In females, menopause, the cessation of menstrual cycling, is associated with an increase in risk for several diseases such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, the metabolic syndrome, and ovarian cancer. The majority of women enter menopause via a gradual reduction of ovarian function over several years (perimenopause) and retain residual ovarian tissue. The VCD mouse model of menopause (ovarian failure in rodents) is a follicle-deplete, ovary-intact animal that more closely approximates the natural human progression through perimenopause and into the postmenopausal stage of life. In this review, we present the physiological parameters of how to use the VCD model and explore the VCD model and its application into the study of postmenopausal disease mechanisms, focusing on recent murine studies of diabetic kidney disease, the metabolic syndrome, and hypertension.
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