Young Adult Donor Bone Marrow Infusions into Female Mice Postpone Age-Related Reproductive Failure and Improve Offspring Survival
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CitationSelesniemi, Kaisa, Ho-Joon Lee, Teruko Niikura, and Jonathan L. Tilly. 2009. Young adult donor bone marrow infusions into female mice postpone age-related reproductive failure and improve offspring survival. Aging 1(1): 49-57.
AbstractThe female reproductive axis is the first major organ system of the body to fail with advancing age. In addition to a permanent cessation of fertile potential, the loss of cyclic ovarian function in humans heralds the onset of menopause, which in turn underlies the emergence of a diverse spectrum of health issues in aging women. Recently, it was reported that bone marrow (BM) transplantation (BMT) into adult female mice conditioned a week earlier with highly cytotoxic drugs rescues ovarian function and fertility. Herein we show in mice receiving no prior conditioning regimen that once-monthly infusions of BM-derived cells retrieved from young adult female donors bearing an enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) transgene sustain the fertile potential of aging wild-type females long past their time of normal reproductive senescence. The fertility-promoting effects of female donor BM are observed regardless whether the infusions are initiated in young adult or middle-aged females. Although the mechanism by which BM infusions benefit the reproductive performance of aging females remains to be elucidated, the absence of EGFP-expressing offspring suggests that it does not depend on development of mature eggs derived from germline-committed cells in the donor marrow. However, donor BM-derived somatic cells accumulate in the recipients, indicating efficient donor cell engraftment without prior conditioning. These findings provide a strong impetus to further explore development of adult stem cell-based technologies to safely extend function of the female reproductive axis into advanced age without the need for toxic pre-conditioning protocols routinely used in other models of stem cell delivery.
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