Robo1/2 regulate follicle atresia through manipulating granulosa cell apoptosis in mice
Scientific Reports 5, Article number: 9720
Li J1, Ye Y1, Zhang R2, Zhang L3, Hu X1, Han D2, Chen J1, He X1, Wang G4, Yang X4, Wang L1.
Author(s) affiliation:
1Institute of Vascular Biological Sciences, Guangdong Pharmaceutical University, Guangzhou 510006, China.
2Reproductive Medicine Center, Guangdong General Hospital, Guangzhou 515006, China.
3 [1] Reproductive Medicine Center, Guangdong General Hospital, Guangzhou 515006, China [2] Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510515, China.
4Key Laboratory for Regenerative Medicine of the Ministry of Education, Division of Histology & Embryology, Medical College, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, China.


Short description:
The ovariesare a pair of ductless female reproductive organsin which female germ cells are generated. The ovarian follicle is the fundamental functional unit of the ovary andis composed of oocytes, granulosacells, and thecacells. Each primordial folliclehas the potential to undergo folliculogenesis and to develop into a primaryfollicle, a secondary follicle, and finally intoa mature folliclethat can ovulate, or degenerate in a manner similar to most other follicles that are not selected for maturation. At birth, the mammalian ovary contains numerous of primordial follicles, and these begin to undergo folliculogenesis during puberty and will eventually be ovulated or will degrade in a process known as atresia. The decision as to whether a follicle will develop or ovulate or undergo atresia is regulated by a variety of factors.
Link to the journal


Abstract taken from PubMed

Secreted Slit proteins and their Roundabout (Robo) receptors act as a repulsive cue to preventaxons from migrating to inappropriate locations during the development of the nervous system. Slit/Robo has also been implicated in reproductive system development, but the molecular mechanism of the Slit/Robo pathway in the reproductive system remains poorly understood. Using a transgenic mouse model, we investigated the function of the Slit/Robo pathway on ovarian follicle development and atresia. We first demonstrated that more offspring were born to mice with a partial knockout of the Robo1/2 genes in mice. We next showed that Robo1 and Robo2 are strongly expressed in ovarian granulosacells. Apoptosis in granulosa cells was reduced when Robo1/2 were partially knocked out, and this observation was further verified by in vitro Robo1/2 knockout experiments in mouse and human granulosa cells. We also found that ovarian angiogenesis wasenhanced by a partial lack of Robo1/2 genes. In summary, our data suggest that the Slit/Robo pathway can impact follicle development and atresia by influencinggranulosa cell apoptosis.
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