Ovarian Development and Differentiation
Submission Deadline: December 31, 2018 (Open) Submit Now
Sergei G. Tevosian, PhD
Department of Physiological Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32612, USA
E-Mail: [email protected]
Research Interests: reproductive genetics; developmental genetics; adrenal development; developmental biology
About This Topic
The beginning of this century saw an unprecedented leap in our understanding of the mechanisms guiding mammalian female sexual determination as well as development, differentiation and function of the mammalian ovary. When an amazing flurry of research papers during that time were reviewed just six years ago, it appeared that a progress in this field would be worth revisiting on a yearly basis. Unfortunately, these predictions were based merely on the extraordinary advancement of research and the scientific merit of the discoveries. Fundamental science requires substantial financial support that notably decreased during the present decade, at least in the United States. However, despite these difficult times, even at a slower pace, many important developments enhanced our knowledge of ovarian differentiation and provided new important concepts and insight that, we feel, is now worth revisiting and appraising.
This issue of OBM Genetics attempts to integrate the recent work on the differentiation of the mammalian ovary. The major function of the ovary is the organization and coordination of the female germ cell differentiation. During fetal development, female germ cells switch from proliferation to meiosis before forming follicles. In the adult, the ovary stores and releases mature oocytes into the oviduct. We intend to cover a wide variety of topics including granulosa cell proliferation and survival, meiotic progression, follicle formation, assembly and growth, ovarian vascularization, steroid hormone production, and corpora luteal function. We will also review recent progress in understanding the contribution of epigenetic mechanisms to ovarian cell differentiation. Epigenetic mechanisms are important since gametes and developing embryos are sensitive to environmental factors during the critical period of gamete reprogramming. Adverse epigenetic modifications could have harmful impact on pregnancy outcomes and health of the offspring, and can be inherited over several generations. Genetic and epigenetic disorders in the somatic or germ cell development can result in abnormal folliculogenesis, reduced fertility and primary ovarian insufficiency.