Aging is associated with a general deterioration of tissue and cellular function (1). The reproductive system is unique in that it is one of the first organ systems to undergo overt signs of aging. Ovarian function ceases at menopause, which occurs at ~51 years of age. However, even prior to this, fertility decreases sharply when women enter their mid-30s primarily due to a decline in egg quantity and quality (2). The precise mechanisms underlying this age-associated deterioration in reproductive function are only beginning to be unraveled. In this proposal, we will investigate for the first time whether cellular senescence, one of the nine hallmarks of general aging, increases with advanced reproductive age in the human ovary and relates to suboptimal fertility (1). Such an understanding of reproductive aging mechanisms will not only provide targets for interventions but has significant societal, clinical, and health implications as more women are delaying childbearing.
|Effective start/end date
|9/1/14 → 8/31/16
- Northwestern Memorial Hospital (9/1/14)
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