Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors


Animal, Dairy, and Veterinary Sciences


It has previously been shown that young, cycling ovarian transplantation in aged female mice increased the general health and life span in regard to their post-reproductive health. It has further been hypothesized that this enhancement of health is directly influenced by the ovarian somatic cells. To address this hypothesis, transplants of young germ cell depleted and germ cell containing ovaries were performed on female mice. The purpose of this study is to continue to discern the reproductive influence on aging health, specifically in the area of immunological well-being. Control group mice were separated by age and treatment mice were subsequently age matched to receive either germ cell depleted or germ cell containing ovary transplantations. All groups underwent various health span assays including immunoassays using flow cytometric analysis to determine T-cell subset alterations. Data collected from the immunoassays were analyzed with two-factor ANOVA and a Tukey-Kramer post-hoc test to determine any difference between groups. Ratio differences and trends were analyzed between the groups and between central naïve and central memory T-cells. Results showed that the group having received germ cell depleted ovaries displayed a shift in the central naïve to central memory ratio to an increased central naïve population, thus indicating an improvement of immunological function as compared to the other test groups. This may indicate that the ovarian somatic cell participates heavily in the regulation of age-associated health.



Faculty Mentor

Jeffrey Mason

Departmental Honors Advisor

Lee Rickords