Telomeres, aging and reproduction.
Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2022 Jun 1;34(3):151-158. Epub 2022 Mar 4.
2022 doi: 10.1097/GCO.0000000000000779
Purpose of review: Women’s fertility decay starts at the mid 30 s. However, the current delay of childbearing leads to ovarian aging and the need of assisted reproduction technologies (ART). Telomere biology is one of the main pathways involved in organismal aging. Thus, this review will focus on the knowledge acquired during the last 2 years about the telomere pathway and its influence on female fertility and the consequences for the newborn. Recent finding: New research on telomere biology reaffirms the relationship of telomere attrition and female infertility. Shorter maternal telomeres, which could be aggravated by external factors, underly premature ovarian aging and other complications including preeclampsia, preterm birth and idiopathic pregnancy loss. Finally, the telomere length of the fetus or the newborn is also affected by external factors, such as stress and nutrition. Summary: Recent evidence shows that telomeres are implicated in most processes related to female fertility, embryo development and the newborn’s health. Thus, telomere length and telomerase activity may be good biomarkers for early detection of ovarian and pregnancy failures, opening the possibility to use telomere therapies to try to solve the infertility situation.