Female fertility and the zona pellucida

Paul M. Wassarman, Eveline S. Litscher

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Fertility in female mammals, including mice and humans, is dependent on the presence of a zona pellucida (ZP) around growing oocytes and unfertilized eggs. A ZP is required to stabilize contacts between oocyte microvilli and follicle cell projections that traverse the ZP to form gap junctions that support the health of growing oocytes and developing follicles. In the absence of a ZP, due to inactivation or mutation of genes encoding ZP proteins, there is a loss of contacts between growing oocytes and neighboring follicle cells and a concomitant reduction in the production of ovulated eggs that results in female infertility.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere76106
StatePublished - Jan 2022


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