The effect of reactive oxygen species production on regulation of ovarian follicular activation

Name of applicant

Mahboobeh Amoushahi


Aarhus University


DKK 1,170,342



Type of grant

Reintegration Fellowships


Our team investigates how the maturation of eggs in woman is regulated. The maturation of ovarian eggs starts with the activation of dormant (resting) eggs. This project focus on specific factors in the activation process of dormant eggs. How does a subset of all resting eggs know when it is time to wake up? Towards elucidating the mechanisms of cell activation, we use cell culture of tissue harvested from mouse models. Downstream we analyze the cellular effects using a combination of molecular and biochemical approaches. The ultimate goal is to reveal the intracellular players and confirm the findings in a genetic mouse model.


The process of cell activation applies to many cellular systems. This is also evident in embryo development, where correct activation of cells at the right place is essential for a successful outcome. We use ovarian eggs as our model system, as it encompasses many vital cell functions, such as cell activation, growth and differentiation. Therefore, the results of our project can be projected into other cellular settings, to help understand a most fundamental issue, such as cell activation. We highly believe that this research will provide valuable insights into cellular responses during cell activation. The research proposal would be a very important step towards our knowledge about cell proliferation and quality.


With a starting point in global expression assay, we have narrowed down factors that appear essential for egg activation. Using a combination of different cellular systems, including ovarian tissue from mouse models, we will manipulate specific genes and see how this influence the regulation of the egg. We will assess the biochemical aspects using different molecular tools, such as immunofluorescence staining and Western blotting. To probe for cell quality, we will use in vitro fertilization to evaluate the quality of the cells and evaluate the potential to generate litters.

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