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      Impact of Maternal Age on Oocyte and Embryo Competence

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          The overall success of human reproduction, either spontaneously or after IVF, is highly dependent upon maternal age. The main reasons for age-related infertility include reduced ovarian reserve and decreased oocyte/embryo competence due to aging insults, especially concerning an increased incidence of aneuploidies and possibly decreased mitochondrial activity. Age-related chromosomal abnormalities mainly arise because of meiotic impairments during oogenesis, following flawed chromosome segregation patterns such as non-disjunction, premature separation of sister chromatids, or the recent reverse segregation. In this review, we briefly discuss the main mechanisms putatively impaired by aging in the oocytes and the deriving embryos. We also report the main strategies proposed to improve the management of advanced maternal age women in IVF: fertility preservation through oocyte cryopreservation to prevent aging; optimization of the ovarian stimulation and enhancement of embryo selection to limit its effects; and oocyte donation to circumvent its consequences.

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          How telomeres solve the end-protection problem.

          The ends of eukaryotic chromosomes have the potential to be mistaken for damaged or broken DNA and must therefore be protected from cellular DNA damage response pathways. Otherwise, cells might permanently arrest in the cell cycle, and attempts to "repair" the chromosome ends would have devastating consequences for genome integrity. This end-protection problem is solved by protein-DNA complexes called telomeres. Studies of mammalian cells have recently uncovered the mechanism by which telomeres disguise the chromosome ends. Comparison to unicellular eukaryotes reveals key differences in the DNA damage response systems that inadvertently threaten chromosome ends. Telomeres appear to be tailored to these variations, explaining their variable structure and composition.
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              Mutation pressure and the evolution of organelle genomic architecture.

              The nuclear genomes of multicellular animals and plants contain large amounts of noncoding DNA, the disadvantages of which can be too weak to be effectively countered by selection in lineages with reduced effective population sizes. In contrast, the organelle genomes of these two lineages evolved to opposite ends of the spectrum of genomic complexity, despite similar effective population sizes. This pattern and other puzzling aspects of organelle evolution appear to be consequences of differences in organelle mutation rates. These observations provide support for the hypothesis that the fundamental features of genome evolution are largely defined by the relative power of two nonadaptive forces: random genetic drift and mutation pressure.

                Author and article information

                URI : https://frontiersin.org/people/u/571282
                Front Endocrinol (Lausanne)
                Front Endocrinol (Lausanne)
                Front. Endocrinol.
                Frontiers in Endocrinology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                29 June 2018
                : 9
                1Clinica Valle Giulia, G.en.e.r.a. Centers for Reproductive Medicine , Rome, Italy
                2Catholic University of the Sacred Heart , Rome, Italy
                Author notes

                Edited by: Sandro C. Esteves, Androfert, Andrology and Human Reproduction Clinic, Brazil

                Reviewed by: Hakan Yarali, Anatolia IVF, Turkey; Jung Ryeol Lee, Seoul National University College of Medicine, South Korea; Matheus Roque, ORIGEN – Center for Reproductive Medicine, Brazil

                *Correspondence: Danilo Cimadomo, cimadomo@ 123456generaroma.it

                Specialty section: This article was submitted to Reproduction, a section of the journal Frontiers in Endocrinology

                Copyright © 2018 Cimadomo, Fabozzi, Vaiarelli, Ubaldi, Ubaldi and Rienzi.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 109, Pages: 8, Words: 6803

                Endocrinology & Diabetes

                ovarian reserve, oocyte competence, aging, aneuploidies, ivf


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