[Frontiers in Bioscience S3, 145-155, January 1, 2011]

Endothelins in regulating ovarian and oviductal function

Phillip J. Bridges1, Jongki Cho1,2,3, CheMyong Ko1

1Reproductive Sciences Graduate Program, Department of Clinical Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington KY 40536. 2College and 3Research Institute of Veterinary Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Republic of Korea, 305-764

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Abstract
2. Introduction
2.1. Endothelins
2.2. Expression
3. Ovarian Follicle
3.1. Ovulation
4. Corpus Luteum
5. Oviduct
6. Future Studies
7. References

1. ABSTRACT

In the last 30 years, remarkable progress has been made in our understanding of the biological role of endothelins in the regulation of reproductive function and fertility. A peptide hormone identified for its ability to regulate blood pressure has now been shown as a potent mediator of several reproductive pathways. Ligand- and receptor-specific roles have been identified and/or postulated during follicular development and ovulation as well as in the function and regression of the corpus luteum. In this review we have attempted to organize endothelin-mediated ovarian processes in a process-specific manner, rather than compile a review of ligand- or isoform-specific actions. Further, we have included a discussion on "post-ovarian" or oviductal function, as well as the future directions that we believe will increase our understanding of endothelin biology as a whole.