Exogenous insulin-like growth factor 1 accelerates growth and maturation of follicles in human cortical xenografts and increases ovarian output in mice

Limor Man, Nicole Lustgarten Guahmich, Eleni Kallinos, Laura Park, Barbara Caiazza, Monica Khan, Zong Ying Liu, Ritaben Patel, Carmen Torres, Jovana Lekovich, Liangwen Zhong, Richard Bodine, Duancheng Wen, Nikica Zaninovic, Glenn Schattman, Zev Rosenwaks, Daylon James

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: To measure the influence of exogenous insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) on follicle growth and maturation in human ovarian cortical xenografts. Design: Xenotransplantation model. Setting: University-based research laboratory. Patients/Animals: Ovarian tissue was donated with consent and institutional review board approval by brain-dead organ donors or patients undergoing ovarian tissue cryopreservation for fertility preservation. Cortical fragments were transplanted into immunocompromised mice. Interventions: Cryopreserved ovarian cortical fragments from four women (aged 19, 25, 33, and 46 years) were transplanted into the gluteus muscle of immunocompromised mice in a fibrin matrix containing endothelial cells that were transduced with lentiviral particles encoding secreted IGF1. Xenografts were recovered after 3, 8, and 14 weeks. In addition, C57/Bl6 mice underwent intraovarian injection of saline or recombinant IGF1 (60 μg), followed by superovulation, analysis of ethynyl-deoxyuridine incorporation, and ribonucleic acid sequencing of the whole ovaries. Main Outcome Measures: For xenografts: follicle count and distribution; antral follicle count; and corpora lutea/albicans count. For mice: follicle count and distribution; oocyte yield, ethynyl-deoxyuridine incorporation (granulosa cell proliferation); and ovarian transcriptomic signature. Results: At 3 weeks, xenografts in the IGF1 condition revealed a decreased percentage of primary follicles and increased percentage of secondary follicles that were concentrated in the preantral subtype; at 8 weeks, an increase in secondary follicles was concentrated in the simple subtype; after 14 weeks, primordial follicles were reduced, and while the number of advanced follicles did not power the experiment to demonstrate significance, antral follicles reduced and corpora lutea increased. Supporting experiments in mice revealed an increase in normal oocytes following intraovarian injection of recombinant IGF1 (60 μg) as well as increased proliferative index among follicles of secondary and preantral stages. Ribonucleic acid sequencing analysis of the whole ovaries following injection of recombinant IGF1 (25 μg) revealed an acute (24 hours) upregulation of transcripts related to steroidogenesis and luteinization. Conclusions: Exogenous IGF1 advances the pace of growth among primordial, primary, and secondary stage follicles but results in near absence of antral stage follicles in long-term (14 weeks) xenografts. In mice, acute administration of IGF1 promotes follicle advance and increased oocyte yield. The results suggest that while superphysiological IGF1 alone advances the pace of growth among early/preantral follicles, a sustained and/or later-stage influence undermines antral follicle growth/survival or promotes premature luteinization. These findings provide a temporal framework for interpreting follicle growth/mobilization and may be useful in understanding the clinical application of human growth hormone in the context of assisted reproduction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-247
Number of pages11
JournalF and S Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Insulin-like growth factor 1
  • endothelial cell cotransplantation
  • folliculogenesis
  • growth hormone
  • human cortical xenograft


Dive into the research topics of 'Exogenous insulin-like growth factor 1 accelerates growth and maturation of follicles in human cortical xenografts and increases ovarian output in mice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this