This article is from the WSSF 2016 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.
Did You Know? Stress can change a father’s sperm that then affects the stress
response of his offspring. Stressed male mice had an increase in production of nine small molecules called miRNAs. These
alter the expression of proteins by
silencing strands of coding RNA which are a blueprint for the production of
proteins. By depleting the maternal mRNA stores, this leads to a reprogramming of gene expression. These males’
offspring then showed altered responses to stressful situations.
Study published in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), November 3, 2015, vol. 112 no. 44 13699–13704,
Transgenerational epigenetic programming via sperm
microRNA recapitulates effects of paternal stress.