This discovery, published in the latest issue of the journal Science, may mean, among other things, that some women who have been affected by childlessness can undergo more in vitro fertilization attempts in the future.
For women to be fertile during most of their lives it is important that the great majority of their primary follicles lie ‘dormant’ or inactive in the ovaries. Menopause occurs when all of the primary follicles have reached maturity and no more eggs are available for ovulation.
The mechanisms that control the early activation of these dormant follicles, that is, when they are stimulate to begin to grow and mature, have been unknown until now. Kui Liu’s research team at the Department of Medical Chemistry and Biophysics, Umeå University, can now show that the activation of follicles is governed by the signaling path PTEN-PI3K.
In a mouse model where the gene that codes for the PTEN protein is inactivated specifically in egg cells, all follicles are activated prematurely and the ovary is emptied of all eggs at a young age. In a possibly similar manner the ovaries are emptied of their eggs in women who suffer from the disease premature ovarian failure (POF), which leads to the onset of menopause much earlier than normal.
This discovery is believed to be of broad physiological, clinical, and practical significance. Previously it has not been possible to use inactive primary follicles for in vitro fertilization, since it has not been possible to get them to mature when they are cultured in a laboratory.
Besides the fact that these findings enhance our knowledge of what governs the length of a woman’s period of fertility, the results may also make it possible in the future to activate the maturation and grown of primary follicles in test tubes. This means that the supply of follicles for in vitro fertilization would be greater. This would be the case not only for humans but also for pets, cattle, and threatened animal species.
The discoveries are therefore important not only for the health of women but also for enhancing the fertility of animals in agriculture and for the possibility of saving animal species that are threatened with extinction and having trouble reproducing.
Bertil Born | alfa
Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves
17.08.2018 | Leibniz Universität Hannover
First transcription atlas of all wheat genes expands prospects for research and cultivation
17.08.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung
New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference
Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
17.08.2018 | Event News
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
17.08.2018 | Information Technology
17.08.2018 | Life Sciences