Paternal age and diet: The contributions of a father's experience to susceptibility for post-concussion symptomology

Harleen Hehar, Katrina Yu, Irene Ma, Richelle Mychasiuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


In an attempt to improve current understanding of risk factors that influence individual susceptibility to poor outcomes following mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) or concussion, this project investigated whether modifications to paternal experiences (Advanced Age (AA) or High-Fat Diet (HFD)) affected offspring susceptibility to behavioral symptomology and changes in gene expression following pediatric concussion in a rodent model. The study demonstrated that paternal treatment prior to conception altered behavioral outcomes and molecular characterization of offspring. Offspring of AA fathers demonstrated abnormal behavioral performance when compared to offspring of control fathers. Similarly, paternal HFD altered pathophysiological outcomes for offspring, contributing to the heterogeneity in post-concussion syndrome. Additionally, this study provided insight into the mechanisms that mediate non-genetic paternal inheritance. Paternal treatment and the mTBI significantly influenced expression of a majority of the genes under examination in the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and nucleus accumbens, with changes being dependent upon sex and the brain region examined. These epigenetic changes may have contributed to the differences in offspring susceptibility to concussion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-75
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • aging
  • development
  • epigenetics
  • High-Fat Diet
  • traumatic brain injury

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