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Different eggs in adolescent girls, adult women

Date:
February 26, 2014
Source:
University of Gothenburg
Summary:
Are the eggs produced by adolescent girls the same as the ones produced by adult women? A recent study shows compelling evidence that there are two completely distinct types of eggs in the mammalian ovary -- 'the first wave' and 'the adult wave.' The first wave of eggs, which starts immediately after birth, contributes to the onset of puberty and provides fertilizable eggs into the transition from adolescence to adulthood. In contrast, the adult wave remains in a state of dormancy until activated during the adult life and then provides eggs throughout the entire reproductive lifespan.

This is the first time that the developmental dynamics of two distinct populations of eggs have been clearly described in an animal model, and there is evidence that these two waves of eggs most likely also exist in the human ovary.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Gothenburg

Are the eggs produced by adolescent girls the same as the ones produced by adult women? A recent study published in Human Molecular Genetics by Professor Kui Liu from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden shows compelling evidence that there are two completely distinct types of eggs in the mammalian ovary -- "the first wave" and "the adult wave."

Professor Liu's team used two genetically modified mouse models to show that the first wave of eggs, which starts immediately after birth, contributes to the onset of puberty and provides fertilizable eggs into the transition from adolescence to adulthood. In contrast, the adult wave remains in a state of dormancy until activated during the adult life and then provides eggs throughout the entire reproductive lifespan.

This is the first time that the developmental dynamics of two distinct populations of eggs have been clearly described in an animal model, and there is evidence that these two waves of eggs most likely also exist in the human ovary. The identification and characterization of the two waves of eggs will lead to new ways of thinking about how to obtain the best eggs when treating women for ovarian diseases that cause infertility. Such techniques will prove especially useful for women suffering from premature ovarian failure (POF), which affects 1%-4% of all women of childbearing age. The results may also lead to more effective treatments for ovarian diseases by specifically targeting the different egg populations.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Gothenburg. The original article was written by Carina Eliasson. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. W. Zheng, H. Zhang, N. Gorre, S. Risal, Y. Shen, K. Liu. Two classes of ovarian primordial follicles exhibit distinct developmental dynamics and physiological functions. Human Molecular Genetics, 2013; 23 (4): 920 DOI: 10.1093/hmg/ddt486

Cite This Page:

University of Gothenburg. "Different eggs in adolescent girls, adult women." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140226101817.htm>.
University of Gothenburg. (2014, February 26). Different eggs in adolescent girls, adult women. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140226101817.htm
University of Gothenburg. "Different eggs in adolescent girls, adult women." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140226101817.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

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