Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2012

Capstone Advisor

Dr. Melissa E. Pepling

Honors Reader

Dr. Eleanor M. Maine

Capstone Major


Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Sciences and Engineering

Subject Categories

Biology | Developmental Biology


In female mammals, proper oocyte development is a vital prerequisite for future gamete viability and fertility. This development of oocytes, known as oogenesis, begins with the migration of primordial germ cells to the genital ridge of the early embryo, where multiple rounds of mitotic division occur without complete cytokinesis. The result is temporary cyst morphology. Cyst breakdown is a crucial process in the next developmental stage, resulting in formation of the single oocytes which will grow in follicles surrounded by granulosa cells and eventually develop into eggs. These aspects of embryogenesis are conserved across multiple species, including Drosophila, mice, and humans. Extensive research has already been completed to elucidate the mechanisms through which the steroid hormone estrogen regulates these developmental processes. Some research shows that progesterone, among other steroid hormones, also plays a role in inhibiting cyst breakdown and disrupting proper follicular assembly. However, specific types of progesterone receptors (PRs) and the signaling pathways they mediate have not yet been studied in the fetal stages of ovarian development. Here, the expression of specific PRs has been investigated and assessed via immunocytochemistry. The functional characterization of each individual progesterone receptor using organ culture is now in early stages of investigation. The experimental results confirm the presence of four different types of PRs: PR-A and PR-B, PAQR3, PGRMC1, and PGRMC2. Each receptor type shows evidence of expression at different stages of development as well as localization to different cell types within the ovary. Elucidating the detailed signaling pathways pertaining to each receptor requires additional investigation.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.