Longitudinal studies of estrous cyclicity in C57BL/6J mice: III. Dietary modulation declines during aging

James F. Nelson, Gabrielle Goodrick, Katarzyna Karelus, Lêda S. Felicio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Dietary modulation of estrouos cyclicity was studied throughout the reproductive lifespan to assess the stability of age-related changes in cyclicity and to probe underlying mechanisms. Animals were fed a standard diet or an isocaloric breeder diet that differed in nutrient composition to promote fecundity. In young mice, the breeder diet more than doubled the frequency of short (4-day) cycles, and, as a result, increase the total number of cycles during the cycling lifespan by 10%. Dietary potentiation of short cycles disappeared between 7 and 9 months of age, and most subsequent age-related changes in cyclicity were resistant to dietary influence. The breeder diet had no effect on the transition from 4- to 5-day cycles, the onset of acyclicity, or on the incidence or duration of persistent vaginal cornification. It only delayed the increased of very long (> 5-day) cycles by 1 month. These results show that most age-related changes in cyclicity are not influenced by dietary differences that affect cyclicity in young mice, and that diminished responsiveness to dietary variation is among the earliest age-related changes in the reproductive system. In addition, the results suggest that differences in cycle frequency and, presumably, in cumulative exposure to pre-ovulatory elevations of ovarian steroids do not influence the cycling lifespan in this strain of mouse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-84
Number of pages12
JournalMechanisms of Ageing and Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • Diet
  • Female
  • Puberty
  • Reproductive Aging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Developmental Biology


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