Telomere Dynamics Throughout Spermatogenesis. Genes 2019, 10, 525.

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