Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Aging Brain Reduces Ovulation

Date:
October 13, 2003
Source:
Netherlands Organization For Scientific Research
Summary:
Dutch researcher Annelieke Franke has discovered that the aging of the brain adversely affects the fertility of female rats. The scientist suspects that her research will provide insights into fertility problems of women over the age of 30.

Dutch researcher Annelieke Franke has discovered that the aging of the brain adversely affects the fertility of female rats. The scientist suspects that her research will provide insights into fertility problems of women over the age of 30.

Franke studied relatively young subfertile rats. Although the pituitary gland and ovaries of these rats still functioned normally, their brains had already started to function differently. This led Franke to conclude that the ageing of the brain reduces fertility.

Generally speaking, human brains regulate the reproductive system in the same manner as rat brains. However, an important difference is that rats still posses a significant number of oocytes after the fertile period, whereas in humans the supply is considerably depleted. This reduced supply of oocytes is the most important limiting factor for fertility in older women.

Despite this difference between humans and rats, the researcher still expects that the ageing of the brain in humans also plays a role in age-dependent reduced fertility. This knowledge could help to develop treatments for relatively young women who are subfertile. The fertility of women decreases from about the age of 30 years onwards. This can be problematic for women who wish to have a career before they have children.

Ovulation of oocytes is one of the reproductive cycle factors that is regulated by the brain. An initiating signal from the brain instructs the pituitary gland to produce more luteinising hormone (LH). A feedback mechanism from the ovaries to the brain ensures that ovulation only occurs when the follicles and oocytes are mature. Matured follicles produce large quantities of oestrogen. The brain responds to this and initiates ovulation.

The researcher revealed that this feedback mechanism no longer functions optimally in older female rats. Although the oestrogen concentrations in the blood had not changed with age, less receptors for oestrogen and progesterone were present in specific areas of the brain. Furthermore, older rats released less LH than younger rats.

High oestrogen concentrations normally lead to an increase in the number of progesterone receptors. These receptors are crucial for the occurrence of the peak in LH release. Older brains seem to be less sensitive to oestrogen. As a result of this, the LH peak attenuates and the fertility decreases.

The research was funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Netherlands Organization For Scientific Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Netherlands Organization For Scientific Research. "Aging Brain Reduces Ovulation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 October 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/10/031013000659.htm>.
Netherlands Organization For Scientific Research. (2003, October 13). Aging Brain Reduces Ovulation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/10/031013000659.htm
Netherlands Organization For Scientific Research. "Aging Brain Reduces Ovulation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/10/031013000659.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 20, 2014) — A patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus is in isolation at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — A 111-year-old Japanese was certified as the world's oldest man by Guinness World Records on Wednesday. Sakari Momoi, a native of Fukushima in northern Japan, was given a certificate at a hospital in Tokyo. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins