Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics

, Volume 35, Issue 10, pp 1741–1750 | Cite as

GDF-9 and BMP-15 direct the follicle symphony

  • Alexandra Sanfins
  • Patrícia Rodrigues
  • David F. Albertini


Understanding the physiology underlying the complex dialog between the oocyte and its surrounding somatic cells within the ovarian follicle has been crucial in defining optimal procedures for the development of clinical approaches in ART for women suffering from infertility and ovarian dysfunction. Recent studies have implicated oocyte-secreted factors like growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF-9) and bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP-15), members of the transforming growth factor-beta (TGFβ) superfamily, as potent regulators of folliculogenesis and ovulation. These two factors act as biologically active heterodimers or as homodimers in a synergistic cooperation. Through autocrine and paracrine mechanisms, the GDF-9 and BMP-15 system has been shown to regulate growth, differentiation, and function of granulosa and thecal cells during follicular development playing a vital role in oocyte development, ovulation, fertilization, and embryonic competence. The present mini-review provides an overview of recent findings relating GDF-9 and BMP-15 as fundamental factors implicated in the regulation of ovarian function and discusses their potential role as markers of oocyte quality in women.


TGFβ GDF-9 BMP-15 Ovarian function Oocyte quality Folliculogenesis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity Lusófona de Humanidades e TecnologiasLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.H&TRC – Health & Technology Research CenterLisbon School of Health Technology, Instituto Politécnico de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  3. 3.Department of Life Sciences - School of Psychology and Life SciencesUniversity Lusófona de Humanidades e TecnologiasLisbonPortugal
  4. 4.The Center for Human ReproductionNew YorkUSA

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