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.

Related Articles


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 November 28, 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 November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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