Female reproductive ageing

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Thanks to advances in education and healthcare, women around the world are delaying childbearing and living longer. This trend intensifies the need to understand and address the causes and consequences of female reproductive ageing, both for women who become pregnant relatively later in life and for post-menopausal women. Age brings a decline in both ovarian follicle number and oocyte quality. Oocyte ageing and the accompanying decrease in fertility may be characterized by impaired DNA repair, mitochondrial disfunction, and metabolic disorders, in addition to chromosomal abnormalities resulting from meiotic non-disjunction. Meanwhile, the timing of menopause varies widely between individuals. While this variation is associated with a range of genetic factors, the mechanisms underlying these associations is unclear. Menopause timing impacts not only fertility but also overall health, with early menopause linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, type 2 diabetes, neurological disorders, and other conditions.

This Collection invites research on all aspects of female reproductive ageing, including its molecular causes and consequences and its epidemiological links to disease.

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A model of the reproductive system of women between two palms on a blue and green background


Miguel Angel Brieño-Enríquez is an Assistant Professor at Magee-Womens Research Institute, University of Pittsburgh. Research in the Brieño-Enríquez lab focuses on the regulation of gametogenesis in mammals (human, mouse and naked mole-rat) and, more specifically, the fundamental mechanisms that are required to produce viable germ cells. His studies include the analysis of how ageing and environmental factors disrupt gametogenesis and how these defects are transmitted to other generations. Dr. Brieño-Enríquez has been an Editorial Board Member for Scientific Reports since 2022.


Pawel Kordowitzki is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Veterinary Medicine, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Poland. His research focuses on female reproductive ageing, especially on telomeres, mitochondria, and DNA methylation processes within the oocyte. He aims to understand how to slow down or postpone the ageing process in oocytes of advanced age women, to answer a long-standing question: why do oocytes age and why so early in life. Dr. Kordowitzki has been an Editorial Board Member for Scientific Reports since 2022.


Mellissa RW Mann is an Associate Professor at the Magee-Women’s Research Institute and the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School. Her research investigates molecular mechanisms that regulate gene expression during embryo development, focusing on the effects of assisted reproductive technologies on genomic imprinting as well as the regulation of imprinting across imprinted domains. Dr. Mann has been an Editorial Board Member for Scientific Reports since 2017.