MFRTA & the Ca Hypoth

Aubrey de Grey ag24 at
Tue Nov 30 08:02:58 EST 1999

Jim Cummins wrote:

> Many assume that the process of atresia in fetal life  and later
> involves some form of selection for mitochondrial function - yet the
> oocyte mitochondria seem to be pretty sleepy by most measures.  Could
> the ovary be "testing" oocytes that enter the FSH-dependent growth
> phase based on free calcium rather than, say, capacity to maintain
> tonic ATP levels?

That's a very interesting idea.  I don't know of any relevant work.  I
think that ATP levels cannot be eliminated as a basis for selection at
ovulation, because there must be a respectable energy requirement
during that FSH-dependent growth phase.  But I agree that calcium seems
equally plausible for selection at ovulation -- and possibly more
plausible for selection in fetal life.

On this general topic I recommend an excellent review from last year:
Jansen and de Boer, Mol. Cell. Endocrinology 145:81-88.

Aubrey de Grey

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