Altering daily light-dark cycles affects fertility in middle-aged female mice

Altering daily light-dark cycles affects fertility in middle-aged female mice

Many of the body's processes follow a natural daily rhythm, or so-called circadian clock, that is based on 24-hour day-night cycles. Previous research has shown that the menstrual cycle in female mammals is affected by the region of the brain, called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), that controls the circadian clock. Because of this link, research investigated the relationship between the circadian clock and age-related changes in reproductive function.
 
The investigators found that genetic or environmental manipulations that altered the SCN timing signal and disrupted the circadian rhythms of young female mice did not affect reproductive cycling and function, whereas the same conditions led to infertility in older female mice.
 
"Importantly, changing the environmental conditions by matching the periodicity of the light cycle to the altered periodicity of the SCN could restore reproductive function in the older females," said senior.
 
The results indicate that, although aging mammals are susceptible to reproductive dysfunction when changes occur in SCN signaling and the circadian clock, these effects might be reversed.
 
While corresponding studies are needed in humans, the findings suggest that ensuring harmony between internal and environmental rhythms may help improve fertility.
 
http://www.cell.com/cell-reports/abstract/S2211-1247(15)00827-X
Edited

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