Expression of growth-differentiating factor 9 and its type 1 receptor in human ovaries

Galia Oron, Benjamin Fisch, Asangla Ao, Xiao Yun Zhang, Jacob Farhi, Avi Ben Haroush, Gania Kesseler-Icekson, Ronit Abir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The expression of growth-differentiating factor 9 (GDF9) has not been studied in ovaries from girls and human fetuses nor has its receptor transforming growth factor-β1 receptor (TGFβR1) been investigated in ovaries of girls/women. The aim of this study was to fill these gaps. Ovarian samples were obtained from 16 human fetuses at 21-35 gestational weeks and from 34 girls/women aged 5-39 years. These specimens were prepared for immunohistochemical staining of the GDF9 and TGFβR1 proteins. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction was used to detect GDF9 mRNA transcripts and in-situ hybridization to localize TGFβR1 mRNA transcripts. Positive staining for the GDF9 protein was identified in oocytes and granulosa cells in all samples tested. GDF9 mRNA transcripts were present in all samples. Protein expression of TGFβR1 was identified in granulosa cells in all samples. Oocyte staining was identified in samples from girls/women but in only one fetal sample. TGFβR1 mRNA transcripts were identified in granulosa cells and oocytes in 50% of the samples from fetuses aged over 22 gestational weeks and in samples from girls/women. The detection of GDF9 and TGFβR1 at both at the protein and mRNA levels suggests that GDF9 may have functions in human preantral follicles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-117
Number of pages9
JournalReproductive BioMedicine Online
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • GDF9
  • TGFβR1
  • human ovaries
  • immunohistochemistry
  • in-situ hybridization
  • reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction


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