In mammals, the follicular development and following ovulation are regulated by reproductive hormones, while polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine disorder syndrome with reproductive dysfunction and abnormal glucose metabolism in most PCOS women. Its characteristics are hyperandrogenism, ovarian dysfunction, and the exclusion of other androgen excess or related diseases. Its clinical characteristics are large antral follicle pool from which to recruit and persistent anovulation. The incidence of PCOS in women of childbearing age ranged from 4 to 12%. About one-third of infertility cases had no ovulation, and 90% of them had PCOS. Therefore, further studying the regulatory mechanism of follicular hyperrecruitment and anovulation can provide theoretical basis for exploring the pathogenesis of PCOS and guiding clinical treatment, especially for protecting female fertility and preventing the occurrence of metabolic disorder syndrome. The present article will review the progress in endocrine characteristics and regulatory mechanism of follicular development and ovulation failure in the mammalian ovary.
Part of the book: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are a heterogeneous group of endogenous nanoscale vesicles that are secreted by various cell types. Based on their biogenesis and size distribution, EVs can be broadly classified as exosomes and microvesicles. Exosomes are enveloped by lipid bilayers with a size of 30–150 nm in diameter, which contain diverse biomolecules, including lipids, proteins and nucleic acids. Exosomes transport their bioactive cargoes from original cells to recipient cells, thus play crucial roles in mediating intercellular communication. Breast cancer is the most common malignancy among women and remains a major health problem worldwide, diagnostic strategies and therapies aimed at breast cancer are still limited. Growing evidence shows that exosomes are involved in the pathogenesis of breast cancer, including tumorigenesis, invasion and metastasis. Here, we provide a straightforward overview of exosomes and highlight the role of exosomes in the pathogenesis of breast cancer, moreover, we discuss the potential application of exosomes as biomarkers and therapeutic tools in breast cancer diagnostics and therapeutics.
Part of the book: Global Women's Health