New genetic findings could aid fertility treatment – International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics

Genetic studies have found a molecular mechanism that is important when it comes to maintaining eggs in a dormant state and so ensure fertility is effective, reports Phys.Org.

Researchers have found that mammalian egg cells, also called oocytes, are generated by female embryos. During development, they stop their cycle to become dormant.

If the cells are not used for ovulation, their cycle remains arrested until menopause, meaning that the dormant cells are vital for fertility. However, it isn't clear what molecular mechanisms keep the oocytes dormant.

Previous studies suggested that a protein called cyclin B activates an enzyme called Cdk1, which would mean that low levels of the protein are needed to suppress the enzyme and keep the cell cycle dormant.

Using genetic manipulation, the researchers found that oocytes deplete faster if the Cdk1 is not suppressed, impacting future fertility.

Scientists could now use this information to develop targeted drugs to help maintain fertility by stopping the enzyme from starting up the oocytes cycle.

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New genetic findings could aid fertility treatment - International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics

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