Aging in male primates: Reproductive decline, effects of calorie restriction and future research potential

Brandon D. Sitzmann, Henryk F. Urbanski, Mary Ann Ottinger

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    12 Scopus citations


    Although less dramatic than in females, male mammals experience decreasing reproductive function during aging. In primates, multiple facets of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis show evidence of gradual age-related decline, including behavioral, neuroendocrine and endocrine alterations such as decreased testosterone levels, reduced circulating dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) levels, increased numbers of sperm abnormalities, and a general decline in physiological responses. In this review we consider a range of age-related changes in males. These measures, including more subtle aging characteristics, are interesting additional indices for detecting the timing of age-related changes in behavioral, neuroendocrine, and endocrine responses. Evidence of potential effects of calorie restriction as an intervention in reproductive aging is also discussed. A discernable decline occurs in both metabolic and reproductive endocrine processes during male aging. This cascade of events includes neuroendocrine and behavioral changes; biomarkers such as circulating DHEAS also show clear age-related decline. The varied changes that occur during male aging are considered in the context of primate aging in general.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)157-168
    Number of pages12
    Issue number2-3
    StatePublished - Sep 2008


    • Calorie restriction
    • Male aging
    • Neuroendocrine systems
    • Primate
    • Reproduction

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Aging
    • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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