Reproduction, Fertility and Development Reproduction, Fertility and Development Society
Vertebrate reproductive science and technology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Restoration of immune and renal function in aged females by re-establishment of active ovarian function

Rhett L. Peterson A , Kate C. Parkinson A and Jeffrey B. Mason A B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Department of Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences, Center for Integrated BioSystems, School of Veterinary Medicine, Utah State University, 4700 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322, USA.

B Corresponding author. Email: jeff.mason@usu.edu

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 29(10) 2052-2059 https://doi.org/10.1071/RD16333
Submitted: 2 September 2016  Accepted: 14 December 2016   Published: 10 February 2017

Abstract

Proper immune functioning is necessary to maximize reproductive success. In addition, age-associated uremia in women is often associated with hypothalamic­–pituitary–gonadal dysfunction. In the present experiments, we tested immune and renal function to determine if exposure of postreproductive mice to young, reproductively cycling ovaries would influence non-reproductive physiological functions. Control female CBA/J mice were evaluated at 6, 13 and 16 months of age. Additional mice received new (60-day-old) ovaries at 12 months of age and were evaluated at 16 months of age. Consequently, 6-month-old control mice and 16-month-old recipient mice both possessed 6-month-old ovaries and were reproductively cycling. A significant age-related decline in immune function (T-cell subset analysis) was found in 16-month-old mice, but was improved 64% by ovarian transplantation. Renal function (blood urea nitrogen : creatinine ratio) was also decreased with aging, but ovarian transplantation restored function to levels found in 6-month-old mice. In summary, we have shown that immune and renal function, which are negatively influenced by aging, can be positively influenced or restored by re-establishment of active ovarian function in aged female mice. These findings provide a strong incentive for further investigation of the positive influence of young ovaries on restoration of health in postreproductive females.

Additional keywords: failure, life span, menopause, ovary, reproductive decline.


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