Mutation spectral changes in spermatogenic cells obtained from old mice

Christi A. Walter, Gabriel W. Intano, C. Alex McMahan, Kevin Kelner, John R. McCarrey, Ronald B. Walter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Male reproductive health is compromised with increased paternal age, due at least in part, to an increased frequency of de novo germline mutations. Because of technical and sample limitations, there is a dearth of empirical information on the mechanism(s) that mediate this age-related increase in mutant frequency. To study this phenomenon, investigators have used as a model system a transgenic mouse strain that carries a lacI mutagenesis reporter transgene. This transgene displays a paternal age effect and overcomes many of the technical difficulties that have inhibited experimental analyses of age-related changes in the male germline. In this study, approximately 300 mutant lacI transgenes were recovered from defined spermatogenic cell types obtained from various aged lacI transgenic mice and sequenced. The spectrum representing mutations from spermatogenic cells of old mice revealed an increased prevalence of transversions compared to spectra for young and middle-aged mice. Five mutation hotspots were identified in spectra for spermatogenic cells from young and middle-aged mice, but no hotspots were identified in the spectrum for spermatogenic cells from old mice. These results suggest that the challenges to germline DNA change as the animal ages and that the increased mutant frequency observed with increased paternal age is not simply a greater accumulation of mutagenic events characteristic of spermatogenic cells from the young animal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)495-504
Number of pages10
JournalDNA Repair
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 4 2004


  • Germline mutagenesis
  • LacI
  • Mutational spectrum
  • Paternal age
  • Spermatogenic cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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