IMR Press / FBL / Volume 7 / Issue 4 / DOI: 10.2741/A895

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Article
Molecular basis of ovarian development and function
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1 Departments of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, and Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Ottawa, and Ottawa Regional Cancer Centre, Canada
Academic Editor:Jodi Flaws
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2002, 7(4), 2006–2022; https://doi.org/10.2741/A895
Published: 1 September 2002
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular basis of ovarian development and function)
Abstract

Molecular biology, and in particular the ability to modify genetic composition in vivo through transgenesis, has revolutionized the study of reproductive biology. Knowledge of the mechanisms of oocyte growth and hormone action have benefited from the identification and characterization of several novel genes involved in ovarian development and function. There are hundreds of genetically altered mice, appearing spontaneously or by design, that have impairments in female reproductive performance, and the cellular and molecular characterization of some of these deficiencies has lead to the discovery of similar abnormalities in infertile women. There is also growing appreciation for the ability of germ cells to play a significant role in ovarian function, and the recent identification of oocyte-specific factors with regulatory actions on the surrounding somatic cells will undoubtedly lead to critical advances in our understanding of the complex biochemical interactions that control ovarian folliculogenesis. This review will focus on the molecular mechanisms controlling the two primary functions of the ovary – oocyte development and steroid hormone production, with particular emphasis on the germ cell-somatic cell interactions that form the basis for these activities.

Keywords
Ovary
Primordial Germ Cells
Oocyte
Follicle
Transgenics
Meiosis
Reproduction
Review
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