Environmental signaling and ovarian diseases susce.. (EcoSignal)
Environmental signaling and ovarian diseases susceptibility
Start date: Sep 1, 2012,
End date: Aug 31, 2016
In adult mammals, ovarian function is characterized by regular cyclic changes, which are critical for the egg development, sex steroid hormones production and fertility. These processes depend on the tight regulation of the activity of different ovarian signaling cascades that if altered during critical periods of development can lead to adverse effects on reproductive function. Initial investigations reveal that ovarian development and functions are sensitive to exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Endpoints of EDCs action in the ovary have been well investigated; however, insufficient research has been done to identify molecular mechanism(s) by which EDCs perturb ovarian function. Alteration in signaling could provide plausible link between EDCs exposure and pathophysiology of reproductive diseases such as premature ovarian failure, polycystic ovarian syndrome and infertility in women. The aim of the EcoSignal is to investigate if exposure to EDCs affects the function of key ovarian signaling pathways and thus alters ovarian function. To achieve this goal, we will expose ovarian cells to a estrogenic EDCs and the signaling responses and ovarian function will be analyzed using various molecular and cell biology techniques. This includes identification of ERK and AKT signaling as estrogenic EDCs targets and their contribution to the ovarian dysfunctions. Identification of EDC-sensitive signaling in the ovarian cells is an important step in understanding the risk of EDCs on human reproductive diseases. This proposal will allow an experienced US-based postdoctoral fellow to join a research team in Serbia studying EDCs and reproductive biology. The project will provide him not only with an opportunity to identify signaling pathways in the ovary affected by EDCs, but will also considerably improve his chances for an academic position in the near future.
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