Springer Nature

Histologic analysis and lipid profiling reveal reproductive age-associated changes in peri-ovarian adipose tissue

Posted on 2019-06-12 - 05:00
Abstract Background Reproductive aging is a robust phenotype that occurs in all females and is characterized by a significant reduction in gamete quantity and quality, which can have negative consequences on both endocrine function and fertility. Age-associated differences in the oocyte, follicle, and ovary have been well-documented, but how the broader environment changes with age is less well understood. Fat is one of the largest organs in the body, and peri-gonadal adipose tissue surrounds the rodent ovary and comprises a local ovarian environment. The goal of this study was to characterize how peri-ovarian adipose tissue changes with advanced reproductive age. Methods We isolated peri-gonadal adipose tissue from two cohorts of CB6F1 mice: reproductively young (6–12 weeks) and reproductively old (14–17 months). A comparative histological analysis was performed to evaluate adipocyte architecture. We then extracted lipids from the tissue and performed multiple reaction monitoring (MRM)-profiling, a mass spectrometry-based method of metabolite profiling, to compare the lipid profiles of peri-gonadal adipose tissue in these age cohorts. Results We found that advanced reproductive age was associated with adipocyte hypertrophy and a corresponding decrease in the number of adipocytes per area. Of the 10 lipid classes examined, triacylglycerols (TAGs) had significantly different profiles between young and old cohorts, despite quantitative analysis revealing a decrease in the total amount of TAGs per weight of peri-gonadal adipose tissue with age. Conclusions These findings pinpoint age-associated physiological changes in peri-gonadal adipose tissue with respect to adipocyte morphology and lipid profiles and lay the foundation for future studies to examine how these alterations may influence both adipocyte and ovarian function.


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