Female aging: when translational models don’t translate

Gabrielle Gilmer, Zachary R. Hettinger, Yetsa Tuakli-Wosornu, Elizabeth Skidmore, Julie K. Silver, Rebecca C. Thurston, Dawn A. Lowe, Fabrisia Ambrosio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


For many pathologies associated with aging, female patients present with higher morbidity and more frequent adverse events from treatments compared to male patients. While preclinical models are the foundation of our mechanistic understanding of age-related diseases, the most common models fail to recapitulate archetypical female aging trajectories. For example, while over 70% of the top age-related diseases are influenced by the systemic effects of reproductive senescence, we found that preclinical studies that include menopausal phenotypes modeling those seen in humans make up <1% of published aging biology research. The long-term impacts of pregnancy, birthing and breastfeeding are also typically omitted from preclinical work. In this Perspective, we summarize limitations in the most commonly used aging models, and we provide recommendations for better incorporating menopause, pregnancy and other considerations of sex in vivo and in vitro. Lastly, we outline action items for aging biology researchers, journals, funding agencies and animal providers to address this gap.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1500-1508
Number of pages9
JournalNature Aging
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, Springer Nature America, Inc.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Review


Dive into the research topics of 'Female aging: when translational models don’t translate'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this