Vascular contributions to early ovarian development: Potential roles of VEGFA isoforms

Renee M. McFee, Andrea S. Cupp

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Vascularisation is an essential component of ovarian morphogenesis; however, little is known regarding factors regulating the establishment of vasculature in the ovary. Angiogenesis involving extensive endothelial cell migration is a critical component of vessel formation in the embryonic testis but vasculogenic mechanisms appear to play a prominent role in ovarian vascularisation. Vasculature has a strong influence on the formation of ovarian structures, and the early developmental processes of ovigerous cord formation, primordial follicle assembly and follicle activation are all initiated in regions of the ovary that are in close association with the highly vascular medulla. The principal angiogenic factor, vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA), has an important role in both endothelial cell differentiation and vascular pattern development. Expression of VEGFA has been localised to ovigerous cords and follicles in developing ovaries and an increased expression of pro-angiogenic Vegfa isoform mRNA in relation to anti-angiogenic isoform mRNA occurs at the same time-point as the peak of primordial follicle assembly in perinatal rats. Elucidation of specific genes that affect vascular development within the ovary may be critical for determining not only the normal mechanisms of ovarian morphogenesis, but also for understanding certain ovarian reproductive disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-342
Number of pages10
JournalReproduction, Fertility and Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013


  • follicle
  • ovary
  • vasculature.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology
  • Developmental Biology


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