Ovulation Signals

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Science  15 May 2009:
Vol. 324, Issue 5929, pp. 890-891
DOI: 10.1126/science.1174130

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Successful mammalian reproduction requires that the female gamete (oocyte or egg) acquires, within the growing ovarian follicle, the ability to be fertilized. Failure to initiate or complete follicle development, or defects in the oocyte (such as aneuploidy) result in infertility. On page 938 in this issue, Fan et al. (1) describe cellular signaling pathways in the mouse ovary that support follicle maturation and, ultimately, the discharge of a mature egg. The findings could help elucidate the underlying molecular nature of ovarian pathology and infertility-producing conditions in humans.