New Drug may Extend Fertility in Women by 6 Years

by Colleen Fleiss on  February 24, 2018 at 10:09 PM Drug News
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Administration of Cathepsin B inhibitor halfway through the worms' reproductive period, could extend the worms' egg quality, revealed study.
New Drug may Extend Fertility in Women by 6 Years
New Drug may Extend Fertility in Women by 6 Years

"One of the most important characteristics of ageing is the loss of reproductive ability in mid-adulthood," said Coleen Murphy, Professor at the Princeton University in the US.

"As early as the mid-30s, women start to experience declines in fertility, increased rates of miscarriage and maternal age-related birth defects. All of these problems are thought to be caused by declining egg quality, rather than a lack of eggs," Murphy added.

The team used a microscopic worm, Caenorhabditis elegans (C.elegans), as they share many of the genes as humans, including longevity genes.

They found that a group of proteins called Cathepsin B proteases "downregulate", or lead to lower-quality oocytes (unfertilised eggs), as one ages.

In the study, published in the journal Current Biology, when the team administered the Cathepsin B inhibitor halfway through the worms' reproductive period, they found that even a late administration of the drug could extend the worms' egg quality.

Another experiment that knocked out the cathepsin B genes entirely succeeded in extending worms' fertility by about 10 per cent.

If applied to humans, Nicole Templeman from the varsity said, "It could be a three- to six-year extension of your reproductive period".

Reproductive decline is a hallmark of ageing, but despite its prevalence, interventions to slow the loss of reproductive capacity are lacking, researchers said.

However, the cathepsin B inhibitor is nowhere near ready for testing in humans, Murphy said, yet it could one day do something mid-reproduction to improve the rest of reproduction.

Source: IANS

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