Multiscale modeling of ovarian follicular development: From follicular morphogenesis to selection for ovulation

Abstract : In this review, we present multi-scale mathematical models of ovarian follicular development that are based on the embedding of physiological mechanisms into the cell scale. During basal follicular development, follicular growth operates through an increase in the oocyte size concomitant with the proliferation of its surrounding granulosa cells. We have developed a spatio-temporal model of follicular morphogenesis explaining how the interactions between the oocyte and granulosa cells need to be properly balanced to shape the follicle. During terminal follicular development, the ovulatory follicle is selected amongst a cohort of simultaneously growing follicles. To address this process of follicle selection, we have developed a model giving a continuous and deterministic description of follicle development, adapted to high numbers of cells and based on the dynamical and hormonally regulated repartition of granulosa cells into different cell states, namely proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. This model takes into account the hormonal feedback loop involving the growing ovarian follicles and the pituitary gland, and enables the exploration of mechanisms regulating the number of ovulations at each ovarian cycle. Both models are useful for addressing ovarian physio-pathological situations. Moreover, they can be proposed as generic modelling environments to study various developmental processes and cell interaction mechanisms.
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Biology of the Cell, Wiley, 2016, 108 (6), pp.1-12. 〈10.1111/boc.201500087〉
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Danielle Monniaux, Philippe Michel, Marie Postel, Frédérique Clément. Multiscale modeling of ovarian follicular development: From follicular morphogenesis to selection for ovulation. Biology of the Cell, Wiley, 2016, 108 (6), pp.1-12. 〈10.1111/boc.201500087〉. 〈hal-01294630〉

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