Lease on Life: Old mice live longer when given young ovaries

10:59am, June 11, 2003

Here's one more reason to be obsessed with reproduction. A new study with aging mice suggests that the reproductive system plays a role in determining how long animals live.

James Carey and his colleagues at the University of California, Davis transplanted ovaries from 2-month-old mice into mice whose ovaries had been removed a few weeks after birth. The procedure extended some of the animals' lives. It proved equivalent to enabling a 50-year-old woman to live to age 92 instead of 80, her current life expectancy, Carey explains.

"The gonads are communicating with the body to stay young for reproduction," he says.

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