The association between age-related infertility and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) integrity parameters of granulosa cells and lymphocytes


Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, vol.42, no.6, pp.2373-2380, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 42 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/01443615.2022.2054689
  • Journal Name: Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.2373-2380
  • Keywords: Advanced maternal age, alkaline comet assay, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) integrity, granulosa cells
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


This study aimed to investigate the association between deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) integrity parameters and advanced maternal age (AMA)-related infertility. The granulosa cells and the lymphocytes obtained from 119 infertile women were recruited. Patients were divided into two groups: the AMA group (≥35 years, n = 26) and the non-AMA group (<35 years, n = 93). The tail length, tail moment and tail DNA percentage were evaluated as the DNA integrity parameters using comet assay. Infertility duration (p=.001), luteinising hormone (p=.01) and progesterone levels (p<.0001) were higher and smoking was more prevalent in the AMA group (p=.001). AMA group was stimulated with higher gonadotropin doses (p=.04) and had decreased anti-mullerian hormone levels (p<.0001). All of DNA integrity parameters were distributed homogenously between the groups; however, the tail length of lymphocytes was higher (p=.02) in the AMA group. Fertilisation was lower (p=.02), oocyte quality was tended to be poor (p=.03) and blastocyst transfer was lower in the AMA group (p=.03). Embryo quality was distributed homogenously between the groups. Implantation, clinical pregnancy and live birth rates were similar between the groups. Impact StatementWhat is already known on this subject? Advanced maternal age (AMA)-related infertility is associated with diminished ovarian reserve and alteration in follicular environment resulting in poor oocyte quality; however, the exact pathophysiologic mechanism is not clear. What do the results of this study add? Tail length, tail deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) percentage, tail moment of granulosa cells were nonsignificantly higher in the AMA group compared to younger patients. All of the DNA integrity parameters of lymphocytes were nonsignificantly higher; however, only tail length of lymphocytes was statistically higher in the AMA group than the non-AMA group. A positive correlation was observed between DNA integrity parameters of lymphocytes and body mass index. There were no correlations between DNA integrity parameters of granulosa cells and lymphocyte and infertility duration, gonadotropin dose, duration of ovarian stimulation, oocyte score, embryo score, basal hormone levels and anti-mullerian hormone levels. What are the implications of these findings for clinical practice and/or further research? Our findings offer new insight for further understanding the role of granulosa cells in mediating the poor reproductive outcome of ageing patients. Understanding the mechanisms of ovarian ageing and poor oocyte quality in women with AMA may help to identify specific targets for improving oocyte quality with ageing.