Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Aging brain reduces ovulation

10.10.2003


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.

Sonja Jacobs | alfa
Further information:
http://www.nwo.nl

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Ageless ears? Elderly barn owls do not become hard of hearing
26.09.2017 | Carl von Ossietzky-Universität Oldenburg

nachricht eTRANSAFE – collaborative research project aimed at improving safety in drug development process
26.09.2017 | Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The fastest light-driven current source

Controlling electronic current is essential to modern electronics, as data and signals are transferred by streams of electrons which are controlled at high speed. Demands on transmission speeds are also increasing as technology develops. Scientists from the Chair of Laser Physics and the Chair of Applied Physics at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have succeeded in switching on a current with a desired direction in graphene using a single laser pulse within a femtosecond ¬¬ – a femtosecond corresponds to the millionth part of a billionth of a second. This is more than a thousand times faster compared to the most efficient transistors today.

Graphene is up to the job

Im Focus: LaserTAB: More efficient and precise contacts thanks to human-robot collaboration

At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.

Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Goodbye, login. Hello, heart scan

26.09.2017 | Information Technology

The material that obscures supermassive black holes

26.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Ageless ears? Elderly barn owls do not become hard of hearing

26.09.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>