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Proteomics. 2009 Jul;9(13):3425-34. doi: 10.1002/pmic.200800822.

Comparative proteome profile of immature rat ovary during primordial follicle assembly and development.

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Laboratory of Reproductive Medicine, Department of Histology and Embryology, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, P. R. China.


The assembly of primordial follicles early in ovarian development and subsequent transition to primary follicles are critical processes in ovarian biology. Inappropriate coordination of these processes contributes to ovarian pathologies such as premature ovarian failure and infertility. To better understand the molecular mechanisms involved in primordial follicle assembly and development, 2-D PAGE and MALDI-TOF/TOF technologies were used to construct a comparative proteome profile of the immature rat ovary at specific time-points (0, 24, 48, and 72 h postpartum). A total of 154 differential protein spots corresponding to 134 different proteins were definitively identified between any two time-points. Further cluster analysis showed four expression patterns, and each pattern correlated with specific cell processes that occur during early ovarian development. Seven proteins were randomly selected to verify expression patterns using Western blotting, and subsequently immunohistochemistry was performed to further investigate their cellular localization. Additionally, detailed functional analyses of these differentially expressed proteins were performed. Elucidation of how these changes in protein expression level coordinate primordial follicles assembly and development is intended to provide a better understanding of these critical biological processes early in ovarian development and will provide potential therapeutic molecular targets to regulate ovarian function and treat ovarian disease.

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