HER3: Age and follicle DNA methylation profile

This study is performed at the Fertility Clinic at Herlev Hospital together with two other Danish fertility clinics at Hvidovre Hospital and the private clinic at Trianglen.

With age the ovarian reserve is reduced significantly from several hundred thousand oocyte in puberty to only a few hundred at the female age of 35. The functionality of the oocytes is also reduced with age as is the number of chromosomal mutations. The cells surrounding the oocyte – granulosa and cumulus cells also show changes in DNA methylation profiles with age.

In this study the correlation between DNA methylation in the different cell types (oocyte, cumulus and granulosa cells) and peripheral leucocytes is investigated. The DNA methylation is also determined as a function of the the age of the female. The hypothesis is that there is a correlation and the DNA methylation is increased by age.

Secondary the study will try to document a relation between DNA methylation and oocyte reserve, which could give an indication on why some females are poor responders to follicle stimulation. A potential outcome of this study could be a implementation of leucocyte DNA methylations as a routine screening method in IVF diagnosis.

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