About this Research Topic
In spite of many studies we are still far from understanding the key molecular mechanisms responsible for the proper regulation of the fascinating series of events occurring during the folliculo-luteal transition and formation, rescue or regression of the corpus luteum. Nor do we have sufficient insights into effects of environmental and metabolic factors that can interfere with these events, thus possibly leading to sub- or infertility or problems of modern assisted reproduction. In addition, corpus luteum formation and regression also represent excellent experimental models to study molecular processes of cellular development, differentiation, cell survival and cell death in general.
In particular the folliculo-luteal transition is a highly dynamic process including a phase of epithelial-mesenchymal-transition (EMT), which gives rise to subsequent developmental steps from the early to mature corpus luteum followed by luteolysis or persistence, which in most species is essential to maintain pregnancy. The mature corpora luteum is a highly active endocrine gland and part of the complex network regulating the female reproductive cycle.
Throughout all these stages finely tuned sequences of molecular, physiological and morphological changes, progressive angiogenesis and intricate intercellular communications between the different cellular components of the corpus luteum are essential. Also the infiltration of immune cells plays an important, but still insufficiently studied role, and is essential in both the development and later rescue or regression of the corpus luteum.
The objective of this Research Topic is to share, disseminate and discuss scientific knowledge and novel ideas on key regulatory events occurring during the folliculo-luteal transition, formation, survival and regression of the corpus luteum in different vertebrate species. This will lead to new insights into the complex molecular events that are involved in these processes and ultimately to a greater understanding of the normal physiology, but also insufficiencies occurring during the luteal phase.
Covering the above aspects, informative experimental approaches including novel tissue culture and animal models are highly welcome to shed light upon normal, but also impaired mechanisms of regulation underlying sub- and infertility. Reviews, original research articles, commentaries and hypotheses promoting our understanding are invited under this topic.
Keywords: follicle, corpus luteum, angiogenesis, steroidogenesis, regression
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