Reproductive Ageing: Current insights and a potential role of NAD in the reproductive health of aging fathers and their children

in Reproduction
Authors:
Morgan B Feuz Department of Veterinary, Clinical and Life Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Utah State University, Logan, Utah, USA

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D Colton Nelson Department of Veterinary, Clinical and Life Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Utah State University, Logan, Utah, USA

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Laura B Miller Department of Veterinary, Clinical and Life Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Utah State University, Logan, Utah, USA

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Alexie E Zwerdling Department of Veterinary, Clinical and Life Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Utah State University, Logan, Utah, USA

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Ralph G Meyer Department of Veterinary, Clinical and Life Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Utah State University, Logan, Utah, USA

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Mirella L Meyer-Ficca Department of Veterinary, Clinical and Life Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Utah State University, Logan, Utah, USA

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9949-8157

Correspondence should be addressed to M L Meyer-Ficca; Email: mirella.meyer@usu.edu

*(M B Feuz, D C Nelson, L B Miller and A E Zwerdling contributed equally to this work)

This paper forms part of a special issue on Reproductive Ageing. The guest editor for this special collection is Professor Karen Schindler, The State University of New Jersey, NJ, USA.

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In brief

In light of the increasing age of first-time fathers, this article summarizes the current scientific knowledge base on reproductive aging in the male, including sperm quality and health impacts for the offspring. The emerging role of NAD decline in reproductive aging is highlighted.

Abstract

Over the past decades, the age of first-time fathers has been steadily increasing due to socio-economic pressures. While general mechanisms of aging are subject to intensive research, male reproductive aging has remained an understudied area, and the effects of increased age on the male reproductive system are still only poorly understood, despite new insights into the potential dire consequences of advanced paternal age for the health of their progeny. There is also growing evidence that reproductive aging is linked to overall health in men, but this review mainly focuses on pathophysiological consequences of old age in men, such as low sperm count and diminished sperm genetic integrity, with an emphasis on mechanisms underlying reproductive aging. The steady decline of NAD levels observed in aging men represents one of the emerging concepts in that regard. Because it offers some mechanistic rationale explaining the effects of old age on the male reproductive system, some of the NAD-dependent functions in male reproduction are briefly outlined in this review. The overview also provides many questions that remain open about the basic science of male reproductive aging.

 

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