Scientists at the University of Nottingham have highlighted the role of a natural hormone, INSL3, in regulating feminine fertility. This discovery “could lead to improved diagnosis and better infertility treatment”. Their study, published in Frontiers in Physiology, explains that an insulin-like peptide hormone, INSL3, produced in the ovary, plays a key role in orchestrating ovarian follicle growth, thus participating in the retrocontrol mechanism exerted on the hypothalamo-hypopituitary axis. Until now, the role of INSL3 has been unclear and research focused mainly on the male foetus. The team was able to refine its results after 15 years of research and publications. Apart from paving the way to improved infertility treatment, this new study also suggests that INSL3 could be involved in the hormone imbalance associated with polycystic ovary syndrome.
Furthermore, a team from the University of Wisconsin-Madison showed that the oestrogen hormone produced in the brain is essential for triggering ovulation in monkeys. This source of oestrogen acts in addition to oestradiol produced by the ovaries. Published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, their results could also help to diagnose infertility.