Increasing paternal age alters anxiety-related behaviour in adult mice

Claire J. Foldi, Darryl W. Eyles, John J. McGrath, Thomas H.J. Burne

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Advanced paternal age (APA) is associated with an increased risk of adverse health outcomes in offspring, including autism and schizophrenia. In the present study, we investigated the behaviour of young (3-month-old; Control), middle aged (12 to 15-month-old; APA1) and old (24-month-old; APA2) C57BL/6J sires and their adult offspring. Male and female mice were tested at 10 weeks of age on a behavioural test battery including the elevated plus-maze, hole board, light/dark emergence, forced swim test, novelty-suppressed feeding and for prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle response. Increasing the APA sire age to 24 months was shown to be associated with increased anxiety-related behaviour in the offspring, and indicated that increasing APA sire age produced a more robust hypoexplorative phenotype. Thus, increasing paternal age was associated with an increase in severity of an anxiogenic phenotype in their adult offspring. Ultimately, the results of these studies show that mouse models of APA are valuable for elucidating the mechanisms by which APA influences brain-related outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12522
Number of pages11
JournalGenes, Brain and Behavior
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


  • animal model
  • anxiety
  • autism
  • behaviour
  • C57BL/6J mouse
  • paternal age

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