The multiple “litter” births of mice, versus the normal singleton pregnancy of humans, is due to defective processing in mice of a common mammalian protein called bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP-15), according to new study by University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine researchers.
Published online the week of April 4, 2005 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and appearing in the journal’s April 12, 2005 print edition, the study provides one of the first insights into the physiological mechanisms responsible for multiple births and suggests a potential therapeutic target for infertility and contraception.
“Infertility is a major problem for many couples,” said the study’s senior author, Shunichi Shimasaki, Ph.D., UCSD professor of reproductive medicine. “Based on our findings, it is possible that therapeutic regimens targeting BMP-15 could offer exciting new opportunities for novel treatments for female infertility. On the other side of the coin, BMP-15 could also serve as a new target for non-steroidal contraceptives.”
Sue Pondrom | EurekAlert!
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