Semin Reprod Med 2008; 26(6): 469-478
DOI: 10.1055/s-0028-1096127
© Thieme Medical Publishers

Potential Regulatory Functions of MicroRNAs in the Ovary

Tannaz Toloubeydokhti1 , 4 , Orhan Bukulmez2 , 4 , Nasser Chegini3 , 4
  • 1Postdoctroal Fellow
  • 2Assistant Professor
  • 3Professor
  • 4Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
24 October 2008 (online)


The interactions between ovarian germ and somatic cells and expression of several intraovarian autocrine/paracrine regulators are major contributing factors in the ovary. These intraovarian mediators regulate various ovarian cellular activities including cell growth, differentiation, and apoptosis, which are critical in follicular development. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as key components of posttranscriptional gene expression. Recent evidence generated in mice implicates the regulatory function of miRNAs in oocyte maturation and ovarian follicular development. In the human, miRNAs may target specific gene expression in granulosa cells and participate in establishment and progression of ovarian cancer. Here, we review the currently available information on the expression and potential regulatory functions of miRNAs in the ovary under normal and pathologic conditions. Understanding the underlying mechanisms of how ovarian germ cell and somatic cell miRNAs are regulated and identifying their specific target genes and their functions may lead to the development of strategies to achieve target-specific gene regulation for the prevention and treatment of various ovarian disorders.


Nasser Chegini, Ph.D. 

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610

Email: [email protected]