Oocyte Aging: A Multifactorial Phenomenon in A Unique Cell

Pawel Kordowitzki*, Szymon Graczyk, Amin Haghani, Michael Klutstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The oocyte is considered to be the largest cell in mammalian species. Women hoping to become pregnant face a ticking biological clock. This is becoming increasingly challenging as an increase in life expectancy is accompanied by the tendency to conceive at older ages. With advancing maternal age, the fertilized egg will exhibit lower quality and developmental competence, which contributes to increased chances of miscarriage due to several causes such as aneuploidy, oxidative stress, epigenetics, or metabolic disorders. In particular, heterochromatin in oocytes and with it, the DNA methylation landscape undergoes changes. Further, obesity is a well-known and ever-increasing global problem as it is associated with several metabolic disorders. More importantly, both obesity and aging negatively affect female reproduction. However, among women, there is immense variability in age-related decline of oocytes’ quantity, developmental competence, or quality. Herein, the relevance of obesity and DNA-methylation will be discussed as these aspects have a tremendous effect on female fertility, and it is a topic of continuous and widespread interest that has yet to be fully addressed for the mammalian oocyte.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)5-21
Number of pages17
JournalAging and Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 International Society on Aging and Disease. All rights reserved.


  • DNA-methylation
  • ER stress
  • Stella
  • TET3
  • UHRF1
  • aging
  • egg
  • epigenetics
  • fibrosis
  • heterochromatin
  • methylome
  • oocyte
  • protein folding


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