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Impact of paternal exercise on physiological systems in the offspring

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Acta Physiologica

Published online on


["Acta Physiologica, Volume 231, Issue 4, April 2021. ", "\nAbstract\nA significant number of studies have demonstrated that paternal exercise modulates future generations via effects on the sperm epigenome. However, comprehensive information regarding the effects of exercise performed by the father on different tissues and their clinical relevance has not yet been explored in detail. This narrative review is focused on the effects of paternal exercise training on various physiological systems of offspring. A detailed mechanistic understanding of these effects could provide crucial clues for the exercise physiology field and aid the development of therapeutic approaches to mitigate disorders in future generations. Non‐coding RNA and DNA methylation are major routes for transmitting epigenetic information from parents to offspring. Resistance and treadmill exercise are the most frequently used modalities of planned and structured exercise in controlled experiments. Paternal exercise orchestrated protective effects over changes in fetus development and placenta inflammatory status. Moreover paternal exercise promoted modifications in the ncRNA profiles, gene and protein expression in the hippocampus, left ventricle, skeletal muscle, tendon, liver and pancreas in the offspring, while the transgenerational effects are unknown. Paternal exercise demonstrates clinical benefits to the offspring and provides a warning on the harmful effects of a paternal unhealthy lifestyle. Exercise in fathers is presented as one of the most logical and cost‐effective ways of restoring health in the offspring and, consequently, modifying the phenotype. It is important to consider that paternal programming might have unique significance in the developmental origins of offspring diseases.\n"]