Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gene With Possible Link To Infertility In Mice Identified

Date:
October 3, 2009
Source:
Virginia Commonwealth University
Summary:
Researchers have identified the role of a gene in regulating molecular signals involved with ovarian follicle development, which may one day help shed light on some of the causes of fertility issues in humans.

Virginia Commonwealth University researchers have identified the role of a gene in regulating molecular signals involved with ovarian follicle development, which may one day help shed light on some of the causes of fertility issues in humans.

The steps involved with conception and pregnancy are delicate and complex – particularly the process of folliculogenesis. In females, fertility is dependant on the growth of a follicle, a structure that ultimately transforms to release a mature egg. In an ordinary cycle, one follicle, known as the dominant follicle, matures to release an egg, while the rest of the eggs produced in that cycle will die. Disruption at any stage in the development of the follicle can prevent this maturation and impair fertility, as well as alter the production of hormones in the ovaries.

In the study, published online in the Oct. 1 issue of the journal Biology of Reproduction, researchers used a mouse model to examine the role of a gene known as Smad-3 in the early stages of follicular growth to better understand the molecular mechanisms that could influence fertility. Specifically, they looked at the signaling pathways involved in the follicles’ response to follicle stimulating hormone, or FSH. FSH is one of the most important hormones involved in fertility and is responsible for helping a woman’s body develop a mature egg.

The team, led by principal investigator Elizabeth McGee, M.D., associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology in the VCU School of Medicine, reported that female mice missing the Smad-3 gene did not experience normal ovulation and were infertile because there is a reduced ability of the follicle to respond to FSH stimulation. Further, the team concluded that Smad-3 regulates follicle growth and an important family of proteins that are essential for follicle development.

“Learning precisely how the FSH receptor is regulated is an important step in understanding the subtle defects in signal transduction that can interfere with follicle development and female fertility and could lead to new types of fertility treatments,” said McGee, who is director of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at the VCU Medical Center.

This work was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Virginia Commonwealth University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Virginia Commonwealth University. "Gene With Possible Link To Infertility In Mice Identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091002132352.htm>.
Virginia Commonwealth University. (2009, October 3). Gene With Possible Link To Infertility In Mice Identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091002132352.htm
Virginia Commonwealth University. "Gene With Possible Link To Infertility In Mice Identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091002132352.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is given hands-on demonstrations Tuesday of some of the newest research from DARPA _ the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
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