The aging ovary The poor granulosa cells

This review focuses on current knowledge about possible involvement of oxidative and carbonyl stress in the aging follicle.

Carla Tatone, Ph.D. and Fernanda Amicarelli, Ph.D.

Volume 99, Issue 1, Pages 12-17, January 2013


The development of a competent oocyte intimately depends on the maintenance of energetic homeostasis in the ovarian and follicular microenvironment. On this basis, it is very likely that the oocyte ages as the ovary ages. Starting from the molecular evidence for energy perturbations in the whole ovary, here we review current knowledge on the involvement of endogenous highly reactive metabolites in follicle aging. The first part provides an update of recent findings that confirm the key role of oxidative stress in aged granulosa cells. The second part focuses on studies providing evidence for the implication of AGE (Advanced Glycation and Product) in aging reproductive dysfunctions. With their prolonged half-life and ability to act as signalling molecules AGEs may gradually accumulate in the ovary and potentiate spatio-temporal widespread of oxidative stress. Clinical evidence for this view supports the hypothesis that AGEs are good candidate as predictive markers and therapeutic targets in new strategies for improving reproductive counselling in aging women.

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