Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hundreds Of Genes Controlling Female Fertility Identified

Date:
September 25, 2007
Source:
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Summary:
Researchers have found nearly 350 genes related to female fertility. Their research may open the door to much wider study in the poorly understood field of infertility. These discoveries might lead the way to eventually allowing clinicians to test whether an infertile woman has problems with a specific gene, allowing for improved diagnostic tests and tailored therapy in the future, according to researchers.

Teresa Gallardo, senior research scientist in pathology and Dr. Diego Castrillon, assistant professor of pathology, have discovered nearly 350 genes associated with female fertility. Their findings will provide new directions for exploring the causes of infertility, they say.
Credit: UT Southwestern Medical Center

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found nearly 350 genes related to female fertility. Their research may open the door to much wider study in the poorly understood field of infertility.

"This study gives us a way to begin to understand the causes of female infertility," said Dr. Diego Castrillon, assistant professor of pathology and senior author of a study appearing in the September issue of the journal Genetics. "It gives us a much more complete list of candidate genes to explore. Before, we didn't even know where to look."

The study was done in mice, "but at the molecular level, ovarian biology is very similar in mice and humans," Dr. Castrillon said.

These discoveries might lead the way to eventually allowing clinicians to test whether an infertile woman has problems with a specific gene, allowing for improved diagnostic tests and tailored therapy in the future, said Dr. Castrillon, a specialist in the diagnosis of infertility and other diseases of women.

About 13 percent of women suffer from infertility, with the most common cause being dysfunction of the ovary. Researchers suspected genetic links in many cases, Dr. Castrillon said.

In mammals, the ovaries go through a developmental stage after birth in which egg cells become nestled in dormant nests called primordial follicles. Later in development, the follicles become activated by a process that researchers don't fully understand, and at puberty, egg cells begin being released for fertilization. The researchers focused on a gene called Foxo3, which controls follicle activation. Normally, follicles are activated on a staggered schedule, so an ovary contains follicles at many different stages of development.

In female mice genetically engineered to lack Foxo3, the follicles are normal at birth, but later become activated all at the same time. This coordinated maturation meant that the genes controlling follicle growth were all turned on at the same time, making it easier to detect these genes.

The researchers employed a method known as expression profiling to identify the active genes. They found 348 genes that were active in ovaries in the mice lacking Foxo3, but not in other tissues, indicating that they could function specifically in follicle growth.

Some of the genes the researchers found were already known to be involved in infertility, which helped validate the experimental method. Most, however, were previously unknown, Dr. Castrillon said.

The researchers also randomly selected a small number of genes from the 348 and looked for them in human ovaries. Those specific genes proved to be active in early development of the human ovary.

Future work will focus on finding out how these genes communicate with each other to control follicle development, and study their contribution to female infertility, Dr. Castrillon said.

Other UT Southwestern researchers involved in the study were Teresa Gallardo, senior research scientist in pathology; Dr. George John, instructor of pathology; Lane Shirley and J. Marshall Haynie, both research assistants; and Cristina Contreras, Esra Akbay, Samuel Ward and Meredith Shidler, all graduate students in pathology.

The work was supported by the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by UT Southwestern Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Hundreds Of Genes Controlling Female Fertility Identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 September 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070923193625.htm>.
UT Southwestern Medical Center. (2007, September 25). Hundreds Of Genes Controlling Female Fertility Identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070923193625.htm
UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Hundreds Of Genes Controlling Female Fertility Identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070923193625.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 20, 2014) — A patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus is in isolation at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — A 111-year-old Japanese was certified as the world's oldest man by Guinness World Records on Wednesday. Sakari Momoi, a native of Fukushima in northern Japan, was given a certificate at a hospital in Tokyo. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins