Grant Abstract: Botanical Chemicals and Ovotoxicity

Grant Number: 5R03ES023972-02
PI Name: Flaws
Project Title: Botanical Chemicals and Ovotoxicity

Abstract: ABSTRACT
Women are exposed to botanical compounds such as genistein through their diet or because they are being used as agents to prevent or treat a variety of conditions, including cancer, kidney disease, neuronal injury, sexual dysfunction, inflammation, depression, and menopausal symptoms. Although studies indicate that botanical compounds may be useful in treating some adverse conditions, the side effects are less well understood. In particular, very little is known about the impact of botanical compounds on tissues in the female reproductive system, particularly the ovary. Studies conducted under the parent grant (R03 ES023972) indicate that genistein exposure significantly inhibits ovarian follicle growth as well as estradiol (E2) production in vitro. These data provide information about the direct effects of genistein on the ovary in vitro, but they cannot be used to determine whether genistein affects the ovary in vivo and whether such effects would lead to fertility problems and premature reproductive senescence. Thus, supplemental funds are requested to use a mouse model to test the hypothesis that genistein inhibits follicle growth and E2 production in vivo, leading to infertility and premature ovarian failure. To test this hypothesis, the proposed work will determine whether genistein inhibits follicle growth and E2 levels in vivo (aim 1) and reduces fertility and causes premature ovarian failure (aim 2). The proposed studies will provide novel and important information on the effects of botanical compounds on the adult ovary and female reproductive system. This information will impact the field of women’s reproductive health by providing important information on the risks/benefits of botanical compounds for female reproductive health.

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