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Ovarian transplantation restores fertility to old mice and also lengthens their lives
Date:6/29/2010

Rome, Italy: Scientists have discovered that when they transplant ovaries from young mice into aging female mice, not only does the procedure make the mice fertile again, but also it rejuvenates their behaviour and increases their lifespan. The question now is: could ovarian transplants in women have the same effect?

Dr Noriko Kagawa will tell the 26th annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Rome today (Tuesday) that successful ovarian transplants increased the lifespan of the mice by more than 40%. "At present ovarian transplants are performed with the aim of preserving a woman's fertility after cancer treatment for instance, or of extending her reproductive lifespan. However, the completely unexpected extra benefit of fertility-preserving procedures in our mouse studies indicates that there is a possibility that carrying out similar procedures in women could lengthen their lifespans in general," she said.

A very small number of women in the world have had ovarian transplants, and some have been more successful than others. Dr Kagawa stressed that there was still a lot of research to be carried out before it would be known whether ovarian transplants had similar, rejuvenating effects in women, particularly as it would involve waiting for many years until the patients became older.

Dr Kagawa, Associate Director for Research at the Kato Ladies' Clinic in Tokyo (Japan), told the conference that she and her colleagues had conducted two mouse experiments. In the first, both ovaries were removed from young female mice (about 140 days old), and transplanted in to six older mice (aged over 525 days) that were too old to be fertile any more. In the second experiment, only one ovary was removed from the young mice (about 170 days old) and transplanted into eight aged mice (over 540 days old). The average normal lifespan for this particular breed of mice (C57BL/6J) is 548 days, and they normally reach a mo
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Contact: Emma Mason
wordmason@mac.com
European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology
Source:Eurekalert

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