Damage control in the female germline: Protecting primordial follicles

Michelle Myers, Karla J. Hutt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


One of the major challenges faced by the oocytes of primordial follicles during their genesis and throughout their prolonged stasis is staying alive while maintaining high cytoplasmic and genomic quality, such that fertility is ensured and offspring are healthy. One way to manage this predicament is to employ a host of machinery to repair damage as it transpires. Furthermore, the primordial follicle must also be endowed with proapoptotic proteins so that if repair cannot occur, the oocyte is eliminated from the ovarian pool. This chapter focuses on the mechanisms by which primordial follicles maintain a balancing act between apoptotic elimination, repair, and tolerance to ensure quality control within the female germline. Additionally, as our understanding of the specific pathways involved in oocyte quality control improves, new opportunities are emerging to manipulate the size of the primordial follicle reserve to extend the natural reproductive lifespan and to preserve fertility during DNA-damaging anticancer treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOogenesis
EditorsGiovanni Coticchio, David F. Albertini, Lucia De Santis
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherSpringer-Verlag London Ltd.
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9780857298263
ISBN (Print)9780857298256
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • Apoptosis
  • DNA damage
  • DNA repair
  • Oocyte
  • Oocyte quality
  • Primordial follicle female germ cell

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