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Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2018 Jun;30(3):203-208. doi: 10.1097/GCO.0000000000000456.

Fertility, IVF and reproductive genetics.

Author information

IVIRMA, Madrid.
IdiPat (Research Institute Hospital La Pat), Calle de Pedro Rico.
Rey Juan Carlos University, Madrid, Spain.



Telomere attrition and dysfunction has become a well established pathway involved in organismal aging, not only because it imposes a limitation to cell division and therefore, tissue regeneration but also because telomere homeostasis influences other pathways involved in aging. However, the implication of telomere biology in ovarian aging and fertility is barely starting to be unveiled.


During the last years, mounting evidence in favor of the relationship between the accumulation of short telomeres and ovarian senescence has emerged. Telomere attrition and the loss of telomerase activity in ovarian cell types is a common characteristic of female infertility.


Recent findings regarding telomere attrition in the ovary open the possibility of both, finding new molecular biomarkers related to telomere homeostasis that make possible the early detection of ovarian dysfunction before the ovarian reserve has vanished, and the search of new therapies to preserve or set up ovarian cell types so that new and better quality oocytes can be generated in aged ovaries to improve IVF outcomes.

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