Previously, transplantation of young, cycling, ovaries increased life and health span in post-reproductive female mice. The current study addressed the influence of ovarian germ cells in the improvement in health by performing transplantations of young, germ cell-depleted ovaries. The purpose of this study is to further the understanding of reproductive influences on aging health. Control mice were grouped by age. Treatment mice were age-matched and received either germ cell depleted ovaries or germ cell containing ovaries at 400 days of age. All groups underwent health span assays until sacrifice (treatment and age-matched control groups were between 680 and 700 days). Body composition results displayed an improvement of body composition in both treatment groups, compared to the controls, but no significant difference between the germ cell-depleted or germ cell-containing groups. Grip test results showed no improvement in musculoskeletal endurance and no change to mild loss of grip strength with both transplant groups compared to control groups. The research presented here suggests that reproductive status has a positive influence in post-reproductive health. A portion of this influence may be germ cell independent.
Keywords: germ cell-containing (GC); germ cell-depleted (GD); menopause; ovarian somatic cells; sarcopenia.