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Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Oct;21(10):628-36. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2010.06.002. Epub 2010 Jul 3.

Circadian clocks in the ovary.

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  • 1Department of Biology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904, USA.


Clock gene expression has been observed in tissues of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis. Whereas the contribution of hypothalamic oscillators to the timing of reproductive biology is well known, the role of peripheral oscillators like those in the ovary is less clear. Circadian clocks in the ovary might play a role in the timing of ovulation. Disruption of the clock in ovarian cells or desynchrony between ovarian clocks and circadian oscillators elsewhere in the body may contribute to the onset and progression of various reproductive pathologies. In this paper, we review evidence for clock function in the ovary across a number of species and offer a novel perspective into the role of this clock in normal ovarian physiology and in diseases that negatively affect fertility.

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