Egg cell maintenance

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Extremely long-lived proteins in the ovary may keep egg cells healthy and preser
Extremely long-lived proteins in the ovary may keep egg cells healthy and preserve fertility for a long time. In the mouse egg cell shown here, the chromosomes are stained magenta and the cytoskeletal protein actin is stained blue and white. © MPI f. Multidisciplinary Sciences/ Melina Schuh

Female mammals - including humans - are born with all’of their egg cells. Of a woman’s one to two million egg cells, about 400 mature before menopause and can be fertilized. Some egg cells therefore survive for several decades - and need to remain functional over this long time. Extremely long-lived proteins in the ovary seem to play an important role in this, as teams of researchers from Göttingen have now discovered in experiments with mice. These long-lived proteins appear to help maintain fertility for as long as possible.

-Egg cells need to be preserved throughout a woman’s reproductive life so they can develop into healthy embryos,- explains Melina Schuh, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Multidisciplinary Sciences. ...

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