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Genes Controlling Ovarian Development and Follicle Growth

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Sunday, May 27, 2007 | 0 comments


Ovarian follicle development is a complex process that begins with the establishment of what is thought to be finite pool of primordial follicles and culminates in either the atretic degradation of the follicle or the release of a mature oocyte for fertilization. The use of transgenic mouse models has provided a great deal of information with regard to the mechanisms underlying ovarian development and follicle growth. The data obtained from these models may provide clues about the reasons for abnormal reproductive conditions in humans, as multiple genes shown to regulate folliculogenesis and fertility in mice have been shown to play a role in human reproduction.


During the past several years, studies using transgenic mouse models have revealed novel information about the genes that control the processes of ovarian differentiation, formation of the primordial germ cell pool, primordial follicle formation, growth of follicles from the primordial to antral stage, and ovulation. Recently, many of these studies have been described in detail by Barnett et al., 2006, and are summarized below. In addition, studies have focused on the steroid hormones and growth factors that control ovarian development and follicle growth.

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About Catherine: I am mom to three grown sons, two grandchildren and two rescue dogs. After years of raising my boys as a single mom, I remarried a wonderful man who had never had a child of his own. Unexpectedly, I found myself pregnant at 49!
Sadly we lost that precious baby at 8 weeks, and decided to try again. Five more losses, turned down for donor egg, foster care and adoption due to my age and losses - we have accepted that there will be no more babies in our house.

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