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.
Sonja Jacobs | alfa
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