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Now showing items 1-11 of 11
  • Huhtaniemi, Ilpo; Hovatta, Outi; La Marca, Antonio; Livera, Gabriel; Monniaux, Danielle; Persani, Luca; Heddar, Abdelkader; Jarzabek, Katarzyna; Laisk-Podar, Triin; Salumets, Andres; Tapanainen, Juha S.; Veitia, Reiner A.; Visser, Jenny A.; Wieacker, Peter; Wolczynski, Slawomir; Misrahi, Micheline (2018)
    Primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) affects similar to 1% of women before 40 years of age. The recent leap in genetic knowledge obtained by next generation sequencing (NGS) together with animal models has further elucidated its molecular pathogenesis, identifying novel genes/pathways. Mutations of > 60 genes emphasize high genetic heterogeneity. Genome-wide association studies have revealed a shared genetic background between POI and reproductive aging. NGS will provide a genetic diagnosis leading to genetic/therapeutic counseling: first, defects in meiosis or DNA repair genes may predispose to tumors; and second, specific gene defects may predict the risk of rapid loss of a persistent ovarian reserve, an important determinant in fertility preservation. Indeed, a recent innovative treatment of POI by in vitro activation of dormant follicles proved to be successful.
  • Stukenborg, Jan-Bernd; Jahnukainen, Kirsi; Hutka, Marsida; Mitchell, Rod T. (2018)
    Testicular function and future fertility may be affected by cancer treatment during childhood. Whilst survival of the germ (stem) cells is critical for ensuring the potential for fertility in these patients, the somatic cell populations also play a crucial role in providing a suitable environment to support germ cell maintenance and subsequent development. Regulation of the spermatogonial germ-stem cell niche involves many signalling pathways with hormonal influence from the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis. In this review, we describe the somatic cell populations that comprise the testicular germ-stem cell niche in humans and how they may be affected by cancer treatment during childhood. We also discuss the experimental models that may be utilized to manipulate the somatic environment and report the results of studies that investigate the potential role of somatic cells in the protection of the germ cells in the testis from cancer treatment.
  • Young, Jacques; Xu, Cheng; Papadakis, Georgios E.; Acierno, James S.; Maione, Luigi; Hietamäki, Johanna; Raivio, Taneli; Pitteloud, Nelly (2019)
    The initiation and maintenance of reproductive capacity in humans is dependent on pulsatile secretion of the hypothalamic hormone GnRH. Congenital hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (CHH) is a rare disorder that results from the failure of the normal episodic GnRH secretion, leading to delayed puberty and infertility. CHH can be associated with an absent sense of smell, also termed Kallmann syndrome, or with other anomalies. CHH is characterized by rich genetic heterogeneity, with mutations in >30 genes identified to date acting either alone or in combination. CHH can be challenging to diagnose, particularly in early adolescence where the clinical picture mirrors that of constitutional delay of growth and puberty. Timely diagnosis and treatment will induce puberty, leading to improved sexual, bone, metabolic, and psychological health. In most cases, patients require lifelong treatment, yet a notable portion of male patients (approximate to 10% to 20%) exhibit a spontaneous recovery of their reproductive function. Finally, fertility can be induced with pulsatile GnRH treatment or gonadotropin regimens in most patients. In summary, this review is a comprehensive synthesis of the current literature available regarding the diagnosis, patient management, and genetic foundations of CHH relative to normal reproductive development.
  • Mazina, Olga; Allikalt, Anni; Tapanainen, Juha S.; Salumets, Andres; Rinken, Ago (2017)
    Determination of biological activity of gonadotropin hormones is essential in reproductive medicine and pharmaceutical manufacturing of the hormonal preparations. The aim of the study was to adopt a G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR)-mediated signal transduction pathway based assay for quantification of biological activity of gonadotropins. We focussed on studying human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), as these hormones are widely used in clinical practice. Receptor-specific changes in cellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP, second messenger in GPCR signalling) were monitored by a Forster resonance energy transfer (FRET) biosensor protein (T)Epac(VV) in living cells upon activation of the relevant gonadotropin receptor. The BacMam gene delivery system was used for biosensor protein expression in target cells. In the developed assay only biologically active hormones initiated GPCR-mediated cellular signalling. High assay sensitivities were achieved for detection of hCG (limit of detection, LOD: 5 pM) and FSH (LOD: 100 pM). Even the smallscale conformational changes caused by thermal inactivation and reducing the biological activity of the hormones were registered. In conclusion, the proposed assay is suitable for quantification of biological activity of gonadotropins and is a good alternative to antibody- and animal-testing-based assays used in pharmaceutical industry and clinical research.
  • Haltia, Ulla-Maija; Pihlajoki, Marjut; Andersson, Noora; Mäkinen, Lotta; Tapper, Johanna; Cervera, Alejandra; Horlings, Hugo M.; Turpeinen, Ursula; Anttonen, Mikko; Bützow, Ralf; Unkila-Kallio, Leila; Carpen, Olli; Wilson, David B.; Heikinheimo, Markku; Färkkilä, Anniina (2020)
    Adult-type granulosa cell tumors (AGCTs) are sex-cord derived neoplasms with a propensity for late relapse. Hormonal modulators have been used empirically in the treatment of recurrent AGCT, albeit with limited success. To provide a more rigorous foundation for hormonal therapy in AGCT, we used a multi-modal approach to characterize the expressions of key hormone biomarkers in 175 tumor specimens and 51 serum samples using RNA sequencing, immunohistochemistry, RNA in situ hybridization, quantitative PCR, and circulating biomarker analysis, and correlated these results with clinical data. We show that FSH receptor and estrogen receptor beta (ER beta) are highly expressed in the majority of AGCTs, whereas the expressions of estrogen receptor alpha (ER alpha) and G-protein coupled estrogen receptor 1 are less prominent. ER beta protein expression is further increased in recurrent tumors. Aromatase expression levels show high variability between tumors. None of the markers examined served as prognostic biomarkers for progression-free or overall survival. In functional experiments, we assessed the effects of FSH, estradiol (E2), and the aromatase inhibitor letrozole on AGCT cell viability using 2 in vitro models: KGN cells and primary cultures of AGCT cells. FSH increased cell viability in a subset of primary AGCT cells, whereas E2 had no effect on cell viability at physiological concentrations. Letrozole suppressed E2 production in AGCTs; however, it did not impact cell viability. We did not find preclinical evidence to support the clinical use of aromatase inhibitors in AGCT treatment, and thus randomized, prospective clinical studies are needed to clarify the role of hormonal treatments in AGCTs. (C) Endocrine Society 2020.
  • Tsakoumis, Emmanouil; Ahi, Ehsan Pashay; Schmitz, Monika (2022)
    Reproduction is an energetically costly event across vertebrates and tightly linked to nutritional status and en-ergy reserves. In mammals, the hormone leptin is considered as a link between energy homeostasis and repro-duction. However, its role in fish reproduction is still unclear. In this study, we investigated the possible role of leptin in the regulation of reproduction in zebrafish, using a loss of function leptin receptor (lepr) strain. Impaired leptin signaling resulted in severe reproductive deficiencies in female zebrafish. lepr mutant females laid significantly fewer eggs, with low fertilization rates compared to wild-type females. Folliculogenesis was not affected, but oocyte maturation and ovulation were disrupted in lepr mutants. Interestingly, the expression of luteinizing hormone beta (lhb) in the pituitary was significantly lower in mutant females. Analysis of candidate genes in the ovaries and isolated fully grown follicles revealed differential expression of genes involved in ste-roidogenesis, oocyte maturation and ovulation in the mutants, which are known to be regulated by LH signaling. Moreover, subfertility in lepr mutants could be partially restored by administration of human chorionic gonad-otropin. In conclusion, our results show that leptin deficiency does not affect early stages of follicular devel-opment, but leptin might be essential in later steps, such as in oocyte maturation and ovulation. To our knowledge, this is the first time that leptin is associated to reproductive deficiencies in zebrafish.
