Molecular Control of Corpus Luteum Function


Follicles and corpora lutea are the major endocrine components of the ovary. These are ephemeral structures that develop and disintegrate periodically. Follicle development begins with the recruitment of several primordial follicles. In primates, only one of these follicles will develop all the way to the preovulatory state and ovulate, whereas the rest become atresic. After the release of the oocyte at ovulation, the selected follicle differentiates into a corpus luteum. Thus, the corpus luteum can be viewed as the last differentiation step of the selected follicle. After a short period, the corpus luteum regresses, allowing a new cycle to begin. The corpus luteum’s most prominent product is progesterone, which is critical for the establishment and maintenance of pregnancy. Therefore, if implantation occurs, complex mechanisms are activated to maintain luteal function during pregnancy. In this chapter, one perspective of the formation, regulation, demise, and rescue of the corpus luteum will be presented.


Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Luteinizing Hormone Granulosa Cell Corpus Luteum Luteal Cell 


26.7Glossary of Terms and Acronyms


17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase




20α-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase


3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase


adenylyl cyclase




apoptotic protease-activating factor


androgen receptor


ADP ribosylation factor 6


basic fibroblast growth factor


CATT/enhancer binding protein


intracellular adhesion molecule-1


cyclic AMP


CREB-binding protein


cyclin dependent kinase


human chorionic gonadotropin


corpus luteum;




cAMP response element


CRE binding protein




extracellular matrix


endocrine gland-derived VEGF


estrogen receptor


early growth response factor-1


extracellular regulated kinase


fas ligand


follicle stimulating hormone


FSH receptor




high density lipoproteins


hormone-sensitive lipase


interferon γ


insulin growth factor-1


inositol triphosphate


janus kinase


lipid droplet


low density lipoproteins


LH receptor




LH-R binding protein inhibitory protein


mitogen activated protein kinase


monocyte chemoattractant protein-1


matrix metalloproteinases


nitric oxide


cytochrome P450 cholesterol side-chain cleavage


poly ADP-ribose polymerase


peripheral-type benzodiazepine receptor




prostaglandin F2α




protein kinase A


protein kinase C


phospholipase C


placental lactogens


progesterone receptor




prolactin; LH, luteinizing hormone


retinoid acid receptor


reactive oxygen species


sterol carrier protein-2


steroidogenic factor-1


suppressor of cytokine signaling-3


steroidogenic acute regulatory protein


signal transduction and activation of transcription


transforming growth factor


tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases


tumor necrosis factor-α


vascular endothelial growth factor

α2 M:



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics Gynecology and Reproductive SciencesYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA

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