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BACKGROUND Young female adult and adolescent cancer patients facing life-preserving but fertility-threatening chemo- or radiation-therapy are increasingly seeking options to protect their reproductive potential. Ovarian tissue cryopreservation with transplantation is a promising technique to safeguard fertility in cancer patients. However, this method may(More)
In vitro ovarian follicle cultures may provide fertility-preserving options to women facing premature infertility due to cancer therapies. An encapsulated three-dimensional (3-D) culture system utilizing biomaterials to maintain cell-cell communication and support follicle development to produce a mature oocyte has been developed for the mouse. We tested(More)
Oocytes grown in vitro are of low quality and yield few live births, thus limiting the ability to store or bank the ova of women wishing to preserve their fertility. We applied tissue engineering principles to the culture of immature mouse follicles by designing an alginate hydrogel matrix to maintain the oocyte's 3- dimensional (3D) architecture and(More)
OBJECTIVE To evaluate the possible role of endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) on female reproductive disorders emphasizing developmental plasticity and the complexity of endocrine-dependent ontogeny of reproductive organs. Declining conception rates and the high incidence of female reproductive disruptions warrant evaluation of the impact of EDCs on(More)
The role of FSH in gonadal tumorigenesis and, in particular, in human ovarian cancer has been debated. It is also unclear what role the elevated FSH levels in the inhibin-deficient mouse play in the gonadal tumorigenesis. To directly assess the role of FSH in gonadal growth, differentiation, and gonadal tumorigenesis, we have generated both gain-of-function(More)
BACKGROUND Female cancer patients are offered 'banking' of gametes before starting fertility-threatening cancer therapy. Transplants of fresh and frozen ovarian tissue between healthy fertile and infertile women have demonstrated the utility of the tissue banked for restoration of endocrine and fertility function. Additional methods, like follicle culture(More)
The mechanical properties and density of natural and synthetic extracellular matrices are known to affect cellular processes and regulate tissue formation. In this report, these factors were independently investigated for their role in ovarian follicle development. The matrix composition was controlled through decreasing the solids concentration or the(More)
The transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) superfamily of growth factors is responsible for a variety of physiologic actions, including cell cycle regulation. Activin is a member of the TGF-beta superfamily that inhibits the proliferation of breast cancer cells. Activin functions by interacting with its type I and type II receptors to induce(More)
The extracellular matrix (ECM) plays a prominent role in ovarian function by participating in processes such as cell migration, proliferation, growth, and development. Although some of these signaling processes have been characterized in the mouse, the relative quantity and distribution of ECM proteins within developing follicles of the ovary have not been(More)
Many of the signal transduction pathways required for mammalian endocrine cell function are conserved from flies and worms. These model organisms permitted the illumination of the biological properties of ligands and provided systems in which cellular coactivating molecules could be identified rapidly. Our knowledge about the activin signaling components(More)