About this Research Topic
One of the most remarkable events in biology is the union of two single cells - the sperm and egg – and their unique ability to give rise to an entirely new generation composed of billions of cells. Despite the importance and tremendous potential energy of these cells, the male and female gamete are not impervious to aging. Aging is influenced by both deterministic instructions encoded in our genome as well as stochastic that accumulate over time. These aberrations lead to cellular damage, such as loss of proteostasis, oxidative damage, inflammation, DNA damage, telomere attrition, etc. Aging is not due to the deterioration of one particular process but rather is multifactorial, and overall deterioration of tissue and cellular function results in loss of fitness and ultimately death. Aging is universal, but how each organ ages varies.
The aging of germ cells is highly influenced by genetics, environmental factors, niches and extracellular matrices in which they grow and develop. In humans, prominent changes in social behavior and medical interventions have further changed the landscape of reproduction, enabling a delay in childbearing and living longer post-menopause, respectively. All these factors can have a profound impact on the quantity, quality, and ultimate reproductive potential of germ cells. Reproductive aging is not unique to mammals but affects many other organisms, including yeast, fly, and worm. Thus, understanding the fundamental mechanisms underlying reproductive aging is essential to develop new approaches to extend the length and the quality of reproductive lifespan, which will ultimately impact overall health.
Although traditionally much research on reproductive aging has focused primarily on gamete quality, the purpose of this Research Topic is to explore all different aspects of reproductive aging (germ cell development, germ cell niche, environmental factors, etc.) from yeast to human. We welcome Original Research, Methods, Review and Mini-Review articles that cover, but are not limited to, the following topics:
• Establishment of germ cell reserve and germ cell quality
• Effects of extrinsic or environmental factors on reproductive aging (endocrine disruptors, chemotherapy, obesity, metabolic diseases)
• Sexual dimorphism in reproductive aging
• Germ cell niches and stromal and extracellular matrix support
• Acute and long term effects of reproductive aging on overall health
• Genetics and epigenetics of reproductive aging
• Germ cell homeostasis (mitochondrial quality, lysosomal function, protein homeostasis)
• Fertility preservation
Expertise of the Topic Editors:
Jessica Tyler: “Epigenetics, chromatin, chromosomes and yeast aging”
Arjumand Ghazi: “Genetics of aging, especially mechanisms that link reproduction and aging, using the model C. elegans”
Francesca Duncan: “Female reproductive aging, oocyte and ovary biology, stroma and microenvironment, fibrosis and inflammation”
Michael Klutstein: “Reproductive aging (both female and male), epigenetics and aging, spermatogenesis transcriptional control, response of gametes to environmental stress”
Vittorio Sebastiano: “Germ cells, preimplantation embryos, pluripotent stem cells and cell-autonomous reversal of age-associated phenotypes”
Miguel Angel Brieño-Enriquez “Reproductive aging in mammals, germ cell development, meiosis and transgenerational epigenetic inheritance
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.