  • Toffol, Elena; Kalleinen, Nea; Haukka, Jari; Vakkuri, Olli; Partonen, Timo; Polo-Kantola, Paivi (2014)
  • Nordenström, A.; Ahmed, S. F.; van den Akker, E.; Blair, J.; Bonomi, M.; Brachet, C.; Broersen, L. H.A.; Claahsen-van der Grinten, H. L.; Dessens, A. B.; Gawlik, A.; Gravholt, C. H.; Juul, A.; Krausz, C.; Raivio, T.; Smyth, A.; Touraine, P.; Vitali, D.; Dekkers, O. M. (2022)
    An Endo-European Reference Network guideline initiative was launched including 16 clinicians experienced in endocrinology, pediatric and adult and 2 patient representatives. The guideline was endorsed by the European Society for Pediatric Endocrinology, the European Society for Endocrinology and the European Academy of Andrology. The aim was to create practice guidelines for clinical assessment and puberty induction in individuals with congenital pituitary or gonadal hormone deficiency. A systematic literature search was conducted, and the evidence was graded according to the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation system. If the evidence was insufficient or lacking, then the conclusions were based on expert opinion. The guideline includes recommendations for puberty induction with oestrogen or testosterone. Publications on the induction of puberty with follicle-stimulation hormone and human chorionic gonadotrophin in hypogonadotropic hypogonadism are reviewed. Specific issues in individuals with Klinefelter syndrome or androgen insensitivity syndrome are considered. The expert panel recommends that pubertal induction or sex hormone replacement to sustain puberty should be cared for by a multidisciplinary team. Children with a known condition should be followed from the age of 8 years for girls and 9 years for boys. Puberty induction should be individualised but considered at 11 years in girls and 12 years in boys. Psychological aspects of puberty and fertility issues are especially important to address in individuals with sex development disorders or congenital pituitary deficiencies. The transition of these young adults highlights the importance of a multidisciplinary approach, to discuss both medical issues and social and psychological issues that arise in the context of these chronic conditions.
  • Demir, And; Hero, Matti; Holopainen, Elina; Juul, Anders (2022)
    ObjectivesMost of the currently available ovulation prediction kits provide a relatively rough estimation of ovulation time with a short fertility window. This is due to their focus on the maximum probability of conception occurring one day before ovulation, with no follow-up after LH surge until ovulation nor during the subsequent days thereafter. Earlier studies have shown that urine of reproductive age women contains at least 3 different molecular forms of luteinizing hormone (LH); 1) intact LH, 2) LH beta-subunit (LH beta) and a 3) small molecular weight fragment of LH beta, LH beta core fragment (LH beta cf). The proportion of these LH forms in urine varies remarkably during the menstrual cycle, particularly in relation to the mid-cycle LH surge. In this exploratory study, we studied the potential implications of determining the periovulatory course of total LH immunoreactivity in urine (U-LH-ir) and intact LH immunoreactivity in serum (S-LH-ir) in the evaluation of the fertility window from a broader aspect with emphasis on the post-surge segment. MethodsWe determined total U-LH-ir in addition to intact S-LH-ir, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), progesterone, and estradiol in 32 consecutive samples collected daily from 10 women at reproductive age. Inference to the non-intact U-LH-ir levels was made by calculating the proportion of total U-LH-ir to intact S-LH-ir. ResultsTotal U-LH-ir increased along with LH surge and remained at statistically significantly higher levels than those in serum for 5 consecutive days after the surge in S-LH-ir. S-LH-ir returned to follicular phase levels immediately on the following day after the LH surge, whereas the same took 7 days for total U-LH-ir. ConclusionsThe current exploratory study provides preliminary evidence of the fact that U-LH-ir derived from degradation products of LH remains detectable at peak levels from the LH surge until ovulation and further during the early postovulatory period of fecundability. Thus, non-intact (or total) U-LH-ir appears to be a promising marker in the evaluation of the post-surge segment of the fertility window. Future studies are needed to unravel if this method can improve the prediction of ovulation time and higher rates of fecundability in both natural and assisted conception.
