Commun Biol 2021 May 6;4(1):534. Epub 2021 May 6.
Key Laboratory of Agricultural Animal Genetics, Breeding and Reproduction of Ministry of Education, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, 430070, China.
Studies have shown that melatonin (MLT) can delay ovarian aging, but the mechanism has not been fully elucidated. Here we show that granulosa cells isolated from mice follicles can synthesize MLT; the addition of MLT in ovary culture system inhibited follicle activation and growth; In vivo experiments indicated that injections of MLT to mice during the follicle activation phase can reduce the number of activated follicles by inhibiting the PI3K-AKT-FOXO3 pathway; during the early follicle growth phase, MLT administration suppressed follicle growth and atresia, and multiple pathways involved in folliculogenesis, including PI3K-AKT, were suppressed; MLT deficiency in mice increased follicle activation and atresia, and eventually accelerated age-related fertility decline; finally, we demonstrated that prolonged high-dose MLT intake had no obvious adverse effect. This study presents more insight into the roles of MLT in reproductive regulation that endogenous MLT delays ovarian aging by inhibiting follicle activation, growth and atresia. Read More