This study examined the influences of aging and reduced ovarian follicular reserve on estrous cyclicity, estradiol (E2) production, and gonadotropin secretion. Young virgin and middle-aged (MA) retired breeder female rats were unilaterally ovariectomized (ULO) or sham operated (control). Unilateral ovariectomy of young rats reduced the ovarian follicular reserve by one-half, to a level similar to that found in MA controls. Unilateral ovariectomy of MA females reduced the follicular pool further, to one half of MA controls. The incidence of regular cyclicity was significantly lower in MA ULO females than in young controls, with intermediate cycle frequency in young ULO and MA controls. Among cyclic rats, the magnitude of the proestrous LH surge was highest in young controls, intermediate in young ULO rats and MA controls, and lowest in MA ULO females. Similarly, ovulation rates were highest in young controls, intermediate in young ULO rats and MA controls, and lowest in MA ULO females. While young ULO rats exhibited augmented secondary FSH surges on estrous morning, middle-aged ULO females displayed secondary FSH levels comparable to young controls. The effects of age and reduced follicle number on estrous cyclicity and gonadotropin secretion were not due to altered E2 secretion, as preovulatory E2 levels were similar among all groups. Thus, experimental reduction in the follicular reserve exerts acute effects on the preovulatory LH surge, ovulation rate, and estrous cyclicity in both young and MA rats. However, decreased follicle number increases FSH levels only in young rats, indicating aging-related alterations in the feedback regulation of FSH.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.