Researchers Found a drug that could extend egg viability in worms, which may extend women’s fertility by three to six years in theory. According to Science Daily, an American science news website, Coleen Murphy, who led the study, specializes in using microscopic worms, Caenorhabditis elegans (C.elegans) to study longevity because it has many of the same genes as humans.
During the mid-30s, women start to experience declines in fertility, increased rates of miscarriage and maternal age-related birth defects,” said Coleen Murphy from the Princeton University in the US.
“All of these problems are thought to be caused by declining egg quality, rather than a lack of eggs,” said Murphy.
The researchers used a microscopic worm, Caenorhabditis elegans (C elegans), to study longevity.
For the study, published in the journal Current Biology, they investigated downregulated group of proteins, cathepsin B proteases, that are rare in high-quality eggs and more common in eggs that have begun degrading with age.
According to the researchers, when they 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.
Meanwhile, another experiment knocked out that the cathepsin B genes entirely succeeded in extending worms’ fertility by about 10 percent. Nicole Templeman from varsity said, “It could be a three- to a six-year extension of your reproductive period”, if applied to humans.
The researchers said that the reproductive decline is a hallmark of aging. But despite its prevalence, interventions to slow the loss of reproductive capacity are lacking.
However, Murphy said that the cathepsin B inhibitor is nowhere near ready for testing in humans. But, the researcher hopes that it could one day do something mid-reproduction to improve the rest of reproduction.
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