Send to

Choose Destination
Cell Death Dis. 2017 May 25;8(5):e2817. doi: 10.1038/cddis.2017.168.

Restricting the induction of NGF in ovarian stroma engenders selective follicular activation through the mTOR signaling pathway.

Author information

State Key Laboratory of Reproductive Medicine, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China.
Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine, Yangtze Delta Region Institutes of Tsinghua University, Jiaxing, China.
Department of Gynecology, Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital Affiliated to Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China.


In mammalian ovaries, primordial follicles remain in a quiescent state until activation by the surrounding microenvironment. Ovarian intervention, for example, ovarian cystectomy, ovarian wedge resection or laser drilling therapies for polycystic ovarian syndrome, has long been reported to change follicular development by an unknown mechanism(s). Herein, we established a murine model with partial ovarian resection of one ovary unilaterally, with the contralateral ovary undamaged. We found the injury accelerated follicular activation and development through the mTORC1 signaling pathway. Moreover, the stimulation of primordial follicles was restricted near the incision site where the mTORC1 pathway showed sequential activation beginning at the interstitial cells and proceeding to the primordial follicles. Total and polysome-associated RNA-seq revealed the increase of the nerve growth factor (NGF) family member, in both two fractions and immunostaining showed the restricted induction of NGF near the incision site. In cultured newborn ovaries, NGF demonstrated increase of follicular activation, and moreover, the NGF inhibitor K252a effectively blocked activation of primordial follicles stimulated by the surgery. We liken ovulation in mammals to minor tissue trauma, which happens naturally and cyclically in the body. As the increase in NGF accompanied the accumulation of activated primordial follicles after ovulation, our study may represent a common mechanism for selective follicular activation induced by a localized increase in NGF in interstitial cells and mediated via the mTOR signaling pathway. In addition, the NGF inhibitor K252a and the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin constitute good candidates for protecting follicular reserve against over exhaustion after ovarian surgery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center