Protection of the female gametes during radiation therapy by antioxidants.

Project Details


Women are born with a definite, non renewable pool of oocytes within their ovaries. This implicates that important damage to the female gametes, as in the case of abdominal radiotherapy, can potentially lead to an exhaustion of the oocyte pool, followed by infertility and an early start of menopause. It is well known that antioxidants have a benificial effect in protecting cells against radiation induced damage. We will investigate whether model compounds as melatonin and alpha-tocopheryl succinate, two of the strongest antioxidants can protest follicles and oocytes against radiation induced damage.
The study will assess the effects in all follicular classes present within the ovary (mouse model). For the studies on primordial follicles we will apply a well defined organ culture system and to investigate effects on later stages, we will use a bioassay system for the in-vitro development of ovarian follicles (Cortvrindt, 2002). The effects of antioxidantia compounds will be compared to control irradiated follicles at well defined stages of follicle development. The endpoints of the different studies will include: follicle survival, follicle development, steroid production, oocyte growth and nuclear maturation, aneuploidy, fertilisation, embryogenesis, abnormalities, ... .
Effective start/end date1/01/0731/12/07

Flemish discipline codes

  • Basic sciences


  • fertility