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Nucleic Acids Res. 2006 Jun 28;34(11):3279-87. Print 2006.

Genes invoked in the ovarian transition to menopause.

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Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School Boston, MA 02215, USA.


Menopause and the associated declines in ovarian function are major health issues for women. Despite the widespread health impact of this process, the molecular mechanisms underlying the aging-specific decline in ovarian function are almost completely unknown. To provide the first gene-protein analysis of the ovarian transition to menopause, we have established and contrasted RNA gene expression profiles and protein localization and content patterns in healthy young and perimenopausal mouse ovaries. We report a clear distinction in specific mRNA and protein levels that are noted prior to molecular evidence of steroidogenic failure. In this model, ovarian reproductive aging displays similarities with chronic inflammation and increased sensitivity to environmental cues. Overall, our results indicate the presence of mouse climacteric genes that are likely to be major players in aging-dependent changes in ovarian function.

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