The Role of PEDF in Reproductive Aging of the Ovary

Luba Nemerovsky, Hadas Bar-Joseph, Anat Eldar-Boock, Rana Tarabeih, Cindy Elmechaly, Ido Ben-Ami, Ruth Shalgi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Reproductive aging is characterized by a decline in ovarian function and in oocytes' quantity and quality. Pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF), a pivotal player in ovarian angiogenic and oxidative balance, was evaluated for its involvement in reproductive aging. Our work examines the initial stage of reproductive aging in women and mice, and the involvement of PEDF in the process. Granulosa cells from reproductively-aged (RA) women and mice (36-44 years old and 9-10 months old, respectively) indicated an increase in the level of PEDF mRNA (qPCR), with yet unchanged levels of AMH and FSHR mRNAs. However, the PEDF protein level in individual women showed an intra-cellular decrease (ELISA), along with a decrease in the corresponding follicular fluid, which reflects the secreted fraction of the protein. The in vitro maturation (IVM) rate in the oocytes of RA mice was lower compared with the oocytes of young mice, demonstrated by a reduced polar body extrusion (PBE) rate. The supplementation of PEDF improved the hampered PBE rate, manifested by a higher number of energetically-competent oocytes (ATP concentration and mtDNA copy number of individual oocytes). Our findings propose PEDF as an early marker of reproductive aging, and a possible therapeutic in vitro agent that could enhance the number of good-quality oocytes in older IVF patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number18
StatePublished - 8 Sep 2022


  • granulosa cells
  • oocyte maturation
  • PEDF
  • reproductive aging


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