Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 74 (6), 860-871

Testicular Aging: An Overview of Ultrastructural, Cellular, and Molecular Alterations


Testicular Aging: An Overview of Ultrastructural, Cellular, and Molecular Alterations

Joana Santiago et al. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci.


The trend in parenthood at an older age is increasing for both men and women in developed countries, raising concerns about the reproductive ability, and the consequences for the offspring's health. While reproductive activity in women stops with menopause, a complete cessation of the reproductive potential does not occur in men. Although several studies have been published on the effects of aging on semen parameters and spermatozoa DNA integrity, literature on impact of aging on the testis, particularly cellular, and molecular alterations, has been, so far, limited and controversial. This work discusses the current knowledge on testicular aging in humans and other mammals, covering topics from tissue ultrastructure, to cellular and molecular alterations. Aging affects male reproductive function at multiple levels, from sperm production and quality, to the morphology and histology of the male reproductive system. The morphological and functional changes that occur in the testes result in variations in the levels of many hormones, changes in molecules involved in mitochondrial function, receptors, and signaling proteins. Despite knowing that these age-related alterations occur, their real impact on male fertility and reproductive health are still far from being fully understood, highlighting that research in the field is crucial.

Keywords: Male (in)fertility; Reproductive decline; Testis.

Similar articles

  • Fertility and Sperm Quality in the Aging Male
    S Almeida et al. Curr Pharm Des 23 (30), 4429-4437. PMID 28472913. - Review
    Parenthood at an older age is becoming a trend among men, especially in the most developed societies. Aging has a significant impact on male fertility. Older men exhibit …
  • Reproductive Potential in the Older Woman
    PR Gindoff et al. Fertil Steril 46 (6), 989-1001. PMID 3536609. - Review
    There is a definite increase in the number of women bearing children in the 30- and 40-year-old age groups. The total number of women who are 35 to 40 years of age in the …
  • Testicular Function in a Birth Cohort of Young Men
    RJ Hart et al. Hum Reprod 30 (12), 2713-24. PMID 26409015.
    Cryptorchidism was associated with a significant reduction in testicular (P = 0.047) and semen (P = 0.027) volume, sperm concentration (P = 0.007) and sperm output (P = 0 …
  • Infertility in the Aging Male
    DJ Mazur et al. Curr Urol Rep 19 (7), 54. PMID 29774447. - Review
    Contemporary evidence confirms that aged men have worse semen parameters, including overall negative changes in sperm genetics. Reproductive outcomes with unassisted preg …
  • Fertility in Aging Men
    HR Nankin. Maturitas 7 (3), 259-65. PMID 4079824.
    A wide variety of disorders, medications, physical factors, and trauma can alter testicular function and reproductive function in men as they age. There are no precise ag …
See all similar articles

Cited by 1 PubMed Central articles

Publication types

LinkOut - more resources