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Hai-Yan Hou Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Beijing, People’s Republic of China
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Characteristic Medical Center of PAP, Tianjin, People’s Republic of China

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Xi Wang Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Beijing, People’s Republic of China

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Qi Yu Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Beijing, People’s Republic of China

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Hong-Yi Li Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Characteristic Medical Center of PAP, Tianjin, People’s Republic of China

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Shao-Jie Li Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Characteristic Medical Center of PAP, Tianjin, People’s Republic of China

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Rui-Yi Tang Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Beijing, People’s Republic of China

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Zai-Xin Guo Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Beijing, People’s Republic of China

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Ya-Qiong Chen Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Characteristic Medical Center of PAP, Tianjin, People’s Republic of China

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Chun-Xiu Hu Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Characteristic Medical Center of PAP, Tianjin, People’s Republic of China

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Zhi-Juan Yang Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Characteristic Medical Center of PAP, Tianjin, People’s Republic of China

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Wen-ke Zhang Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Characteristic Medical Center of PAP, Tianjin, People’s Republic of China

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Yan Qin Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Characteristic Medical Center of PAP, Tianjin, People’s Republic of China

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Decline in successful conception decreases more rapidly after 38 years of age owing to follicular depletion and decreased oocyte quality. However, limited information is available regarding the underlying mechanism and the useful treatment. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of growth hormone supplementation on oocyte maturation in vivo in aged and young mice and to determine its effect on mitochondrial function. The influence of three different doses of recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) (0.4, 0.8 and 1.6 mg/kg/day) for 8 weeks before ovarian stimulation was analyzed. Superovulated oocytes were released from the oviduct of 12-week-old and 40-week-old female C57BL/6J mice 14–16 h after administration of human chorionic gonadotropin. Ovarian follicle and morphological analysis and oocyte maturation parameters were then evaluated. This study is the first, to our knowledge, to report that medium- and high-dose rhGH significantly increases antral follicles in aged mice but anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) levels. Furthermore, derived oocytes, MII-stage oocyte rate, ATP levels, mitochondrial membrane potential and frequencies of homogeneous mitochondrial distribution increased. In contrast, in both aged and young mice, the mtDNA copy numbers per oocyte were similar before rhGH administration, and upon saline administration, they did not differ significantly. We conclude that medium-dose rhGH supplementation before standard ovarian stimulation regimens improves oocyte quality in aged mice, probably by enhancing mitochondrial functionality.

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