Dozent: Prof. Dr. Jörg Gromoll, Centrum für Reproduktionsmedizin und Andrologie, Münster
In western countries there is a strong trend for delaying parenthood. While the consequences of postponed maternity, such as an increased risk for chromosomal anomalies, are well known, our knowledge on male reproductive ageing (i.e. ageing affecting the male germ cells) is scant. There is strong evidence for a significant effect of paternal age on male germ cell function, e.g. increase in the prevalence of certain genetic disorders in the offspring. However, we do not know to which extent ageing affects DNA integrity, epigenetic signatures, especially DNA methylation, and whether infertile men are at an additive risk for these changes. I will present recent studies on ageing germ cells, discuss current concepts on testicular stem cell selection and present first results from a study on healthy ageing men.