Publishing in the journal Cell Reports, a group of researchers has explored changes to age-related changes to fertility cycles in mice, reporting that changes to cycles of light and dark disrupted the regularity of oestrus in middle-aged female mice.
Prof. Darren Griffin, Professor of Genetics at the University of Kent, said:
“The age-related decline in fertility is, we have known for some time, particularly marked in women. What causes it is the subject of many fascinating areas of research.
“Even if we take one aspect, the increased propensity to produce genetically unbalanced gametes (the so called maternal age effect) it seems that there are many factors at play. In identifying the role of light-dark cycles then this group has made a significant advance.
“It is particularly exciting given the fact that the situation seems to improve when the circadian rhythms are rectified. The usual caveats apply – humans are not mice, and light-dark cycles may only be part of the story. Nonetheless, the message that fertility is related to general health and wellbeing should not be underestimated.”
‘Recovery from Age-Related Infertility under Environmental Light-Dark Cycles Adjusted to the Intrinsic Circadian Period’ by Nana N. Takasu et al. published in Cell Reports on Thursday 20 August.