BioScience Trends. 2017;11(4):427-438. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2017.01108)

The effect of DHEA on apoptosis and cohesin levels in oocytes in aged mice.

Chu N, Gui YY, Qiu XM, Zhang N, Li LS, Li DJ, Tang W, Gober HJ, Zhang B, Wang L


Female fertility declines with age as the number of ovarian follicles decreases and aneuploidy increases. Degradation of the cohesin complex might be responsible for age-related aneuploidy. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) can improve the ovarian reserve and reduce the rate of aneuploidy, but the relationship between DHEA and cohesin levels in oocytes is still unknown. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the effect of the supplement DHEA on ovarian function, including the number of follicles and cohesin levels in oocytes. C57BL/6J mice at 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 12 weeks, 6 months, and 10 months of age were used to obtain a systematic view into follicle apoptosis and cohesin levels in oocytes. Nine-month-old C57BL/6J mice were administered saline (n = 5), 17β-estradiol (100 μg/kg per day, n = 5), or DHEA (5mg/Kg per day, n = 5). After 4 weeks, aged mice were weighed and sacrificed, and ovarian tissue samples were prepared. Anti-VASA staining and HE staining were used to count the number of follicles. Anti-γH2AX staining and TUNEL were used to measure follicle apoptosis and immunofluorescent staining was used to detect the levels of three oocyte cohesin subunits: REC8, SMC1β, and SMC3. Administration of the supplements 17β-estradiol and DHEA to aged mice increased the number of primordial and primary follicles and decreased the age-related apoptosis of follicles. Levels of the cohesin subunits REC8 and SMC1β declined with age, but DHEA and 17β-estradiol tended to delay that decline. The supplement DHEA increased the number of primordial and primary follicles in aged mice by inhibiting follicle apoptosis and tended to delay the decrease in cohesin levels in oocytes.

KEYWORDS: Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), apoptosis, cohesin, oocyte, mice

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