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Front. Endocrinol. | doi: 10.3389/fendo.2019.00811

Impact of oxidative stress on age-associated decline in oocyte developmental competence

 Hiroyuki Sasaki1,  TOSHIO HAMATANI1*, Shintaro Kamijo1, Maki Iwai1, Masato Kobanawa1, Seiji Ogawa1,  Kenji Miyado2 and Mamoru Tanaka1
  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, Keio University, Japan
  • 2National Center for Child Health and Development (NCCHD), Japan

Reproductive capacity in women starts to decline beyond their mid-30s and pregnancies in older women result in higher rates of miscarriage with aneuploidy. Age-related decline in fertility is strongly attributed to ovarian aging, diminished ovarian reserves and decreased developmental competence of oocytes. In this review, we discuss the underlying mechanisms of age-related decline in oocyte quality, focusing on oxidative stress (OS) in oocytes. The primary cause is the accumulation of spontaneous damage to the mitochondria arising from increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) in oocytes, generated by the mitochondria themselves during daily biological metabolism. Mitochondrial dysfunction reduces ATP synthesis and influences the meiotic spindle assembly responsible for chromosomal segregation. Moreover, reproductively aged oocytes produce a decline in the fidelity of the protective mechanisms against ROS, namely the ROS-scavenging metabolism, repair of ROS-damaged DNA, and the proteasome and autophagy system for ROS-damaged proteins. Accordingly, increased ROS and increased vulnerability of oocytes to ROS lead to spindle instability, chromosomal abnormalities, telomere shortening, and reduced developmental competence of aged oocytes.

Keywords: Oxidative stree, mitochondrial dysfunction, Antioxidants, Oocyte aging, er stress

Received: 16 Jun 2019; Accepted: 06 Nov 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Sasaki, HAMATANI, Kamijo, Iwai, Kobanawa, Ogawa, Miyado and Tanaka. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: MD, PhD. TOSHIO HAMATANI, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, Keio University, Tokyo, 108-8345, Japan,