PhD Oral Defense of Dayananda Siddappa Thimmanahalli, Department of Animal Science
Ovarian functions are mainly regulated by complex interactions of gonadotropins, metabolic hormones and growth factors, which are mediated through signaling networks including PI3K/Akt/MTOR and MAPK signaling pathways. At the level of the ovary, granulosa/luteal cells are pivotal in integrating these signals to regulate follicular/corpus luteum functions. Most of functional evidence for ovarian MTOR and MAPK signaling in granulosa cells has come from in vitro studies. Recently pharmacological inhibition model (MTOR) and conditional knock out mice model (ERK1/2) showed that MTOR and MAPK pathways regulate ovulation. However, complete mechanistic processes of regulation ovulation by these pathways have not been deciphered. Also, roles of these pathways during follicular growth as well as corpus luteum development have not been investigated.