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It has been generally accepted for more than half a century that, in most mammalian species, oocytes cannot renew themselves in postnatal or adult life, and that the number of oocytes is already fixed in fetal or neonatal ovaries. This assumption, however, has been challenged over the past decade. In this study, we have taken an endogenous genetic approach(More)
In the mammalian ovary, progressive activation of primordial follicles from the dormant pool serves as the source of fertilizable ova. Menopause, or the end of female reproductive life, occurs when the primordial follicle pool is exhausted. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying follicle activation are poorly understood. We provide genetic evidence(More)
The molecular mechanisms that control reproductive aging and menopausal age in females are poorly understood. Here, we provide genetic evidence that 3-phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase-1 (PDK1) signaling in oocytes preserves reproductive lifespan by maintaining the survival of ovarian primordial follicles. In mice lacking the PDK1-encoding gene Pdk1(More)
Phthalates are widely used as plasticizers in a number of daily-life products. In this study, we investigated the influence of mono-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (MEHP), the active metabolite of the frequently used plasticizer di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), on gonadal steroidogenesis in vitro. MEHP (25-100 microM) stimulated basal steroid synthesis in a(More)
In humans and other mammalian species, the pool of resting primordial follicles serves as the source of developing follicles and fertilizable ova for the entire length of female reproductive life. One question that has intrigued biologists is: what are the mechanisms controlling the activation of dormant primordial follicles. Studies from previous decades(More)
In recent years, mammalian oocytes have been proposed to have important roles in the orchestration of ovarian follicular development and fertility. To determine whether intra-oocyte Foxo3a, a component of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling pathway, influences follicular development and female fertility, a transgenic mouse model was generated(More)
To maintain the female reproductive lifespan, the majority of ovarian primordial follicles are preserved in a quiescent state in order to provide ova for later reproductive life. However, the molecular mechanism that maintains the long quiescence of primordial follicles is poorly understood. Here we provide genetic evidence to show that the tumor suppressor(More)
BACKGROUND Primordial ovarian follicles, which are often present in the ovaries of premature ovarian failure (POF) patients or are cryopreserved from the ovaries of young cancer patients who are undergoing gonadotoxic anticancer therapies, cannot be used to generate mature oocytes for in vitro fertilization (IVF). There has been very little success in(More)