Aging causes a decline in ovarian function and may contribute to ovarian failure and infertility. We investigated the effect of menstrual blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MenSCs) and their mitochondria on ovarian function in aged mice. We performed two treatment protocols: i) ovaries of recipient aged mice were treated in vivo with MenSCs 3D alginate gel; ii) ovaries were injected with mitochondria suspension and then incubated with mitochondrial 3D gel. Seven days after treatment, ovaries were harvested for histological assessment by HE staining and transcriptomic analysis by RNA-seq. Our data showed that after incubation with stem cell 3D gel, the MenSCs could be detected in the recipient mouse ovary. HE staining showed that the follicular state of aging ovary improved with both treatments. RNA-seq analysis showed that mitochondrial pathway-related genes were upregulated and significantly enriched in the ovaries treated by MenSCs or their mitochondria.

Conclusions: Treatment with MenSCs or their mitochondria can enhance the expression of mitochondrial pathway-related genes and promote the recovery of ovarian function in aged mice.