Newly discovered female hormone could lead to improved treatments

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We have a new hormone! A newly discovered hormone produced by the eggs of human females may improve the effectiveness of current fertility treatments for women. The new hormone may also make possible new types of treatments not currently available. The new research has been published in The FASEB Journal. Researchers from Stanford and Akira University in Japan have identified the new hormone and named it “R-spondin2”. The hormone promotes follicle development and stimulated ovary growth.

Stimulates ovarian follicle growth

“The finding of a new ovarian hormone produced by the oocytes capable of stimulating ovarian follicle growth could lead to new infertility treatments,” explained Aaron J.W. Hsueh, PhD, a researcher from the Division of Reproductive and Stem Cell Biology in the Department of Obstetrics and Genecology at Stanford University Medical School.

Hormone produced offspring for mice

Hsueh and colleagues analyzed all the proteins likely made by human eggs and discovered a previously unknown hormone, now called R-spondin2. They were able to replicate the new hormone in test tubes and inject it into mice. The hormone then stimulated growth of mouse ovarian cells creating mature eggs. The eggs were then fertilized and successful pregnancies followed leading to the delivery of healthy pups. In another experiment, human ovarian tissue was grafted into mice. This tissue grew as well after the introduction of R-spondin2 leading researchers to believe the hormone will work on humans as well.

Another tool for working through infertility

“Infertility can be very frustrating for couples who have been trying to conceive for a very long time. The discovery of this new hormone is a potential game-changer in human fertility treatment,” noted Gerald Weissmann, MD, Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal, “but further research is needed to determine its efficacy and safety in humans.”

Source: MedicalNewsToday


 
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