Premature ovarian aging in BRCA carriers: A prototype of systemic precocious aging?

Irit Ben-Aharon*, Mattan Levi, David Margel, Rinat Yerushalmi, Shulamith Rizel, Shlomit Perry, Eran Sharon, Noa Hasky, Ronit Abir, Benny Fisch, Ana Tobar, Ruth Shalgi, Salomon Marcello Stemmer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Though former evidence implies a correlation of breast cancer susceptibility gene (BRCA) mutation with reduced ovarian reserve, the data is yet inconsistent. Our aim was to investigate biomarkers of ovarian aging in a cohort of young healthy carriers of the BRCA mutation. We hypothesized that the role played by BRCA genes in aging pathways is not exclusive to the ovary. Experimental Design: Healthy female BRCA carriers, 40 years or younger and healthy male BRCA carriers, 50 years or younger, were enrolled in the study. Serum anti-mullerian Hormone (AMH), fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF-23), Klotho and IL-1 were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Ovarian AMH and protein kinase B (AKT) mRNA from BRCA carriers who underwent prophylactic oophorectomy and from age-matched, healthy, non-carriers who underwent partial oophorectomy due to benign conditions were analyzed by qPCR. Results: Thirty-three female (median age 35y) and 20 male (44y) BRCA carriers were enrolled into the study and matched to control non-carriers (34y and 43y, respectively). Serum AMH level was significantly lower in BRCA female carriers than in both non-carrier controls and age-matched nomograms. The levels of ovarian AMH and AKT mRNA were significantly lower in carriers than in controls. The systemic aging cytokines FGF-23, klotho and IL-1 displayed a differential expression in carriers of both genders. FGF-23 level was higher in carriers (P=0.06). Conclusions: Our results suggest a link between BRCA mutation, accelerated ovarian aging and systemic aging-related pathophysiology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15931-15941
Number of pages11
Issue number22
StatePublished - 2018


  • BRCA
  • Ovarian aging
  • Systemic precocious aging


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