Male fertility goes through such a tough time with the aging process – Here’s Why
Although it is well established that older men exhibit reduced reproductive health, the process of testicular aging is still poorly understood at the molecular and genomic levels. Furthermore, it remains unclear whether lifestyle or environmental factors influence this decline.
“Aging may induce a combination of modest molecular changes that sensitize testes to enhanced regulation, with marked dysregulation caused when aging is combined with other factors such as fat“Said co-senior author Bradley Cairns of the University of Utah School of Medicine.
To address this gap, the researchers used single-cell RNA sequencing to profile more than 44,000 cells obtained from autopsy testicular samples of four young men and eight adult men. year old. Older donors are screened to have children as adults to ensure fertility in adulthood.
The young samples clustered together and did not show molecular signs of aging or disrupted sperm cell production.
Surprisingly, the older samples showed only modest age-related changes in the stem cells that produced mature sperm but were classified into two distinct groups.
The first group showed the ability to produce intact sperm cells, with only weak molecular markers to distinguish them from young samples. In contrast, the second group showed a very limited ability to develop sperm cells.
Remarkable, BMI emerges as an important factor for older people. All donors from the first group have a level lower than 27, while all donors from the second group have a level higher than 30.
In the future, larger patient groups are needed to fully confirm the results. Another avenue for future research is to discover whether the testicular cells of older, heavier men exhibit unique signs of aging, or whether they only exhibit signs of aging. aging faster.
It is also not clear whether diet, exercise, diabetes or altered hormone production play a role in testicular aging. In addition, determining at what age does dysregulation of testicular support cells appear and whether it is reversible and in what ways could help improve medical guidance for men. elderly gender.
This study also serves as a foundational dataset for the scientific community to study how testicular inflammation and human fertility respond to aging.