Extended fertility and longevity: the genetic and epigenetic link

The authors review the evidence connecting women’s extended fertility with longevity. The connection relies on the synthesis of data from epidemiology, genomics, epigenomics, and gene expression.

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Authors

Kerem Wainer-Katsir, M.Sc., James Y. Zou, Ph.D., Michal Linial, Ph.D.

Volume 103, Issue 5, Pages 1117-1124

Abstract

Many women now choose to develop their careers before having children. Thus, it is becoming increasingly important to assess a woman’s potential for extended fertility and to understand the health consequences of having children at a late age. In particular, there is a striking positive correlation between extended fertility and longevity in women, which poses important implications for medicine, biology, and evolution. In this article we review the diverse epidemiologic evidence for the link between fertility potential, age of menopause, and women’s lifespan. Then we discuss the recent advances using genomic technology to better understand biological mechanisms driving this association. At the genetic level, there are polymorphisms that may be driving both extended fertility and longevity. At the cellular and molecular levels, changes in the genome (both nuclear and mitochondrial), epigenome, and transcriptome during oocyte aging have important implications for fertility. By synthesizing results from diverse domains, we hope to provide a genomic-era conceptual framework in which this important connection can be investigated and understood.

Read the full text at: http://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(15)00130-2/fulltext


Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders. The journal publishes juried original scientific articles in clinical and laboratory research relevant to reproductive endocrinology, urology, andrology, physiology, immunology, genetics, contraception, and menopause. Fertility and Sterility® encourages and supports meaningful basic and clinical research, and facilitates and promotes excellence in professional education, in the field of reproductive medicine.

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