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REVIEW  NEW INSIGHTS IN MOLECULAR HUMAN REPRODUCTION 

Minerva Ginecologica 2018 October;70(5):516-24

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4784.18.04282-X

Copyright © 2018 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

The cAMP/PKA pathway: steroidogenesis of the antral follicular stage

Laura RICCETTI 1 , Samantha SPERDUTI 1, Clara LAZZARETTI 1, Livio CASARINI 1, 2, Manuela SIMONI 1, 2, 3

1 Department of Biomedical, Metabolic and Neural Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy; 2 Center for Genomic Research, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy; 3 Unit of Endocrinology, Department of Medical Specialties, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria, Modena, Italy



Pituitary gonadotropins, follicle-stimulating (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) promote follicular recruitment and support antral follicle growth, maturation and selection, resulting in ovulation of the dominant follicle. FSH and LH biological functions are mediated by G protein-coupled receptors, FSHR and LHCGR, resulting in the activation of a number of signaling cascades, such as the cyclic AMP/protein kinase A (cAMP/PKA) pathway. Some in-vitro data are consistent with the dual, proliferative and pro-apoptotic role of cAMP, leaving unanswered questions on how cAMP/PKA signaling is linked to the follicle fate. Progression of the antral stage is characterized by the presence of dynamic serum gonadotropin and estrogen levels, accompanying proliferation and steroidogenesis of growing as well as apoptosis of atretic follicles. These events are parallel to changes of FSHR and LHCGR density at the cell surface occurring throughout the antral stage, reasonably modulating the cAMP/PKA activation pattern, cell metabolism and functions. Understanding whether gonadotropins and receptor expression levels impact on the steroidogenic pathway and play a role in determining the follicular fate, may put new light on molecular mechanisms regulating human reproduction. The aim of the present review is to update the role of major players modulating the cAMP/PKA pathway and regulating the balance between proliferative, differentiating and pro-apoptotic signals.


KEY WORDS: Cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinases - Follicle stimulating hormone - Luteinizing hormone - Estradiol

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