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Recent studies on mice with mutations in the Clock gene have shown that this mutation disrupts oestrus cyclicity and interferes with successful pregnancy. In order to determine whether two other molecular components of the main clock, namely the period genes, Per1 and Per2, have an effect on the length of the oestrous cycle and the reproductive success, we used Per1- and Per2-deficient females. We show that although fecundity of young adult Per mutant females does not differ from that of wild-type females, middle-aged Per mutant mice are characterised by lower reproductive success than the control group. This may be a consequence of irregularity and acyclicity of the oestrous cycle of the middle-aged mutants. Besides, we demonstrate that Per mutant females have significantly more embryonal implantations in the uterus than successfully delivered offspring. The reproductive deficits of the middle-aged Per mutant females are comparable with those seen in aged wild-type mice. This suggests that Per1 and Per2 mutations cause an advanced ageing.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





559 - 568


Aging, Premature, Animals, Basal Metabolism, Cell Cycle Proteins, Eating, Embryo Implantation, Estrus, Female, Homozygote, Maternal Behavior, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Knockout, Mice, Mutant Strains, Nuclear Proteins, Period Circadian Proteins, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Outcome, Reproduction, Transcription Factors