Springer International Publishing AG
A critical mediator of evolution is natural selection, which operates by the divergent reproductive success of individuals and results in conformity of an organism with its environment. Reproductive function has evolved to support germline transmission. In mammalian ovaries, this requires healthy, active gonad function, and follicle development. However, healthy follicles do not contribute to germline transmission in a dead animal. Therefore, support of the health and survival of the organism, in addition to fertility, must be considered as an integral part of reproductive function. Reproductive and chronological aging both impose a burden on health and increase disease rates. Tremors are a common movement disorder and are often correlated with increasing age. Muscle quality is diminished with age and these declines are gender-specific and are influenced by menopause. In the current experiments, we evaluated aging-associated and reproduction-influenced changes in motor function, utilizing changes in tremor amplitude and grip strength. Tremor amplitude was increased with aging in normal female mice. This increase in tremor amplitude was prevented in aged female mice that received ovarian tissue transplants, both in mice that received germ cell-containing or germ cell-depleted ovarian tissue. Grip strength was decreased with aging in normal female mice. This decrease in grip strength was prevented in aged female mice that received either germ cell-containing or germ cell-depleted tissue transplants. As expected, estradiol levels decreased with aging in normal female mice. Estradiol levels did not change with exposure to young ovarian tissues/cells. Surprisingly, estradiol levels were not increased in aged females that received ovaries from actively cycling, young donors. Overall, tremor amplitude and grip strength were negatively influenced by aging and positively influenced by exposure to young ovarian tissues/cells in aged female mice, and this positive influence was independent of ovarian germ cells and estradiol levels. These findings provide a strong incentive for further investigation of the influence of ovarian somatic tissue on health. In addition, changes in tremor amplitude may serve as an additional marker of biological age.
Habermehl, T.L., Underwood, K.B., Welch, K.D. et al. Aging-associated changes in motor function are ovarian somatic tissue-dependent, but germ cell and estradiol independent in post-reproductive female mice exposed to young ovarian tissue. GeroScience (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11357-022-00549-9
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