A magazine for friends of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Counting Eggs


A female is born with all the eggs she will ever possess, making this “ovarian reserve” establishment during fetal development essential to long-term fertility and endocrine function. The protein  ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase L1 (UCHL1) is required in the health and development of the mouse ovarian reserve as well as proper endocrine function. Working in the lab of Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology Kathryn J. Grive AM’13 PhD’16, I captured this image of a tissue section from a human fetal ovary, showing developing eggs (cells positive for the marker VASA, in green)  during the establishment of the ovarian reserve. VASA-positive oocytes become UCHL1-positive (shown in red) as they develop, suggesting a shared role for UCHL1 in the human ovary.


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