Research With Worms May Shed Light on Women's
TUESDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Different molecular
mechanisms may regulate the aging of the human body and the aging
of the reproductive system, new research with worms suggests.
The findings may help explain why a woman's fertility begins to
decline after age 35 but other cells in her body don't show major
signs of aging until decades later, study author Coleen Murphy of
Princeton University said in a news release from the American
Society for Cell Biology.
Murphy and her colleagues studied the roundworms, called
C. elegans, to compare the types of genes that affect lifespan and the types that keep immature egg cells (oocytes) healthy.
The findings were scheduled for presentation Tuesday at the
annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology, in
The researchers found that both body aging and reproductive
C. elegans involve the insulin regulation pathway, but there
are marked differences in the molecular mechanisms that maintain
youthful oocyte function and those that affect body ("somatic")
"It seems that maintaining protein and cell quality is the most important component of somatic longevity in worms, while chromosomal/DNA integrity and cell cycle control are the most critical factors for oocyte health," Murphy said in a society news release.
She added that finding ways to delay oocyte aging could reduce
older women's risk of giving birth to a child with birth
Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the data
and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in
a peer-reviewed journal.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has more about
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