Growth differentiation factor-9 is required during early ovarian folliculogenesis

J. Dong, D. F. Albertini, K. Nishimori, T. R. Kumar, N. Lu, M. M. Matzuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1305 Citations (Scopus)


GROWTH factors synthesized by ovarian somatic cells directly affect oocyte growth and function, but it is unclear whether oocyte-secreted factors play a reciprocal role in modulating somatic cell functions in vivo. During the functional analysis of members of the transforming growth factor-β superfamily in mouse development, we have uncovered a new family member, growth differentiation factor-9 (GDF-9), which is required for ovarian folliculogenesis. GDF-9 messenger RNA is synthesized only in the oocyte from the primary one-layer follicle stage until after ovulation. Here we analyse ovaries from GDF-9-deficient female mice and demonstrate that primordial and primary one-layer follicles can be formed, but there is a block in follicular development beyond the primary one-layer follicle stage which leads to complete infertility. Oocyte growth and zona pellucida formation proceed normally, but other aspects of oocyte differentiation are compromised. Thus, GDF-9 is the first oocyte-derived growth factor required for somatic cell function in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-535
Number of pages5
Issue number6600
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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