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J Cell Physiol. 2012 Mar;227(3):1188-98. doi: 10.1002/jcp.22837.

Suppressor of cytokine signaling 4 (SOCS4): moderator of ovarian primordial follicle activation.

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Priority Research Centre in Reproductive Science, Discipline of Biological Sciences, School of Environmental & Life Sciences, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia.


Mammalian ovarian primordial follicle activation and regulation is considered as one of the most important stages of folliculogenesis and as such requires exquisite control. Selection of quiescent follicles to enter the growing pool determines the rate of supply of maturing follicles over the female reproductive lifespan. To coordinate this process a range of positive and negative input signals contribute to determine follicle fate. This study demonstrates that the cytokine Leukemia Inhibitory Factor (LIF) activates the Janus Kinase 1/Signal Transducers and Activators of Transcription 3 (JAK1/STAT3) signaling pathway in pre-granulosa cells and positively regulates primordial follicle activation. Negative regulation of the JAK/STAT pathway is controlled by the suppressor of cytokine signaling 4 (SOCS4) protein, which target members of negative feedback loops, Cardiotrophin like Cytokine (CLC), Poly (rC) Binding Protein 1 (PCBP1), and Cytosolic Malate Dehydrogenase (MDH1) to suppress follicle growth and development.

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