Next Article in Journal
miR403a and SA Are Involved in NbAGO2 Mediated Antiviral Defenses Against TMV Infection in Nicotiana benthamiana
Previous Article in Journal
MODIMA, a Method for Multivariate Omnibus Distance Mediation Analysis, Allows for Integration of Multivariate Exposure–Mediator–Response Relationships
Previous Article in Special Issue
Human Sperm Chromosomes: To Form Hairpin-Loops, Or Not to Form Hairpin-Loops, That Is the Question
Article Menu
Issue 7 (July) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

Telomere Dynamics Throughout Spermatogenesis

Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, McGill University, Montreal, QC H3G 1Y6, Canada
Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, McGill University, Montreal, QC H4A 3J1, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Genes 2019, 10(7), 525;
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)
PDF [804 KB, uploaded 16 July 2019]


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

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material


Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Fice, H.E.; Robaire, B. Telomere Dynamics Throughout Spermatogenesis. Genes 2019, 10, 525.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Genes EISSN 2073-4425 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top