Effect of dietary restriction on estrous cyclicity and follicular reserves in aging C57BL/6J mice.

J. F. Nelson, R. G. Gosden, L. S. Felicio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


Restricting the food intake of female mice by alternating days of feeding and fasting delayed the age-related loss of estrous cycling potential and retarded the rate of follicular depletion, as determined after reinstatement of ad libitum (AL) feeding. During the period of food restriction (FR; 3.5-10.5 mo), food intake and body weight were about 80% of AL values. Mice were acyclic and predominantly in a state of diestrus during FR, but after reinstatement of an AL diet at 10.5 mo all FR mice resumed cycling regularly. By contrast, 80% of AL controls had become acyclic by this age, and the cycles of the remaining mice were significantly longer than those of the reinstated FR mice. Follicular reserves of 12.5-mo-old FR mice were twice those of age-matched AL controls. Cycling performance of reinstated FR mice, measured by cycle length and the proportion of mice still cycling, was equivalent to that of AL mice when the latter were 2-5 mo younger. Ovarian age, measured by the size of the follicular reserve, was similarly retarded in FR mice. Based on these data and previous evidence that follicular depletion plays a major role in the cessation of cyclicity in this strain, we hypothesize that the delayed loss of estrous cyclicity in aging FR mice is mediated at least in part by the retarding effect of dietary restriction on the rate of follicular depletion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)515-522
Number of pages8
JournalBiology of reproduction
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Reproductive Medicine


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