Regulation of antral follicular growth by an interplay between gonadotropins and their receptors

Livio Casarini, Elia Paradiso, Clara Lazzaretti, Sara D’Alessandro, Neena Roy, Elisa Mascolo, Kornelia Zaręba, Alejandra García-Gasca, Manuela Simoni

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Knowledge of the growth and maturation of human antral follicles is based mainly on concepts and deductions from clinical observations and animal models. To date, new experimental approaches and in vitro data contributed to a deep comprehension of gonadotropin receptors’ functioning and may provide new insights into the mechanisms regulating still unclear physiological events. Among these, the production of androgen in the absence of proper LH levels, the programming of follicular atresia and dominance are some of the most intriguing. Starting from evolutionary issues at the basis of the gonadotropin receptor signal specificity, we draw a new hypothesis explaining the molecular mechanisms of the antral follicular growth, based on the modulation of endocrine signals by receptor-receptor interactions. The “heteromer hypothesis” explains how opposite death and life signals are delivered by gonadotropin receptors and other membrane partners, mediating steroidogenesis, apoptotic events, and the maturation of the dominant follicle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)893-904
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Antral follicle
  • Atresia
  • FSH
  • GPER
  • Heteromers
  • LH

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Genetics(clinical)


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