Advanced maternal age at the time of giving birth is known to decrease how long the offspring will live and their fecundity.
Advanced maternal age at the time of giving birth is known to decrease how long the offspring will live and their fecundity. However, why this occurs is unknown, and it remains unclear if maternal age also alters how offspring respond to interventions to aging.
Researchers at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) are working on answers. In a study published in Scientific Reports, they demonstrate that maternal age affects how well offspring respond to dietary interventions that are known to increase lifespan.
“There has been evidence for well over a century, from experiments done in a wide variety of animal species and from data in humans, that offspring from older mothers have shorter lifespans and lower [rates of] reproduction,” says MBL scientist Kristin Gribble. “But it wasn’t well understood how a mother’s age might affect other aspects of her offspring’s health or response to interventions.”
Using rotifers (microscopic, water-dwelling animals), Gribble and her team studied the effects of maternal age on offspring aging and their response to dietary changes. In their experiments, they fed mother rotifers a regular diet. They then studied the offspring from young (about three days old), middle-aged, and advanced-aged (about nine days old) mothers. The offspring were fed one of three different diets: constant high food, constant low food, or alternating between high food and fasting every other day.
Read more at Marine Biological Laboratory