The relationship between reproductive and biochemical ageing at the time of the menopausal transition

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Abstract

The biochemical ageing status of women in the menopausal transition was studied using quantitative analysis of age- and autophagy-related gene activities (CDC42 and MAP1LC3 genes were selected as target genes).

Free estradiol and progesterone levels in saliva were estimated. General linear models were used to determine the relationship between lifestyle, health status, socioeconomic factors and CDC42 and MAP1LC3 gene expression levels.

Gene expression analysis revealed (1) an increasing expression of CDC42 gene after 45 years in women, (2) expression level of CDC42 gene associated with menopausal status, (3) while endocrine status was found to associate with the expression of both of the studied age-related genes, (4) the “never used hormonal contraceptives” and “obese nutritional status” were the strongest factors for increased level of age-related gene expressions, and (5) changes in gene expression levels by ageing should be studied by considering not only chronological, but also biological ages.

Gene expression profile of ageing has mostly been studied in model systems or human blood samples, but rarely in human saliva samples. The concordance of results between the present and former gene expression analyses, and the simplicity of saliva sample collection emphasizes the importance of saliva tissue samples in gene expression analyses especially in epidemiological surveys.

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