Project 2: Hormone Mediated Regulation of Ovarian and Uterine Function

Although, it is well known that estradiol acts upon the brain and the ovary to insure normal reproductive function, our understanding of the actual mechanisms by which estradiol influences the reproductive axis remains unclear. At the level of the ovary, the actions of estrogen in growth of the follicle, the structure containing the egg and supporting cells, are diverse and complex. A consistent observation in the literature has been that estrogen plays a role in growth and differentiation of the ovarian follicle and thus the egg. Although it is readily apparent that estrogen can act directly on the ovary, the mechanism by which estrogen modulates follicular development is unclear. The studies proposed in Project 2 are particularly timely to elucidate the physiological mechanisms of estrogen action on follicular growth. Another avenue of investigation is the process of rupture of the follicle and release of the egg, known as ovulation. Ovulation is set in motion by feedback of estrogen on the hypothalamus and pituitary to induce the midcycle surge of the gonadotropins, FSH and LH. This surge of gonadotropins induces dramatic changes in the expression pattern of numerous genes in the preovulatory follicle to bring about final follicular maturation, ovulation, and subsequently luteinization to form the corpus luteum (CL). At present, little information exists about the transcriptional regulators that mediate LH induced gene expression signaling in preovulatory follicles. This LH induction of gene signaling will be the focus of the final aim in Project 2.

Project 2 investigators:

 

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