Studies on how genes affect menopause may improve treatment for childbirth

Studies on how genes affect menopause may improve treatment for childbirth

New ways to treat infertility in women have been proposed by studies investigating genes that control the age of menopause.

When one of the genes was blocked from affecting female mice, animals responded more strongly to fertility drugs often used to release multiple eggs into the ovaries during IVF treatment.

menopause Infertility usually occurs around the age of 50 years ago, but there are many variations, including processes that are affected by the number of eggs remaining in the ovaries.Girls are born with about a million eggs, and by the time women reach menopause, this is Fell to about a thousand.. Menopausal age is affected by both egg initiation and egg mortality.

A new study conducted by a large international consortium of researchers examined genetic variation that affects the age of menopause. It used the existing records of 200,000 women of European descent who provided DNA for sequencing and completed a health questionnaire. UK Biobank business.

Researchers have found 290 DNA regions that collectively cause about one-third of the genetic variation of the age at which menopause occurs and about 12% of total variation. This is because lifestyle factors such as smoking and drinking also have an impact. Researchers also examined the records of about 80,000 women of East Asian descent and found similar results.

Many of the identified genes are known to be involved in the process of DNA repair. Some are active before the birth of the fetal egg, while others appear to affect the rate at which the egg dies in adulthood. John perry A member of the research team at the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine.

The genes that have been found to be most effective CHEK2It was already known to be involved in a programmed process of cell death called apoptosis. Studies have shown that women with mutations that prevent this gene from functioning experience menopause 3.5 years later than women with a functional version.

The team genetically modified female mice, CHEK2, Their eggs died more slowly as they grew older. These mice also released more eggs when treated with gonadotropins, which are used to stimulate egg development during in vitro fertilization.

If you can develop a drug to block CHEK2, It may help women who are in vitro fertilized to release more eggs, Perry says. “”CHEK2 Perhaps they are killing a viable egg, “he says. “If you can lower it a little, you’ll get more eggs, but you really need to make sure you’re not fertilizing the damaged egg.”

The team is now adding more women to genetic research, and Perry says the results could turn into blood tests to tell women if they are at increased risk of premature menopause or childbirth in the future. I am.

“The findings pave the way for more detailed studies that may allow women to predict menopausal age and consider options for extending reproductive age.” Crina Zondervan I mentioned it in a commentary article published with a new research treatise at Oxford University.

Journal reference: Nature, DOI: 10.1038 / s41586-021-03779-7Commentary on Zondervan DOI: 10.1038 / d41586-021-01710-8

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