Gonadal Physiology and Disease

Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics

, Volume 28, Issue 7, pp 583-589

First online:

Premature ovarian failure in nobox-deficient mice is caused by defects in somatic cell invasion and germ cell cyst breakdown

  • Agnieszka LechowskaAffiliated withInstitute of Zoology, Jagiellonian University
  • , Szczepan BilinskiAffiliated withInstitute of Zoology, Jagiellonian University
  • , Youngsok ChoiAffiliated withDepartment of Biomedical Sciences, CHA University
  • , Yonghyun ShinAffiliated withMagee Women’s Research Institute, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of Pittsburgh
  • , Malgorzata KlocAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, The Methodist Hospital and The Methodist Hospital Research Institute Email author 
  • , Aleksandar RajkovicAffiliated withMagee Women’s Research Institute, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of Pittsburgh Email author 

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Abstract

Purpose

To understand the mechanism of premature ovarian failure (POF).

Methods

The ultrastructural (electron microscopy) analysis of primordial ovarian follicles in Nobox deficient mice.

Results

We studied, for the first time, the fate of oogonia in embryonic (prenatal) mouse ovaries and showed that the abolishment of the transition from germ cell cysts to primordial follicles in the ovaries of Nobox deficient mice is caused by defects in germ cell cyst breakdown, leading to the formation of syncytial follicles instead of primordial follicles.

Conclusions

These results indicate that POF syndrome in Nobox deficient mice results from the faulty signaling between somatic and germ line components during embryonic development. In addition, the extremely unusual and abnormal presence of adherens junctions between unseparated oocytes within syncytial follicles indicates that faulty communication between somatic and germ cells is involved in, or leads to, abnormalities in the cell adhesion program.

Keywords

Premature ovarian failure Nobox Homeobox Ovary Germ cells