Harvard University, 1975
Ovarian function, gamete biology and early mammalian development
Our laboratory employs genetic, molecular and imaging strategies to study basic aspects of the process of reproduction that bear on human disease and its clinical management by stem cell therapy. The overall emphasis is on Women’s Health in relation to causes of human infertility, ovarian cancer, and the deployment of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTS) for improving egg and embryo quality in human and animal models. Three project areas are actively under study:
1.Ovarian Physiology-the basis of signaling between the somatic and germ cell compartments of the mammalian ovary is studied using mouse knockout models of TGF-beta and gap junctional communication as related to the regulation of oogenesis and folliculogenesis.
2. Oocyte Meiotic Cell Cycle Regulation-how modifications in checkpoint control of somatic cells are adapted to ensure chromosome balance during meiosis in oocytes is being approached by live cell imaging techniques that permit simultaneous visualization of microtubule and chromosome dynamics during cell cycle progression. This problem bears directly on the effects of maternal aging and environmental exposure on reproductive fitness in aging women and is especially pertinent to the cause of Trisomy 21 or Downs Syndrome.
3. Embryonic Origins of Stem Cells- the low efficiency and poor development manifest after in vitro embryo production in most mammals is thought to be the result of both maternal environment and culture conditions that influence generation of placental and embryonic progenitors. Live imaging, genetic marking, and gene expression studies are aimed at understanding these methodological deficiencies to improve the quality of embryos from which stem cells can be isolated. Cell polarity and cell cycle regulation, in addition to chromatin remodeling, are being focused on as likely targets for disruption in the normal cascade of developmental events that compromise embryogenesis and the ability of embryonic stem cells to retain self renewal and differentiative capacities.
(Publications selected from a total of 90 peer-reviewed publications
Sanfins A, Lee GY, Plancha CE, Overstrom EW, Albertini DF. Distinctions in meiotic spindle structure and assembly during in vitro and in vivo maturation of mouse oocytes. Biol Reprod. 2003; 69(6):2059-67. Download PDF
Albertini DF, Barrett SL. The developmental origins of mammalian oocyte polarity. Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2004; 15(5):599-606.
Combelles CM, Carabatsos MJ, Kumar TR, Matzuk MM, Albertini DF. Hormonal control of somatic cell oocyte interactions during ovarian follicle development. Molec. Repro. Dev. 2004; 69(3):345-55.
Sanfins AS, Plancha CE, Overstrom EW, Albertini DF 2004.Meiotic spindle morphogenesis in in vivo and in vitro matured mouse oocytes: insights into the relationship between nuclear and cytoplasmic quality. Human Reprod, in press. Download PDF
Albertini DF. Micromanagement of the ovarian follicle reserve-do stem cells play into the ledger? Reproduction 2004; 127:513-514.
Combelles CMH, Albertini DF, and Racowsky C. Distinct microtubule and chromatin characteristics of human oocytes after failed in-vivo and in-vitro meiotic maturation.Human Reproduction, 2003; 18(10): 2124-2130. Download PDF
Combelles CMH, Fissore RA, Albertini DF, and Racowsky C. In vitro maturation of human oocytes and cumulus cells using a co-culture three-dimensional collagen gel system. Human Reprod. 2005; 20(5): 1349–1358. Download PDF
Ibáñez E, Albertini DF, and Overström EW. Effect of genetic background and activating stimulus on the timing of meiotic cell cycle progression in parthenogenetically activated mouse oocytes. Reproduction,2005; 129: 27–38. Download PDF
Ibáñez E , Sanfins A, Combelles CMH, Overström EW, and Albertini DF. Genetic strain variations in the metaphase-II phenotype of mouse oocytes matured in vivo or in vitro. Reproduction,2005; 130: 845–855. Download PDF
Russell DF, Ibáñez E, Albertini DF, and Overström EW. Activated Bovine Cytoplasts Prepared by Demecolcine-Induced Enucleation Support Development of Nuclear Transfer Embryos In Vitro. Molecular Reproduction And Development, 2005; 72: 161–170. Download PDF
Coticchio G, Santis LD, Rossi G, Borini A, Albertini D, Scaravelli S, Alecci C, Bianchi V, Nottola S, and Cecconi S. Sucrose concentration influences the rate of human oocytes with normal spindle and chromosome configurations after slow-cooling cryopreservation. Human Reproduction, 2006; 21(7): 1771–1776. Download PDF
Dai Y, Wang L, Wang H, Liu Y, Li N, Lyu Q, Keefe DL, Albertini DF, and Liu L. Fate of centrosomes following somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) in bovine oocytes. Reproduction, 2006; 131: 1051-1061.
Hutt KJ and Albertini DF. Clinical applications and limitations of current ovarian stem cell research: a review. Journal of Experimental & Clinical Assisted Reproduction, 27 July 2006; 3:6. Download PDF
Hutt KJ and Albertini DF. An oocentric view of folliculogenesis and embryogenesis. Reproductive BioMedicine, 26 April 2007; 14:6. Download PDF
Rodrigues P, Limback D, Mcginnis L, Plancha CE and Albertini DF. Oogenesis: Prospects and Challenges for the Future. Journal of Cellular Biology, 2008; 9999: 1-11.
Barrett SL and Albertini DF. Allocation of Gamma-Tubulin Between Oocyte Cortex and Meiotic Spindle Influences Asymmetric Cytokinesis in the Mouse Oocyte. Biology of Reproduction, 2007; 76: 949-957. Download PDF
Bromfield J, Messamore W and Albertini DF. Epigenetic regulation during mammalian oogenesis. Reproduction, Fertility and Development, 2008; 20: 74-80.
McGinnis L, Albertini DF and Kinsey WH. Localized activation of Src-family protein kinases in the mouse egg. Developmental Biology, 2007; 306: 241-254. Download PDF
Hutt KJ, Shi Z, Albertini DF, Petroff BK. The environmental toxicant 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin disrupts morphogenesis of the rat pre-implantation embryo. BMC Developmental Biology, 2 January 2008; 8:1. Download PDF