LH prevents cisplatin-induced apoptosis in oocytes and preserves female fertility in mouse

Valerio Rossi, Monica Lispi, Salvatore Longobardi, Maurizio Mattei, Francesca Di Rella, Antonietta Salustri, Massimo Felici, Francesca G. Klinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Premature ovarian failure and female infertility are frequent side effects of anticancer therapies, owing to the extreme sensitivity of the ovarian reserve oocytes to the damaging effects of irradiation and chemotherapy on DNA. We report here a robust protective effect of luteinizing hormone (LH) on the primordial follicle pool of prepubertal ovaries against the cisplatin (Cs)-induced apoptosis. In vitro LH treatment of prepubertal ovarian fragments generated anti-apoptotic signals by a subset of ovarian somatic cells expressing LH receptor (LHR) through cAMP/PKA and Akt pathways. Such signals, reducing the oocyte level of pro-apoptotic TAp63 protein and favoring the repair of the Cs-damaged DNA in the oocytes, prevented their apoptosis. Noteworthy, in vivo administration to prepubertal female mice of a single dose of LH together with Cs inhibited the depletion of the primordial follicle reserve caused by the drug and preserved their fertility in reproductive age, preventing significant alteration in the number of pregnancy and of delivered pups. In conclusion, these findings establish a novel ovoprotective role for LH and further support the very attracting prospective to use physiological 'fertoprotective' approaches for preventing premature infertility and risks linked to precocious menopause in young patients who survived cancer after chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-82
Number of pages11
JournalCell Death and Differentiation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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