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Aging Cell. 2003 Jun;2(3):185-90.

Age of ovary determines remaining life expectancy in old ovariectomized mice.

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Department of Animal Science, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA.


We investigated the capacity of young ovaries, transplanted into old ovariectomized CBA mice, to improve remaining life expectancy of the hosts. Donor females were sexually mature 2-month-olds; recipients were prepubertally ovariectomized at 3 weeks and received transplants at 5, 8 or 11 months of age. Relative to ovariectomized control females, life expectancy at 11 months was increased by 60% in 11-month recipient females and by 40% relative to intact control females. Only 20% of the 11-month transplant females died in the 300-day period following ovarian transplantation, whereas nearly 65% of the ovariectomized control females died during this same period. The 11-month-old recipient females resumed oestrus and continued to cycle up to several months beyond the age of control female reproductive senescence. Across the three recipient age groups, transplantation of young ovaries increased life expectancy in proportion to the relative youth of the ovary. Our results relate to recent findings on the gonadal input upon aging in Caenorhabditis elegans and may suggest how the mammalian gonad, including that of humans, could regulate aging and determine longevity.

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