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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2001 Nov;2(11):838-48.

Commuting the death sentence: how oocytes strive to survive.

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Vincent Center for Reproductive Biology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.


Programmed cell death claims up to 99.9% of the cells in the mammalian female germ line, which eventually drives irreversible infertility and ovarian failure - the menopause in humans. New insights into the mechanisms that underlie germ-cell apoptosis have been provided by the study of oocyte death in lower organisms and in genetically manipulated mice that lack apoptosis-regulatory proteins. With new therapeutic tools to control fertility, oocyte quality and ovarian lifespan on the horizon, understanding how and why the female body creates, only to delete, so many germ cells is imperative.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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