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The fibroblast growth factor 8 family in the female reproductive tract

The fibroblast growth factor 8 family in the female reproductive tract

Several growth factor families have been shown to be involved in the function of the female reproductive tract. One subfamily of the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) superfamily, namely the FGF8 subfamily (including FGF17 and FGF18), has become important as Fgf8 has been described as an oocyte-derived factor essential for glycolysis in mouse cumulus cells and aberrant expression of FGF18 has been described in ovarian and endometrial cancers. In this review, we describe the pattern of expression of these factors in normal ovaries and uteri in rodents, ruminants and humans, as well as the expression of their receptors and intracellular negative feedback regulators. Expression of these molecules in gynaecological cancers is also reviewed. The role of FGF8 and FGF18 in ovarian and uterine function is described, and potential differences between rodents and ruminants have been highlighted especially with respect to FGF18 signalling within the ovarian follicle. Finally, we identify major questions about the reproductive biology of FGFs that remain to be answered, including (1) the physiological concentrations within the ovary and uterus, (2) which cell types within the endometrial stroma and theca layer express FGFs and (3) which receptors are activated by FGF8 subfamily members in reproductive tissues.

Source: The journal of Reproductive Science

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