Endurance training remodels sperm-borne small RNA expression and methylation at neurological gene hotspots

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  • Lars R. Ingerslev
  • Ida Donkin
  • Odile Fabre
  • Soetkin Versteyhe
  • Mechta, Mie
  • Pattarawan Pattamaprapanont
  • Brynjulf Mortensen
  • Nikolaj Thure Krarup
  • Barrès, Romain

Remodeling of the sperm epigenome by lifestyle factors before conception could account for altered metabolism in the next generation offspring. Here, we hypothesized that endurance training changes the epigenome of human spermatozoa. Using small RNA (sRNA) sequencing and reduced representation bisulfite sequencing (RRBS), we, respectively, investigated sRNA expression and DNA methylation in pure fractions of motile spermatozoa collected from young healthy individuals before, after 6 weeks of endurance training and after 3 months without exercise. Expression of 8 PIWI interacting RNA were changed by exercise training. RRBS analysis revealed 330 differentially methylated regions (DMRs) after training and 303 DMRs after the detraining period, which were, in both conditions, enriched at close vicinity of transcription start sites. Ontology analysis of genes located at proximity of DMRs returned terms related to neurological function at the trained state and, to a much lesser extent, at the detrained state. Our study reveal that short-term endurance training induces marked remodeling of the sperm epigenome, and identify genes related to the development of the central nervous system as potential hot spots for epigenetic variation upon environmental stress.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12
JournalClin Epigenetics
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)1-11
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

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