Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers build functional ovarian tissue in lab

27.03.2013
A proof-of-concept study suggests the possibility of engineering artificial ovaries in the lab to provide a more natural option for hormone replacement therapy for women.

In Biomaterials, a team from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center's Institute for Regenerative Medicine report that in the laboratory setting, engineered ovaries showed sustained release of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone.

Although there are medications that can compensate for the loss of female sex hormone production, the drugs are often not recommended for long-term use due to the increased risk of heart disease and breast cancer.

"Our goal is to develop a tissue- or cell-based hormone therapy – essentially an artificial ovary– to deliver sex hormones in a more natural manner than drugs," said Emmanuel C. Opara, Ph.D., professor of regenerative medicine and senior author. "A bioartificial ovary has the potential to secrete hormones in a natural way based on the body's needs, rather than the patient taking a specific dose of drugs each day."

Ovaries are the female reproductive organs that produce eggs that are fertilized for pregnancy as well as secrete hormones important to bone and cardiovascular health. The loss of ovarian function can be due to surgical removal, chemotherapy and radiation treatments for certain types of cancer, and menopause. The effects of hormone loss can range from hot flashes and vaginal dryness to infertility and increased risk of osteoporosis and heart disease.

"This research project is interesting because it offers hope to replace natural ovarian hormones in women with premature ovarian failure or in women going through menopause," Tamer Yalcinkaya, M.D., associate professor and section head of reproductive medicine at Wake Forest Baptist. "The graft format would bring certain advantages: it would eliminate pharmacokinetic variations of hormones when administered as drugs and would also allow body's feedback mechanisms to control the release of ovarian hormones."

The project to engineer a bioartificial ovary involves encapsulating ovarian cells inside a thin membrane that allows oxygen and nutrients to enter the capsule, but would prevent the patient from rejecting the cells. With this scenario, functional ovarian tissue from donors could be used to engineer bioartificial ovaries for women with non-functioning ovaries.

The Wake Forest Baptist team isolated the two types of endocrine cells found in ovaries (theca and granulosa) from 21-day-old rats. The cells were encapsulated inside materials that are compatible with the body. The scientists evaluated three different ways of arranging the cells inside the capsules.

The function of the capsules was then evaluated in the lab by exposing them to follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone, two hormones that stimulate ovaries to produce sex hormones. The arrangement of cells that most closely mimicked the natural ovary (layers of cells in a 3-D shape) secreted levels of estrogen that were 10 times higher than other cell arrangements.

The capsules also secreted progesterone as well as inhibin and activin, two hormones that interact with the pituitary and hypothalamus and are important to the body's natural system to regulate the production of female sex hormones.

"Cells in the multilayer capsules were observed to function in similar fashion to the native ovaries," said Opara. "The secretion of inhibin and activin secretion suggests that these structures could potentially function as an artificial ovary by synchronizing with the body's innate control system."

Opara said the next step in the research, already underway, is to evaluate the function of the ovarian structures in animals.

Opara's co-researchers were Sivanandane Sittadjody, Ph.D, Sunyoung Joo, M.D., Ph.D., James J. Yoo, M.D., Ph.D., and Anthony Atala, M.D., all from Wake Forest Baptist, and Justin M. Saul, Ph.D., a former Wake Forest Baptist researcher now at Miami University.

The study was supported, in part, by the National Institutes of Health (award #R01DK080897).

Media contacts: Karen Richardson, krchrdsn@wakehealth.edu, 336-716-4453; Media Relations Office, 336-716-4587.

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is a fully integrated academic medical center located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The institution comprises the medical education and research components of Wake Forest School of Medicine, the integrated clinical structure and consumer brand Wake Forest Baptist Health, which includes North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Brenner Children's Hospital, the creation and commercialization of research discoveries into products that benefit patients and improve health and wellness, through Wake Forest Innovations, Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, a leading center of technological discovery, development and commercialization, as well as a network of affiliated community-based hospitals, physician practices, outpatient services and other medical facilities. Wake Forest School of Medicine is ranked among the nation's best medical schools and is a leading national research center in fields such as regenerative medicine, cancer, neuroscience, aging, addiction and public health sciences. Wake Forest Baptist's clinical programs have consistently ranked as among the best in the country by U.S .News & World Report for the past 20 years.

Karen Richardson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wakehealth.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The birth of a new protein
20.10.2017 | University of Arizona

nachricht Building New Moss Factories
20.10.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

Metallic nanoparticles will help to determine the percentage of volatile compounds

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Shallow soils promote savannas in South America

20.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>