PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.
The ovarian follicle is an individual functional unit that provides the optimal environment for the oocyte within to develop. This thesis outlines the research in the field of ovarian follicular dynamics that has already been established, and further develops these findings to explore in greater detail the relationship between the oocyte and its environment, both in an in vitro and in vivo setting, using a variety of species. The first major research area involved studying the role of oocyte-secreted factors, which was examined using a series of dose response experiments. These were performed using an ovine granulosa cell culture model, and elucidated a possible role for a collaborative action of BMP15 and GDF9 in the promotion of oestradiol synthesis, while inhibiting production of progesterone in this species. This finding was then further investigated using an ovine in vivo immune-neutralisation study, the endocrine and histological results of which confirmed these findings in a proportion of these animals, although this study was limited by the animals appearing to have been in seasonal anoestrus.
The second major topic that was investigated was based around the ovarian microenvironment, in terms of angiogenesis and hypoxia. Again, ovine granulosa cell cultures were used, in this instance to examine the effect of hypoxic conditions on steroid hormone production. These experiments indicated that somatic cell steroid hormone production is likely to be compromised by a hypoxic environment, and therefore that the provision of oxygen through a local blood supply may be a vital requirement for these cells.
To investigate the relevance of studying ovarian blood supply and physiology in a clinical setting, perfusion studies were carried out based on a series of bovine phantom experiments, which were used to study the effect of varying flow rate on the parameters routinely measured using this technology. The routine clinical ultrasonographic methods of ovarian assessment such as 4D ViewTM, SonoAVCTM and VOCAL were also examined, based on bovine phantom experiments, revealing possible weaknesses in the data provided by ultrasound that are increasingly relied upon in the clinical setting.
Finally, a clinical trial was carried out to try and encompass all of the findings of the in vitro and in vivo work, in order to place these theories into context in a human IVF setting. This work was unfortunately limited severely by a lack of patient numbers, but some interesting results were observed with regard to oocyte developmental potential relationships with follicular fluid and somatic cell factors, as well as ultrasound measures of peri-follicular blood supply.
Thesis (University of Nottingham only)
||W Medicine and related subjects (NLM Classification) > WQ Obstetrics
||UK Campuses > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Clinical Sciences
||05 Oct 2012 08:41
||19 Sep 2016 01:54
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