Putrescine water doubles fertility in aging females

June 24, 2015

New research led by Dr. Johné Liu shows that drinking water supplemented with putrescine can turn back the biological clock in aging female mice and help them have more babies. Putrescine is a naturally occurring small compound produced in many tissues throughout life, particularly during egg cell maturation (when egg cells divide to get ready for ovulation and fertilization). Dr. Liu and his team have previously shown that egg cells from aging mice produce less putrescine than those from younger mice, and supplementing with putrescine water can reduce the number of defective eggs. Their new study, published in Human Reproduction, shows that putrescine supplementation can also increase live births in older mice – in fact doubling the number of offspring, with no toxicity. Dr. Liu is continuing his research in other experimental models, with hopes of advancing to human clinical trials in the future.

Co-authors: Yong Tao, Dandan Liu, Guolong Mo, Hongmei Wang

Funders: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, March of Dimes Foundation, National Natural Science Foundation of China

Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute is the research arm of The Ottawa Hospital and is an affiliated institute of the University of Ottawa, closely associated with its faculties of Medicine and Health Sciences. The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute includes more than 1,700 scientists, clinical investigators, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and staff conducting research to improve the understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human disease. Support our research. Give to the Tender Loving Research campaign.

For further information, please contact

Lois Ross
Senior Communications Specialist
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Office: 613-737-8899 x73687
Cell: 613-297-8315