Department of Molecular & Integrative Physiology
Ph.D., Iowa State University, 1994
Postdoctoral, Oregon National Primate Research Center, 1994-1996
Postdoctoral, University of Pennsylvania, 1996-2001
Fertility control is a major health concern for premenopausal women. Research in my laboratory focuses on understanding the terminal events involved in follicular development and luteal tissue formation during a discrete period of the ovarian cycle referred to as the periovulatory period. During this short interval several major physiologic events occur, including ovulation, oocyte maturation and luteinization (i.e., differentiation of follicular to luteal cells). This period is also the major target of most pharmacological methods that disrupt or enhance fertility in women. While it is well established that the mid-cycle surge of luteinizing hormone (LH) triggers the events involved in ovulation and luteinization, much less is known about the genes, signaling cascades and regulatory mechanisms downstream of this endocrine event at the ovarian level. To understand the molecular and cellular aspects that regulate this highly spatiotemporal event, we are utilizing a variety of techniques, chromatin immunoprecipitation, microarray and computational analyses to identify novel target genes downstream of critical transcription factors (progesterone receptor and CCAAT-enhancer binding protein-b, early growth regulator-1/2) essential for ovulation. Additionally, a series of studies examining the role post-transcriptional gene regulation (i.e., ribonomics) plays in the ovulatory process has also been undertaken.
My laboratory has also entered the assisted reproductive technologies (ART) research arena, addressing the issue of embryo quality. In a first of its kind we have completed a proteomic (tandem mass spectrometry) analysis of conditioned medium from preimplantation embryos. The proteins identified are now being studied for their predictive value as well as their functional role in embryo development. This area of research has the potential to not only improve ART procedures but also the health of children conceived through ART.
Mains, L.M., L.K. Christenson, B. Yang, A.E.T. Sparks, S. Mathur, and B.J. Van Voorhis. 2011. Identification of Apolipoprotein A1 in the Human Embryonic Secretome. Fertil Steril 2011 Aug; 96(2):422-427.e2
Luense, L.J., A. Veiga-Lopez, V. Padmanabhan and L.K. Christenson, 2011. Developmental Programming: Gestational testosterone treatment alters fetal ovarian steroidogenic gene expression. Endocrinology. 2011 Dec;152(12):4974-83.
Fitzgerald1 J. B., V. Chennathukuzhi, F. Koohestani, R. A. Nowak, L.K. Christenson. 2012. Role of microRNA-21 and PDCD-4 in the pathogenesis of human uterine leiomyomas. Fertil Steril 98(3):726-734.
Bansal A, Lee IH, Hong X, Mathur SC, Tawfik O, Rastogi A, Buttar N, Visvanathan M, Sharma P, Christenson LK. 2013. Discovery and Validation of Barrett's Esophagus MicroRNA Transcriptome by Next Generation Sequencing. PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e54240. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0054240.
Rosenbluth EM, Shelton DN, Sparks AE, Devor E, Christenson L, Van Voorhis BJ. 2013. MicroRNA expression in the human blastocyst. Fert Steril 2013 Mar 1; 99(3):855-861.
Veiga-Lopez A, Luense LJ, Christenson LK, Padmanabhan V. 2013. Developmental programming: Gestational bisphenol-A treatment alters trajectory of fetal ovarian gene expression. Endocrinology. 2013 May; 154(5):1873-84.
Elsarraj HS, Hong Y, Valdez K, Carletti M, Salah SM, Raimo M, Taverna D, Prochasson P, Bharadwaj U, Tweardy DJ, Christenson LK, Behbod F. 2013. A novel role of microRNA146b in promoting mammary alveolar progenitor cell maintenance. J Cell Sci. 2013 Jun; 126(Pt 11):2446-58.
Christenson, L.K., S. Gunewardena, X. Hong, M. Spitschak, A. Baufeld, and J. Vanselow. Research Resource: Pre-ovulatory LH surge effects on follicular theca and granulosa transcriptomes". Mol Endo 27(7):1153-71.
Burns, G., Brooks, K., Wildung, M., Navakanitworakul, R., Christenson, L.K., and T.E. Spencer Extracellular Vesicles in Luminal Fluid of the Ovine Uterus. PLoS ONE 9(3): e90913. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0090913
Lee, I.H., Hong, X., Sharma, M., Mathur, S., Rastogi, A., Sharma, P., Christenson, L.K. and A Bansal A Detailed Analysis of Next Generation Sequencing Reads of MicroRNA Expression in Barrett's Esophagus: Absolute versus Relative Quantification. 2014 BMC Research Notes.2014, 7:212 DOI: 10.1186/1756-0500-7-212
Lane K. Christenson, Ph.D.