“We hope to use the information from this study and others that identify genes associated with this problem to find biomarkers in blood that can help us determine a woman’s risk of early infertility,” said Dr. Aleksandar Rajkovic, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at BCM and senior author of the paper. Premature ovarian failure, which means that the ovaries lose function before age 40, not only causes infertility but also bone and heart problems, he said.
“It affects 1 percent of women,” he said. “While most people associate it with infertility, women with premature ovarian failure face an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and premature death. Ovarian reserves are important for women’s health.”
In looking for genes that cause the disorder, Rajkovic and his colleagues here and in China concentrated on those that are most likely to function in the ovary. A gene mutation does not totally halt gene activity, but Rajkovic believes it can accelerate the loss of eggs (or germ cells). When all the eggs are lost, the ovaries stop producing estrogen, leading to menopause symptoms.
In this study, Rajkovic and his collaborators screened 100 Chinese women with premature ovarian failure for mutations in FIGLA and found three different kinds of mutations in the FIGLA genes of four.
FIGLA is one of four transcription factors found to control the differentiation of egg cells early in development. Transcription factors govern the activity of genes, turning them off and on and modulating the extent to which they are active.
The other genes involved include NOBOX, GDF9 and BMP 15, said Rajkovic. Mutations in these can lead to premature ovarian failure as well, he said.
“We hope to define majority of the genes that are part of the cellular pathways involved in ovarian failure,” said Rajkovic. “Ideally in the future we will offer a test to women to look at all the genes involved in premature ovarian failure.”
He anticipates that a gene chip would be helpful in such diagnosis, which can help in counseling women or their children about the risk of early ovarian failure.
Microscope measures muscle weakness
16.11.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Good preparation is half the digestion
16.11.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Stoffwechselforschung
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
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16.11.2018 | Life Sciences