Ionizing radiation-induced mutant frequencies increase transiently in male germ cells of older mice

Guogang Xu, C. Alex McMahan, Kim Hildreth, Rebecca A. Garcia, Damon C. Herbert, Christi A. Walter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Spontaneous mutant frequency in the male germline increases with age, thereby increasing the risk of siring offspring with genetic disorders. In the present study we investigated the effect of age on ionizing radiation-induced male germline mutagenesis. . lacI transgenic mice were treated with ionizing radiation at 4-, 15- and 26-month-old, and mutant frequencies were determined for pachytene spermatocytes and round spermatids at 15 days or 49 days after ionizing radiation treatment. Cells collected 15 days after treatment were derivatives of irradiated differentiating spermatogenic cells while cells collected 49 days later were derivatives of spermatogonial stem cells. The results showed that (1) spontaneous mutant frequency increased in spermatogenic cells recovered from nonirradiated old mice (26-months-old), particularly in the round spermatids; (2) mutant frequencies were significantly increased in round spermatids obtained from middle-aged mice (15-months-old) and old age mice (26-months-old) at 15 and 49 days after irradiation compared to the sham-treated old mice; and (3) pachytene spermatocytes obtained from 15- or 26-month-old mice displayed a significantly increased mutant frequency at 15 days post irradiation. This study indicates that age modulates the mutagenic response to ionizing radiation in the male germline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-139
Number of pages5
JournalMutation Research - Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 15 2012


  • Age
  • Ionizing radiation
  • LacI mouse
  • Mutagenesis
  • Spermatogenic cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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