  • Faisal, Imrul; Cisneros-Montalvo, Sheyla; Hamer, Geert; Tuominen, Minna M.; Laurila, Pirkka-Pekka; Tumiati, Manuela; Jauhiainen, Matti; Kotaja, Noora; Toppari, Jorma; Mäkelä, Juho-Antti; Kauppi, Liisa (2019)
    A prerequisite for lifelong sperm production is that spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) balance self-renewal and differentiation, yet factors required for this balance remain largely undefined. Using mouse genetics, we now demonstrate that the ubiquitously expressed transcription factor upstream stimulatory factor (USF)1 is critical for the maintenance of SSCs. We show that USF1 is not only detected in Sertoli cells as previously reported, but also in SSCs. Usf1-deficient mice display progressive spermatogenic decline as a result of age-dependent loss of SSCs. According to our data, the germ cell defect in Usf1(-/-) mice cannot be attributed to impairment of Sertoli cell development, maturation, or function, but instead is likely due to an inability of SSCs to maintain a quiescent state. SSCs of Usf1(-/-) mice undergo continuous proliferation, which provides an explanation for their age-dependent depletion. The proliferation-coupled exhaustion of SSCs in turn results in progressive degeneration of the seminiferous epithelium, gradual decrease in sperm production, and testicular atrophy. We conclude that the general transcription factor USF1 is indispensable for the proper maintenance of mammalian spermatogenesis.
  • Kohva, Ella; Huopio, Hanna; Hietamäki, Johanna; Hero, Matti; Miettinen, Päivi J.; Raivio, Taneli (2019)
    What is the peripubertal outcome of recombinant human FSH (r-hFSH) treatment during minipuberty in boys with congenital hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (CHH)?Sertoli-cell response to r-hFSH, given during the minipuberty of infancy, appears insufficient to maintain Sertoli cell function throughout childhood, as evaluated by inhibin B measurements.Severe CHH in boys can be diagnosed during the minipuberty of infancy. Combined gonadotropin treatment at that age is suggested to improve testicular endocrine function and future fertility, yet long-term evidence is lacking.In this retrospective cohort study, we describe five CHH boys treated with r-hFSH in Helsinki University Hospital or Kuopio University Hospital between 2004 and 2018. Immediate follow-up data (0.1–1.4 months after cessation of the gonadotropin therapy) was available for four boys and long-term observations (at the age of 10.0–12.8 years) was available for three boys. As a retrospective control cohort, we provide inhibin B values of eight untreated CHH boys at the age of 12.7–17.8 years.Four patients had combined pituitary hormone deficiency, and one had CHARGE syndrome due to a CHD7 mutation. The patients were treated at the age of 0.7–4.2 months with r-hFSH (3.4 IU/kg–7.5 IU/kg per week in 2 or 3 s.c. doses for 3–4.5 months) combined with T (25 mg i.m. monthly for three months for the treatment of micropenis). Inhibin B was chosen as the primary outcome measure.During the r-hFSH + T treatment, inhibin B increased from 76 ± 18 ng/l to 176 ± 80 ng/l (P = 0.04) and penile length increased by 81 ± 50% (P = 0.04). Unexpectedly, two boys with robust inhibin B responses in infancy demonstrated low inhibin B values in peripuberty: declining from 290 ng/l (4 months) to 16 ng/l (12.4 years), and from 207 ng/l (6 months) to 21 ng/l (12.8 years). All boys underwent orchiopexy at 2.0 ± 0.7 years of age. Inhibin B values in long-term follow-up, available for the three boys, did not significantly differ from the untreated CHH controls.Limitations of this retrospective study are the small number and heterogeneity of the patients and their treatment schemes.We describe the first long-term follow-up data on CHH boys treated with r-hFSH and T as infants. The results from this small patient series suggest that the effects of infant r-hFSH treatment may be transient, and further longitudinal studies are required to determine the efficacy of this treatment approach to optimise the fertility potential in this patient population.This work was supported by the Finnish foundation for Pediatric Research, the Academy of Finland and the Emil Aaltonen Foundation. The authors have no competing interests.Non-applicable.