Exercise alters mouse sperm small noncoding RNAs and induces a transgenerational modification of male offspring conditioned fear and anxiety
AuthorShort, AK; Yeshurun, S; Powell, R; Perreau, VM; Fox, A; Kim, JH; Pang, TY; Hannan, AJ
Source TitleTranslational Psychiatry
PublisherNATURE PUBLISHING GROUP
University of Melbourne Author/sPang, Terence; Perreau, Victoria; Hannan, Anthony; Kim, Jee Hyun; Powell, Rachel; Short, Annabel; Yeshurun, Shlomo
AffiliationFlorey Department of Neuroscience and Mental Health
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsShort, A. K., Yeshurun, S., Powell, R., Perreau, V. M., Fox, A., Kim, J. H., Pang, T. Y. & Hannan, A. J. (2017). Exercise alters mouse sperm small noncoding RNAs and induces a transgenerational modification of male offspring conditioned fear and anxiety. TRANSLATIONAL PSYCHIATRY, 7 (5), https://doi.org/10.1038/tp.2017.82.
Access StatusOpen Access
NHMRC Grant codeNHMRC/1083468
There is growing evidence that the preconceptual lifestyle and other environmental exposures of a father can significantly alter the physiological and behavioral phenotypes of their children. We and others have shown that paternal preconception stress, regardless of whether the stress was experienced during early-life or adulthood, results in offspring with altered anxiety and depression-related behaviors, attributed to hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysregulation. The transgenerational response to paternal preconceptual stress is believed to be mediated by sperm-borne small noncoding RNAs, specifically microRNAs. As physical activity confers physical and mental health benefits for the individual, we used a model of voluntary wheel-running and investigated the transgenerational response to paternal exercise. We found that male offspring of runners had suppressed reinstatement of juvenile fear memory, and reduced anxiety in the light-dark apparatus during adulthood. No changes in these affective behaviors were observed in female offspring. We were surprised to find that running had a limited impact on sperm-borne microRNAs. The levels of three unique microRNAs (miR-19b, miR-455 and miR-133a) were found to be altered in the sperm of runners. In addition, we discovered that the levels of two species of tRNA-derived RNAs (tDRs)-tRNA-Gly and tRNA-Pro-were also altered by running. Taken together, we believe this is the first evidence that paternal exercise is associated with an anxiolytic behavioral phenotype of male offspring and altered levels of small noncoding RNAs in sperm. These small noncoding RNAs are known to have an impact on post-transcriptional gene regulation and can thus change the developmental trajectory of offspring brains and associated affective behaviors.
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