The effects of long-term ovariectomy (LOVX) and chronic food restriction on the decidual cell response were examined in aging mice. At 2 mos of age, mice were either ovariectomized, started on a regimen of food restriction (70% of ad lib intake), or left untreated. At 10 mos, the decidual cell response (DCR) was induced in all groups and measured by uterine weight gain, alkaline phosphatase activity, and DNA content. The DCR was also examined in young (4.5 mos) mice. LOVX and, to a lesser extent, food restriction (FR) potentiated the DCR, as indicated by 20-75% greater alkaline phosphatase activity and uterine weight relative to age-matched controls. In contrast to previous reports, however, there was no age-related reduction of the DCR. These results show that both LVOX and FR can enhance uterine function in middle-aged mice and indicate that, under some experimental conditions, there is no age-related impairment in the DCR.
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