Tyrosine kinase B receptor and its activated neurotrophins in ovaries from human fetuses and adults

S. Harel, S. Jin, B. Fisch, D. Feldberg, H. Krissi, C. Felz, S. Freimann, S. L. Tan, A. Ao, Ronita Abir*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The signals initiating the growth of primordial follicles are unknown. Growth factors such as neurotrophin 4/5 (NT-4/5) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) may play a role in this process. To investigate the expression of NT-4/5 and BDNF and their receptor tyrosine kinase B (TrkB) in the early developing follicles, we fixed and froze 12 ovarian samples from adolescents/adults and 31 ovaries from human fetuses. The fixed samples were prepared for immunohistochemical staining for NT-4/5, BDNF and the TrkB receptor. Total RNA was extracted from the frozen ovarian samples, and the expression of NT-4/5, BDNF and the TrkB receptor (full length and two truncated isoforms) was investigated by RT-PCR. Products were resolved by 1% agarose gel electrophoresis and image analysis. Immunohistochemical staining revealed the expression of NT-4/5 and BDNF mainly in oocytes and, in a minority of samples, also in the granulosa cells (GCs); TrkB receptor was identified in oocytes and GCs. Transcripts of NT-4/5, BDNF and all forms of TrkB receptor were identified in the samples. To elucidate whether indeed NT-4/5 and BDNF are involved in growth initiation of human primordial follicles, they should be added to the culture medium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-365
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Human Reproduction
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2006


  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Neurotrophins
  • Primordial follicles
  • RT-PCR
  • TrkB receptor


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